Game designer Jane McGonigal’s TED Talk that gaming fulfills the basic human wishes expressed by dying hospice patients:
• Work less hard
• Stay in touch with friends
• Let myself be happier
• Have the courage to express my true self
• Live a life true to my dreams
She discussed a practical game, Superbetter, she developed following her own experience of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which left her bedridden, in persistent pain, and suicidal for more than a year.
She asserts that these tasks help players strengthen abilities to remain motivated and optimistic even in the face of difficulty challenge, and boost physical and emotional well-being.
McGonigal links these capabilities to strengthening social support, increasing stamina and willpower.
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that McGonigal’s twin sister and fellow Ph.D., Kelly McGonigal, conducts research at Stanford University on methods to increase willpower and compassion, and to reduce stress and pain.
Jane McGonigal seems to triumph in this Jane vs. Colbert face-off …though he may have tried to distract her by mentioning that she is “a girl, and an attractive one at that…with that Big Hair…”
Six-time Stephen Colbert guest, Hayden Planetarium astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s commented that “you’re lucky to come away with your skin when you appear on Colbert’s show.” Jane seemed to come away with her skin intact.
-*How have you seen gaming improve lives?
-*To what extent do you concur with the hospice patients’ wishes – and implied advice to younger people?