Increase your resilience with SuperBetter

A video game called SuperBetter may offer insight into boosting mental health.
Written by Stacy Lipson, Contributor

As adults, we're told that the challenges we face will shape us for the years to come. But what if you're having difficulty coping? A new video game called SuperBetter promises to help you heal and change the way you see the world.

Jane McGonigal, author of Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, suffered a scary concussion in 2009. In describing her experience, McGonigal wrote on her site that "I was more hopeless than I had ever been in my life. Then I turned it into a game."

According to the SuperBetter site:

SuperBetter is a game that helps you recover from any illness or injury -- or achieve any health goal -- by increasing your personal resilience. Resilience means staying curious, optimistic and motivated even in the face of the toughest challenges.

SuperBetter creates a private, online space where your closest friends and family become allies in your adventure toward health and wellness. The game is played in two parts: First, a set of 7 guided missions that create the foundation for your journey. Then, an open-ended, self-guided adventure that you play with your family and friends in the real world—not a virtual environment—in an effort to achieve your health goals.

We believe that instead of being diminished by obstacles in our way, we can grow stronger—much stronger. In fact, science tells us that dramatic, positive changes can occur in our lives as a direct result of facing an extreme challenge—whether it be coping with a serious illness, daring to quit smoking, or dealing with depression. We call this getting SuperBetter!

According to reporting by writer Lora Kolodny for Fast Company, Kolodny reported that Ohio State University has started the process for research testing. Kolodny reported that clinical trials were set to begin at the end of September.

A search of ClinicalTrials.gov revealed that Ohio State University is testing SuperBetter on patients in two populations. The site states:

The investigators are conducting Phase I clinical testing (feasibility) to determine whether such a rehabilitation game is appropriate for use with two specific populations: mild traumatic brain injured teens and moderately brain injured individuals between the ages of 15 and 25 years.

ClinicalTrials estimates study completion for November 2011.

Want to test out SuperBetter?A beta version is being offered here.

If you'd like to read more about SuperBetter, visit Jane McGonigal's blog here. You can also visit her personal website here.

via SuperBetter

via Fast Company

Image: via screenshot of SuperBetter

Tell us: Would you use a video game to boost your health? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Editorial standards