SuperBetter: how to live gamefully. Plus more stories of mind over body.

Andrew Marr with Jane McGonigal, Jo Marchant, AC Grayling and Simon McBurney.

Source: BBC Radio 4 – Start the Week, 08/02/2016

There was a time in the 1990s when I played Tetris®” target=”_blank”>Tetris every night before going to sleep. The falling blocks calmed my mind and soothed me into slumber. As anyone who has played it knows, after a session of Tetris it takes a while to stop seeing it continuing behind your eyelids, but even that experience is quite pleasurable. The game is discussed in quite a number of research projects, such as its role in the treatment of victims of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jane McGonigal mentioned this phenomenon today on BBC Radio 4’s Andrew Marr show. It’s a wide-ranging conversation about the influence of the mind over the body, well worth a listen.

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to Jane McGonigal, a designer of alternate reality games, about her latest innovation which consists of SuperBetter: How a gameful life can make you stronger, happier, braver and more resilient” target=”_blank”>SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient and its accompanying free online game. Designed to aid her recovery from a brain injury and subsequent depression, the game reportedly gives people a sense of control over their own health. Harnessing the mind in the fight against chronic illnesses is the subject of Jo Marchant’s book, Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind over Body” target=”_blank”>Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body, which looks at the latest research into the science of mind over body. Rational thought and magic went hand in hand in the Renaissance period and the philosopher AC Grayling looks back at the life of John Dee – mathematician, alchemist and the Queen’s conjurer. The actor Simon McBurney tests the limits of perception and human consciousness as he recreates what it feels like to be lost in the remote part of the Brazilian rainforest.

 

Viridi – a Video Game Where You Just Take Care of Succulents

Mental Floss writes:

In Viridi, a new video game, there are no attackers and no countdown clock. Instead, in a game that seems diametrically opposed to the anxiety inherent in most video games, the point is to tend to pretty desert plants.

Viridi’s premise is simple: Help your succulents thrive. You pick from a handful of starter plants, choose a pot, and click around to water your seedlings, taking care to make sure each plant is properly sated. A snail slowly circles the top edge of the pot. Your plants grow, albeit slowly. The unobtrusive, gentle music wouldn’t be out of place in a massage parlor or yoga studio.

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The experience is meditative. You can run the game in the background throughout the day, listening to the subdued soundtrack and periodically checking in on your baby Aloes and Pachyphytums. This is not the sort of video game you play for a few minutes at your desk, rack up points, and go back to work. It’s an unusually calming digital experience. Now you can take a meditation break even if you can’t leave your desk.

More…

Source: There Is a Video Game Where You Just Take Care of Succulents | Mental Floss UK

Visit the Viridi website for more details. It needs Steam to run (not the hot wet kind). Nurture a small pot of succulents that grow in real time. Viridi is a safe haven, a place you can return to for a moment of peace and quiet whenever you need it.