When I returned to college at 50, much of it online, I began reading and researching web pioneers as I was using conferencing and learning to build websites.
One of the names I kept hearing about was Jane McGonigal. But she was a gamer, something I was definitely NOT interested in. So I let her slip by.
When I was first diagnosed with MTHFRc677t and became legally disabled, I began reading everything I could on all the difficulties of a severe disease. I found that stress plays a major role. I believe I caught Jane doing a TED talk during that time so I bought and read and played as best I could, Super Better.
Her book, a delight, was probably her dissertation. It is done in the style I prefer and many of the doctors I review here cannot or will not afford. The book is full of citations for all her claims that gaming develops strengths and resiliencies especially when we have allies helping us in our quest. And unlike many of these professionals, her book has a great index, so you can look up any part at any time. I now see she wrote an earlier book: Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
While I hesitate to recommend her to some of the dear folks I know, who are very very ill, I do. We all need allies; we all can be amazingly resilient and we all have undiscovered strengths. The main tenet of this blog is that TOGETHER, WE HEAL. Treating illness is not for sissies btw. If you watch almost any of Jane's TED's talks, you will hear how she created Super Better after a very serious illness.
You would think a book on gaming is all about sitting alone in your room playing computer games but the way Jane recommends is just the opposite. She places gangs of kids, actually huge gangs, I think they have done thousands, together in a room playing together. What researchers found was that empathy and social skills INCREASED. This is all well researched and documented. Players learned to help each other even while competing.
And games, quests, like how Jane worked with her own illness, do not need to be computer driven. Jane claims having a gaming attitude towards life can add ten years to your life. So no matter what the challenge is, I suggest you check Jane McGonigal out. Read her and watch her videos. I have had a hard time getting one to upload for you to enjoy. So I will suggest you search her on TED and go to her own site here. Enjoy a new attitude that just may change your life.
I have also attached a good smattering of TED talks below here as none would post on this page. You will find Jane's talk near the end. Enjoy this brilliant woman! Game on, Ally!