Friday, August 3, 2012

Making Health Fun

Here’s another fun article from THINK QUARTERLY that talks about the “gamification,” i.e. turning chores into games to help us tackle them with more rigor and tenacity.

I buy into that philosophy because I did something pretty similar to help me stick to my post-surgery rehab regimen. According to a recent article, entitled “The Job’s a Game”,  in THINK QUARTERLY, “…technology is making it easier than ever to make the mundane – from finance to fitness – a bit more magical. These companies are combining digital tools and the principles of play to make our medicine go down in a most delightful way.”

Under the title of Making Health Fun writer Allison Moore tells us about Jane McGonigal who had a traumatic brain injury and all the problems that go along with that. As it turns out, Ms. McGonigal is also a world-class software game designer. She took this opportunity to design a new game she called SuperBetter.

The article goes on to relate that “…she turned the fight for her life into a real-life game. She was on an epic quest to get better, battling bad guys (things that hurt her) and collecting power-ups (things that helped her) on the way. McGonigal won – she is now completely recovered – and she built a gaming platform so others can do the same. SuperBetter, which launched in March, is an online social game that helps people achieve their health goals by building up ‘personal resilience.’ The most popular ‘challenges’ are depression and losing weight, followed by stress reduction and sleeping better. It’s built on scientific principles you can find in psychological research or self-help books, but the game puts them into a fun framework. The point is to actually do what doctors say you should do.”

If this game actually does that, i.e. do what doctors say you should do, I’m ready to give her a gold medal.

And here’s a link to the SuperBetter site:

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