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SUPERBETTER and Reality is broken!

In the book on July 25, 2013 at 1:27 am

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My new book SUPERBETTER is here! Find out what other people are saying about it …and then join the movement (and win prizes right now!) by pre-ordering it :




 Help your company get superbetter with a 40% discount on orders of 100 copies or more via 800- CEO-Reads !


Get your copy of the New York Times bestselling book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World now.

If you’d like a signed, personalized copy as a gift or for yourself, click here !

Order your copy at

Get the Kindle edition!

“As addictive as Tetris, McGonigal’s penetrating, entertaining look into gaming culture is a vibrant mix of technology, psychology, and sociology, told with the vision of a futurist and the deft touch of a storyteller…. McGonigal makes an inspiring case for the way games can both enhance our personal happiness and help society.” —  Publishers Weekly, starred review

Get to know me better ^_^

Here are a few of the favorite interviews I’ve done of all-time.

“I’m a Runner!” For Runner’s World magazine (April 2012)

“Super Girl”  for Elle Magazine (June 2011)

“Gaming as a Spiritual Practice” for the Buddhist Geeks podcast (January 2011)

“ The Coolest Science Geek We Know “ for Refinery 29 (August 2013)

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Watch videos

In videos on July 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm

“The game that can add 10 years to your life”

In my 2012 TED Global talk , I explain how games can boost our resilience, help us experience post-traumatic growth, and even give us 10 extra years of life.

“Gaming can make a better world”

The best hope we have for surviving the next century on this planet? Games. In  this 20-minute TED talk , I explain why we need to achieve 21 billion hours of online gaming a week by the year 2020. That’ll be just an hour a day, every day, for half of the people on Earth…

“How to think (and learn) like a futurist”
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In my 2016 SXSW keynote , I give a one-hour master class in how to think like a futurist. Why think about the future? To create something new, you have to be able to imagine how things can be different. And the future is a place where everything can be different. This talk, based on my work as Director of Game Research & Development at the Institute for the Future, is designed to prepare you to invent, innovate, create, make a change, make a difference. And, naturally, it ends in a massively-multiplayer forecasting game!
On the Colbert Report

In which I attempt to convince Stephen Colbert that playing games is the single most productive way to spend our time.

“Blissful Productivity”

Throw out your to-do lists. This  45-minute School of Life sermon proposes a radically gameful way to get the most out of each day.

“Gamers tackle the world’s most urgent challenges”

7 minutes live on CNN news ! This was a major epic win for me — and for the EVOKE game , which officially became the first alternate reality game in the genre’s ten-year history to make it on to live national news.

“How to unleash 10 positive emotions in 60 seconds of play”

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I was pleasantly surprised when TED decided to share this secret mini-game of Massively Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling that I ran at TED Global 2013. Now you can learn how to give a hands-on demonstration of the top 10 positive emotions of gameplay.

“Truths and Myths in Gaming” with the Big Think

Watch more videos .


I work with the Leigh Bureau, for the fastest response, you can contact them directly .

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Achievements: Unlocked

In achievement: unlocked on July 23, 2010 at 9:14 pm

My #1 goal in life is to see a game designer nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. I’ve forecast that this will happen by the year 2023. Of course, it’s not enough to just forecast the future — I’m also actively working to make it a reality. (And you can too — join Gameful , the Secret HQ for Worldchanging Game Developers.) My best effort so far? SuperBetter , a game that has helped nearly half a million players so far tackle real-life health challenges like depression, anxiety, chronic pain and traumatic brain injury. (See the successful  results of University of Pennsyvlania’s randomized controlled trial of SuperBetter for depression, and learn more about our NIH-funded clinical tria l of SuperBetter for rehabiliation.)

