(p. 10) The principles of game design, McGonigal argues, can be used to turn not only leisure into productivity, but also sickness into health. By reframing recuperative tasks such as going for a walk, reconnecting with a friend or writing a short story as gamelike quests, healing can be systematized. Moreover, when you begin to tackle these life quests (McGonigal provides nearly 100 examples) you will, she writes, enter a “gameful” state, becoming more optimistic, creative, courageous and determined. By applying the psychological attributes that games unlock to real-world scenarios, we become like Mario as he guzzles a power-up and transforms into Super Mario.
McGonigal’s promises come thick and early, propped up by the results of two clinical studies. The 30-day program contained in the book will, she writes, “significantly” reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and decrease suffering. It will increase optimism, make you “more satisfied” and even lead, incredibly, to a life “free of regret.” McGonigal claims that every day for more than five years she has heard from someone telling her that the program changed his or her life.
For the full review, see:
SIMON PARKIN. “Taking Games Seriously.” The New York Times Book Review (Sun., OCT. 12, 2015): 10.
(Note: the online version of the review has the date OCT. 12 [sic], 2015, and has the title “‘SuperBetter’ and ‘The State of Play’.”)
The book under review, is:
McGonigal, Jane. Superbetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient–Powered by the Science of Games. New York: Penguin Press, 2015.