Jane McGonigal; Game Designer TED Talk 2012

Jane McGonigal gave a riveting talk about the issue regarding how much time people waste playing games. The talk was surprising!

She began in a unique way by talking off topic stating the top five regrets people have about their life that has been documented by Hospice caretakers and they were:

  1. Wish they hadn’t worked so hard.
  2. Wish they had stayed in touch with friends.
  3. Wish they were happier.
  4. Wish they had the courage to express themselves.
  5. Wish they had stayed true to their dreams instead of what others expected of them.

How are we able to start doing this now so we will have fewer regrets?  Are we really able to live our dream and do what we love?

Jane explains that there are five good things about games; you can play as a family, social games help people stay connected, game playing in moderation has helped with clinical anxiety and depression, and research out of Stanford states that playing games gives us more courage and become more committed to goals.  Her last reason comes later…

She personally was bedridden for three months due to a serious concussion that wouldn’t heal properly. Statistically, people with brain injuries tend to develop depression and in some cases suicidal ideations. She decided to turn her dilemma into a game; she believes people are able to tackle tougher challenges when they make it into a game. She created the “bad guys” and what she was fighting against and she asked for the people around her to help.

There were three steps to create the game (1) identify (2) power (3) connections. Her goal was to stop suffering so she called her game “Superbetter.”  Soon she began to feel stronger, braver and happier even if she was in pain because she had connections and she had HOPE!

Some people get stronger AFTER a trauma, it is called Post-traumatic growth because it unleashes the best qualities: (1) You change your priorities, (do what makes you happy) (2) Connect with friends (3) Better understanding of self, new meaning and purpose to life. (4) Focus on dreams and goals.

It actually UNLOCKS our ability to lead a life opposite of the Top 5 Regrets!  The good news we can do this without trauma, we can figure out we are not doomed to suffer indefinitely!

Research has also connected the FOUR strengths of resilient people:

  1. Physical Resilience- No sitting for more than an hour, get up and move! You will heal faster and actively improve yourself.
  2. Mental Resilience- Focus, discipline actually boosts willpower and builds brain muscles.
  3. Emotional Resilience- Your ability to evoke positive emotions, three positive to one negative in the course of an hour, day and week.
  4. Social Resilience- Getting the strength and connection from others, gratitude and touch are so important!  You will actually live longer and be happier!!

Jane had the whole audience perform a series of exercises to prove her point during her TED Talk that are priceless, it gives such a perfect example how we all can learn so many valuable lessons if we just allow ourselves the time to enjoy life!

You can watch the video here:

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