Fighting sugar cravings? Download Candy Crush—
fast. The science of gaming says that playing visual games, such as Tetris, can cut cravings (even for smoking) by up to 25 per cent. This science, and more, is compiled in Jane McGonigal’s SuperBetter, a handbook
on “gameful thinking.” The concept of SuperBetter arose when McGonigal was recovering from a concussion that left her incapacitated. To try to heal herself, the game designer and PhD began to apply all the tenets of game design to her life— allies (her husband, her sister), a secret identity (Jane the Concussion Slayer) and bad guys (bright lights, reading). At first, the game existed in a notebook but now half a million people around the world are fighting everything from cancer to relationship woes on superbetter.com. McGonigal takes you through the process of getting SuperBetter in her book and, by the end, you’ll learn how both making up games and playing existing ones will boost your well-being. It’s playtime.