89. SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient -Powered by the Science of Games by Jane McGonigal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Based on the title and cover, this is not a book I would've been drawn to, but a friend told me a bit about the author, her post-concussion experience and approach to recovery, and recommended it. Thanks, Vahid!
What caught my interest is that the effects of playing the game, SuperBetter, have been measured in 2 actual scientific studies. Granted, the sample size of the studies is small for now, but it's promising and received a grant from the NIH. There's a chapter at the end describing the scope and approach of each study.
The rest of the book explains the gameful approach with copious endnotes to other studies about the effects of playing games, strategies to improve one's outlook and resilience. I've read a lot of books on neuroscience so a number of the other studies and concepts mentioned were familiar to me.
The difference with this book is that it gives concrete, simple tasks to apply or activate the benefits that have been discovered within the framework of a game.
I'm not entirely sold on the idea, but even so the power ups (quick things you can do to boost your energy and attitude) and mental reframing strategies seem really useful.
Improving one's mental, physical, emotional, and social* resilience is a worthy aim that this book has a strategy for. (*Building a supportive network of allies you can rely on.)
As self help books go, this one has loads of science and research behind it and many practical steps you can take. Ultimately, I suspect what you'll get out of it is what you're willing to put into it.
5 years ago on TTaT: 57. Bridgman's Book of 100 Hands