McGonigal launched SuperBetter, the free public game for improving personal resiliency, back in 2012, fresh on the heels of her 2011 best-selling book, Reality is Broken. Previewing the gameful approach to working with health issues first at the SXSWedu conference, she gave it the full presentation at the much bigger SXSW Interactive Festival the following week.
As described before, I used SuperBetter to rehab a badly injured shoulder post-surgery starting just weeks after hearing her talk in 2012. Once I achieved my Epic Win, though, I set the game aside.
Now with this book laying out a simple framework for applying a gameful approach to, not just health, but all kinds of issues requiring increased resiliency, I’m feeling drawn into playing it again to work on some of my personal issues. So I figured I’d take you along for the ride.
Jane lays the groundwork for the gameful approach in Part 1, where she explains why the gameful approach she outlines can help you get become the hero of your own story. We’ll skip over that section here to get to the meat of the matter, Part 2.
Part 2 walks the reader (that’s me and you, folks!) through the 7 gameful rules:
- Challenge yourself.
- Collect and activate Power-ups.
- Find and battle the Bad Guys.
- Seek out and complete Quests.
- Recruit your Allies.
- Adopt a Secret Identity.
- Go for an Epic Win!
She wraps the second part up with a reminder that to be gameful, we must keep score, sharing several ways we can do that in this sort of game. One way she suggests is to count “Good Days” with the formula for a Good Day being:
3 Power-ups + 1 Bad Guy battled + 1 Quest completed =
1 Good Day
Throughout the book, McGonigal guides you a series of quests to show the techniques and give you the needed tools for improving your resiliency. Most importantly, though, of course, she leads you to looking at how you can use these techniques in your own way.
So I’m picking the SuperBetter game up again for dealing with my diabetes over the long haul. As I mentioned in that prior blog post: I’m diabetic, I’m just not very good at it. But recently, my doctor has me concerned that I’m “off my game” in controlling it. Here’s hoping playing SuperBetter again will get me back in the game.
Meanwhile, I’ll explain each of those 7 gameful rules over the next little bit as I restart my personal effort at getting better through gamefiul living, SuperBetter ’16 — let the Game begin!