“When we play a game, we tackle tough challenges with more creativity, more determination, more optimism, and we’re more likely to reach out to others for help.”
Jane McGonical, a game designer, suffered from a concussion. It did not heal properly so she had symptoms of headaches, vertigo and mental fog. In order to heal she could not read, write, play video games, run, have alcohol or caffeine. In her words, “I had no reason to live.” She fell into a depression. On day thirty-four, she said, “I am either going to kill myself, or I’m going to turn this into a game.” So she made a game out of her struggles.
She adapted a secret identity. She had bad guys, things that kept her from getting better. She had power ups, things that made her happy. And she had allies, people who helped her as she played the game. She almost immediately started feeling better. In in less than a month her depressive fog had lifted. She still had a year long journey in front of her to recover from her concussion but the game play seemingly made it bearable for her.
She shared her experiences on her blog and people all around the world started playing her game. Some people played it for simple, mundane things, others faced terminal illnesses. The common theme she soon discovered is people felt better about their battles. They could better handle the challenges they faced.
Jane felt intrigued and did some further research. She found something similar to the all to familiar Post Traumatic Stress, but opposite, Post Traumatic Growth, PTG. People experiencing PTG, came through their trauma, even stronger than before. They all had common outcomes:
- Their priorities had changed, They were not afraid to do what made them happy.
- They felt closer to their friends and family.
- They understood themselves better; they knew who they really were.
- They had a sense of meaning and purpose.
- They were better able to focus on their goals and dreams.
But how did PTG relate to her game? Jane did further research. She found 4 strengths or resiliences that contributed to the growth found in PTG:
- Physical resilience- Your body can handle more stress and heal itself faster.
- Mental resilience- You have more mental focus more discipline, determination, and will power.
- Emotion resilience You have the power to invoke powerful positive emotions like curiosity and love when you need them most.
- Social resilience- You get more strength from your friends, neighbors, family and community.
Her game just happened to use scientifically validated exercises that worked on building these four strengths. The game helped to build these four strengths and were helping people experience the positive aspects of PTG.
Even better, a person does not have to be recovering from a trauma to receive benefits from these exercises and in the process gain resiliences. Anyone cam benefit.
So, my question to you, do you want a better life? Not only that but a SuperBetter life? I challenge you to go to superbetter.com and start playing today. This game is easy to play and not a time sink. If you want the benefits of PTG without the trauma, head there know.
This is a link to the Ted video that inspired this post.