SuperBetter Health

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How do we inspire and empower as many people as possible to become truly engaged in achieving their own positive health outcomes? This talk explores the power of games to change how we participate in our own health.

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  • I’m here to talk with you about what is undoubtedly one of the most urgent challenges for the health community today: How do we inspire and empower as many people as possible to become truly engaged in achieving their own positive health outcomes? Now engagement is something I know a lot about – I’m a game designer. Our sole job is to engage. I’ve been designing games professionally for 10 years. And I can tell that you when game designers use the term engagement, we mean something very specific. We’re not talking about just participating or interacting. We’re talking about a very specific kind of participation: whole-hearted participation: Engagement means participating with optimism and curiosity. And it’s self-motivated. You can’t force someone to engage. When someone is engaged, they’ve tapped into their own abilities and interests and their inner drive – that’s why we say when someone really engages, their whole heart is in it.
  • As you all know, whole-hearted participation does not necessarily describe how most of us in the country go about pursuing positive health outcomes. Too often, there’s fear and anxiety around our health care; or there’s confusion; often there’s a sense of hopelessness and powerlessness; or we’ve just simply “checked out.” My parents are like that. They won’t go see doctors. They say they hate doctors. They’ve completed checked out of the health care process. They are not engaged. And there are millions more like them, ignoring their health for as long as they possibly can – or at best, just half-heartedly taking their doctor’s advice.
  • So what are we going to do about it? In addition to designing games, I work at the Institute for the Future…. Let me tell you about the Institute for the Future…
  • When we’re depressed, according to the clinical definition, we suffer from two things: a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity. If we were to reverse these two traits, we’d get something like this: an optimistic sense of our own capabilities and an invigorating rush of activity. There’s no clinical psychological term that describes this positive condition. But it’s an absolutely perfect description of the emotional state of gameplay. A game is the opportunity to focus our energy, with relentless optimism, at something we’re good at and enjoy. This is a crucial point, so I’ll repeat it: Gameplay is the direct emotional opposite of depression.
  • When we’re depressed, according to the clinical definition, we suffer from two things: a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity. If we were to reverse these two traits, we’d get something like this: an optimistic sense of our own capabilities and an invigorating rush of activity. There’s no clinical psychological term that describes this positive condition. But it’s an absolutely perfect description of the emotional state of gameplay. A game is the opportunity to focus our energy, with relentless optimism, at something we’re good at and enjoy. This is a crucial point, so I’ll repeat it: Gameplay is the direct emotional opposite of depression.
  • SuperBetter Health

    1. 1. SuperBetter Health<br />Jane McGonigal, PhD<br />Director of Game Research & Development<br />Institute for the Future<br />CERNER HEALTH CONFERENCE OCTOBER 11, 2010 KANSAS CITY, MO.<br />
    2. 2. SUPERBETTER<br />How can we achievewhole-hearted participationin creating better health?<br />
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    28. 28. SUPERBETTER<br />How can we achievewhole-hearted participationin creating better health?<br />
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    30. 30. What if we collectively spent 3 billion hours a week whole-heartedly creating better health?<br />
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    35. 35. What makes a good game?<br />
    36. 36. What makes a good game?<br />
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    38. 38. A good game is an invitation to tackle unnecessary obstacles.<br />
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    53. 53. Can we become super-empowered hopeful individuals <br /> about our own health?<br />
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    76. 76. So what does this mean for the future of engagementin health and health care?<br />
    77. 77. To be super-engaged in our own health care:<br />Participation must be optional <br />We crave “unnecessary obstacles”<br />Success is defined by emotional rewards<br />
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    81. 81. SuperBetter Health<br />Email: slides@avantgame.com<br />Follow me: @avantgame<br />Get involved: Gameful.org<br />CERNER HEALTH CONFERENCE OCTOBER 11, 2010 KANSAS CITY, MO.<br />

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