Last night when I was staying up waaaaay too late (because it was fun and I could really stop working on my crochet puzzle any time) I watched a TED talk by game designer Jane McGonigal. It isn't the most scintillating of the talks, but I really liked the content and where it led me.
McGonigal was a gamer and game developer who developed traumatic brain injury and depression with suicidal ideation following a concussion. She said that for 34 days she lay in bed wanting to die.
Then she decided that she had two options: kill herself, or make a game of getting better. It worked. This led her (through a great deal of research on game design and the human brain) to create a game called Superbetter.
In the game, you set a goal for yourself, come up with an alter-ego, identify "enemies" in the things you are trying to overcome and enlist allies in trusted friends and relatives. You can earn "power-ups" and are sent on quests to help you toward your goal. Here are a few of the "power-ups" available:
I know, you are saying to yourself: but these things are so EASY. True. And kind of the point. Instead of making giant unattainable goals accomplish tiny, totally doable things. They improve your mood and success breeds success.
This is nothing I haven't heard. And the power-ups are not things that are new ideas. What is appealing to me (and many others) is the game format. Because I am a geeky gamer girl. So naturally I am playing Superbetter.
As my alter-ego, the " ," I will Kick Depression's Ass in my first Epic Quest. After that I can choose a new Epic Quest.
Today Depression, tomorrow, who knows?
Quaker, teacher, parent,