How Games Make Us Resilient

Extracted 11MAR2012 from

At the South by Southwest festival here this week, the world-famous game designer [Jane McGonigal] formally launched her latest project, Superbetter, a project that is designed to help players attack any of a wide variety of personal challenges.

It's not a quick fix. McGonigal and her team built the game with a sense of reality: nothing important happens overnight. But commit to taking on challenges, and a game like Superbetter can help just about anyone tackle issues that have cowed them for years.

For McGonigal, Superbetter is not just an intellectual exercise. She created it after suffering a severe concussion and finding herself deep in depression at not being able to heal properly. Deciding that coming up with a game to tackle her struggles was a better alternative than succumbing to the injury, she soon came up with a framework for what she called Jane the Concussion Slayer.

And return from the injury she did, not only to her blossoming career as a leading designer of intricate social, multiplayer games but to writing--she penned the bestseller "Reality is Broken"--and to launching a startup built around her new creation.

[The rest of the interview this site is fascinating. McGonigal is light years ahead of everyone else, and she has been for some time.]