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SuperBetter Summary

5 min read ⌚ 

SuperBetter SummaryThe Power of Living Gamefully

Games are everywhere.

Contrary to what you may believe, this is not that bad.

Who Should Read “Superbetter” and Why?

“SuperBetter” is a book about games, and the impact they have, as well as the impact they could have on our lives.

It is a guideline for people who have undergone trauma and are looking for ways to heal, as well as all others who feel that games are a waste of time.

Games are happening, and we cannot fight them, so why not find out how we can use them to improve our lives?

About Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigalJane McGonigal is a researcher on game perception and game development.

She is an author, a Director of Games Research and Development at the Institute of the Future in Palo Alto, California and a creator of alternate reality games.

“Superbetter Summary”

What do you think about games?

Do you think they are just a way to escape reality and waste time that could be otherwise spent on other, more important things that could actually improve the quality of people’s lives?

You should not judge games that much.


Because games are fun, and people love doing fun things.

So, why not use games to your advantage, instead of criticizing them?

The author came up with this idea, while she was recovering from a brain injury.

She wanted to get not just better, but SuperBetter, and realized that creating a game was the way to go, since people do not feel stressed when they overcome challenges through a game.

So, she created this game that is designed to help people whenever they feel overwhelmed with problems.

But does SuperBetter really work?

It does.

And it has to thank two human phenomena for its success: post-traumatic grown and post estatic growth.

Contrary to what you may believe trauma does not always have long-lasting negative consequences on human life.

Instead, it can be used as a catalyst for growth and for a more fulfilling and happier everyday experiences.

However, not only trauma leads to growth – you can induce it yourself, by overcoming challenges on your own, which is called post ecstatic growth.

These two forms of development result from going through hard times.

It is true what people say: that hard times will make you toucher.

They do help you build mental, emotional, physical and social resilience.

When people face big challenges, they can easily fall into the trap of starting to feel alone and isolated. However, you must not let yourself do this.

Allies surround you at all times – you just have to find them.

Video games make people feel more connected to those they play with.

Humans tend to mimic those whom they are surrounded with, and studies show that game-players tend to develop similar patterns of thoughts and actions when they spend time together and play games.

What this means is that video games can help people develop friendships and find their “allies” making them feel less alone.

Another thing they can help with is motivation!

Yes, you heard right – it is true that they can be a form of procrastination, but they can also help you build your confidence, motivation, and strength.

Of course, it all depends on the way games are designed and the way people use them.

But what causes the difference between how games affect different players.

We all know some people who become incredibly antisocial when they are playing games and others that become more motivated and hardworking.

Well, surprisingly in life the answer does not lie in what games people play or the time they spend playing them. Instead, you should look at the reason you play.

Why you play matters the most of all factors since not all people play for educational purposes.

Some people play to escape reality. These are the cases when gaming is bad for the individual.

On the other hand, if the approach toward gaming is different, games can help you improve your life.

Just like with every other thing in life, in gaming as well, the mindset is everything.

Thankfully, developing the right mindset to reap the benefits of gaming is not that hard. Just remember what positive changes they can bring you, by letting you do something you find enjoyable.

If you do take the right approach, they can make you happier and can help you manage your problems. Playing multiplayer games can improve your communication, organization and coordination skills as well.

SuperBetter is a game that consists of seven steps that let you enjoy all the positive aspects of gaming.

No matter what problem is at hand – the game always has seven steps.

Which are the steps?

We number them in the key lessons below.

Key Lessons from “Superbetter”

1.      The SuperBetter Seven Steps
2.      Games Can Reduce Pain
3.      Care About the “Why”

The SuperBetter Seven Steps

Challenge yourself to reach a specific goal. Change your mindset: your goal is a challenge, not a threat.

Identify the power-ups that help you move forward.

Find your allies.

Complete quests – one quest per day is an excellent place to start.

Self-reflect and develop a secret identity.

Always push yourself and aim toward more significant wins.

Games Can Reduce Pain

Games do not work just as a mental escape – they can have physical effects as well, like for example reducing physical pain.

They do this by shifting our attention and engaging us in a state that is called flow, in which we feel in control of our lives.

Care About the “Why”

The difference between people who experience positive results from games and those that suffer negative consequences is not the time they are playing or the kinds of games they are playing, but their reason for playing.

The mindset is everything.

Luckily, the mindset can be changed, and each person can start playing for the right reasons, no matter how it was in the past.

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“Superbetter Quotes”

Work ethic is not a moral virtue that can be cultivated simply by wanting to be a better person. It’s actually a biochemical condition that can be fostered, purposefully, through activity that increases dopamine levels in the brain. Click To Tweet Over time, even the tiniest meaningful actions add up, each one bringing you closer to a life that is truer to your dreams and free of regret. Click To Tweet Even if you never increase your physical or social resilience, seeking out more positive emotions every day alone can add a full decade to your life. Click To Tweet S. Eliot famously wrote, - If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? Click To Tweet Purposeful play builds self-confidence and real-world problem-solving skills. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Jane offers an interesting view on games and the effects they have on people. Just like her other book “Reality is Broken,” “SuperBetter” delivers a theory backed up by studies and logical reasoning.

It is an interesting read that anyone can learn from.

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