McGonigal, Jane. Superbetter: The Power of Living Gamefully. Penguin, 2016. (Amazon link)
In 2009, internationally renowned game designer Jane McGonigal suffered a severe concussion. Unable to think clearly or work or even get out of bed, she became anxious and depressed, even suicidal. But rather than let herself sink further, she decided to get better by doing what she does best: she turned her recovery process into a resilience-building game. What started as a simple motivational exercise quickly became a set of rules for “post-traumatic growth” that she shared on her blog. These rules led to a digital game and a major research study with the National Institutes of Health. Today nearly half a million people have played SuperBetter to get stronger, happier, and healthier.
But the life-changing ideas behind SuperBetter are much bigger than just one game. In this book, McGonigal reveals a decade’s worth of scientific research into the ways all games—including videogames, sports, and puzzles—change how we respond to stress, challenge, and pain. She explains how we can cultivate new powers of recovery and resilience in everyday life simply by adopting a more “gameful” mind-set. Being gameful means bringing the same psychological strengths we naturally display when we play games—such as optimism, creativity, courage, and determination—to real-world goals.
Lynda.com is a commercial educational service that makes video tutorials available on a wide range of business, software, technology, and creative skills. Emory uses a portion of your student fees to secure full access to the range of Lynda tutorials for all of the students at this university. This is a really valuable resource. I will assign some specific Lynda tutorials as part of this class, but I also strongly encourage you to check out the course offerings there and to take additional tutorials as you can.