Friday, January 17, 2014

Jane McGonigal's Extraordinary TED Talk

Jane McGonigal, Game Designer 

Thanks, Jane! In Jane McGonigal's TED talk, she talks about how to add ten years to your life. 

After people have had trauma similar to Jane's severe head trauma, goals they often share are to:

1) do whatever makes them happy
2) feel closer to family and friends
3) understand themselves better
4) know who they really are now
5) have a clear sense of meaning and purpose in life
6) be better able to focus on goals and dreams.

When people are dying, the regrets most often expressed are the opposite and reinforce the above positive goals. They often wish they had:

1) not worked so hard
2) stayed in touch with friends
3) let themselves be happier (for example, by playing video games)
4) had the courage to express their true selves
5) lived lives true to their dreams instead of what was expected of them.

To review, those who lived on average ten years longer continually boosted four types of resilence:

1) physical - by never sitting still for more than an hour at a time
2) mental - by tackling tiny goals to boost willpower
3) emotional - by achieving the three-to-one positive emotion ratio
4) social - by reaching out to one other cared-for person every single day

McGonigal's a game designer and approves of games. Scientific literature proves that when we play a game we tackle challenges with greater creativity, determination, optimism, and we're more likely to reach out to others for help, be more courageous, ambitious, and committed to our goals.

Video games can help with survival and longevity with behaviors we can adopt for use in real life. Another reason to like online video games is that "groundbreaking clinical trials recently conducted at East Caroline University showed that online games can outperform pharmaceuticals for treating clinical anxiety and depression. Just 30 minutes of online game play a day was enough to create dramatic boosts in mood and long-term increases in happiness." 

Here's the entire transcript of the video and it's well-worth watching or reading.

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