In the meanwhile, on the way to that epic win, there are plenty of other achievements to be earned. Here are a few I’ve unlocked so far:

Two-time New York Times Bestselling Author of Reality is Broken and SuperBetter

Young Global Leader & Davos Speaker World Economic Forum 

“Top 100 Creative People in Business” Fast Company

“10 Most Powerful Women to Watch” Forbes

“20 Most Inspiring Women in the World” Oprah Winfrey for O Magazine

“10 Breakthrough Ideas in Science” New York Times 

“10 Best Keynote Speakers in the World” Fora TV

“2013’s Entrepreneurial Women to Watch” Entrepreneur Magazine

Top Ten Innovators to Watch” Business Week

“The Most Important 50 Game Developers” Game Developer Magazine

“The Ambassador Award” Women in Gaming for service to the Game Industry

“20 Most Important Women in Videogaming” Gamasutra

“Top 35 innovators changing the world through technology” MIT Technology Review

“Top 20 Breakthrough Ideas of the Year” Harvard Business Review

“Entertainment Breakthrough of the Year” World Technology Forum in association with CNN, Time and Fortune Magazine

#1 Social Impact Game of the Year Games for Change 

Most Important Futures Work of the Year Association of Professional Futurists

#1 Bright Idea of the Year BrandWeek

Activism Award from SXSW Interactive

Innovation Award from the International Game Developers Association

The Gaming Award from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences

Year in Review honors from The New York Times

And two unusual honors that I’m particularly proud of…

#1 Spot on the Annual List of Top Ten Sexy Geeks from Violet Blue (this is the geek equivalent of making People magazine’s most beautiful people issue, or Barbara Walter’s most intriguing people of the year!)

Ranked #16 All-Time Most Engaging TED talk out of 835 all-time TED talks (as of 2010) .. and that’s one ahead of Bill Gates, who’s ranked at #17 🙂

And a couple more real-life achievements I couldn’t be more excited about…

Finisher, California International Marathon, 2014

New mom of twin girls, February 2, 2015

( Want my full bio?… )

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Congratulations! You just found the hidden easter egg: a page from my new book SUPERBETTER , which comes out September 15, 2015. And you get to read a sneak page first! Well played.

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    • News

      • Avatar study!
      • Book giveaway!
      • How to think like a futurist: Recommended readings
      • happy holidays… with a personalized YouTube video from me!
      • Come play with me at SUPERBETTER events this fall!
    • Speaking and Appearances

      Jane McGonigal is represented by the Leigh Bureau speaking agency . To find out if she’s available for your conference, company meeting or event, email [email protected]

      Jane is the Director of Game Research and Development at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, CA. Learn more about IFTF’s futures work.

    • Tweets

      • RT @ roberttheiv : @ avantgame @ globeandmail If I’m reading this right, this is about what game content and community convey to girls, correct… 4 hours ago
      • Who would I be without migraines? More productive, yes, but less empathetic and less accepting of the ultimate lack…… 4 hours ago
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      • How video gaming is helping boys land better careers – and hurting girls /via @ globeandmail… 8 hours ago
      • RT @ BrennanSpiegel : In my research & experience, I believe #VR dampens pain through 3 mechanisms: 1) distracting the brain via "in-attentio… 1 day ago

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How to Make Stress Your Friend

January 18, 2017/ TED / No Comments

Stress is not the enemy. Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal says if you can change the way you think about it , it can even become your friend.

In this TED Talk, McGonigal sheds a new light on stress and shares surprising research that could make what feels like a threatening sensation a little easier to bear.

McGonigal says people believe the visible signs of stress , like sweating and increased breathing, means that stress has taken over—that the body isn’t handling it well. But instead of thinking about what’s going wrong, she makes a strong case for focusing instead on what’s going right.

Related: 23 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Stressed Out

“Participants who learned to view the stress response as helpful for their performance, well, they were less stressed out, less anxious, more confident,” she says. “But the most fascinating find to me was how their physical response changed.”

Normally, when a person feels stressed, their blood vessels constrict, McGonigal says. If prolonged, this cardiovascular state could lead to major health problems. But in one particular study, those who viewed the effects of stress as helpful didn’t have any blood vessel tension. In fact, McGonigal says the response is similar to what happens when someone is happy, or even brave. Compared to the effects of viewing stress as a negative thing, embracing its presence is not only a better alternative, but a much healthier way to live .

“Hopefully the next time your heart is pounding from stress, you’re going to remember this talk, and you’re going to think to yourself, This is my body helping me rise to this challenge,” McGonigal says. “And when you view stress in that way, your body believes you.”

Related: How Successful People Beat Stress


Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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