Taking the steps you need to live a happier, healthier life is a great idea, but it can be difficult to get going when the inertia of day-to-day living sets in. SuperBetter is a web-based game built by author and TED speaker Jane McGonigal designed to get you on the road towards being a smarter, stronger, more resilient person.
SuperBetter is a free game, and once you sign up you can choose a goal you want to work towards and add "quests" to your account that you can complete to work your way there. As you complete quests and inspire other people with your progress, you'll earn points in different character areas, like mental, emotional, social and physical resilience. Once you select your goal, you can add quests and create your own adventure, or you can choose a "power pack" that's a bundle of quests, activities and "bad guys" (or things that stand in your way) that will help you get started.
When I signed up, I started with the "Lazy Exercise" power pack, which includes activities like walking around the block and dancing to my favourite song. Some of the "bad guys" I have to fight are sitting for more than an hour at a time, or taking super-short car trips when I could walk instead. If I want help, or want to work towards my goals with friends, I can invite "Allies" from Facebook, or connect with other SuperBetter players. All the while your goals are kept front and centre at the top of the page, right next to your level progress bars. You even get a "secret lab" that's completely private, where you can brainstorm and keep track of your activities and progress.
SuperBetter is the brainchild of Jane McGonigal, game designer and author of the book Reality Is Broken. She knows a thing or two about games in general, and gamification can help people get engaged with things that would previously be difficult for them to motivate themselves to do. We've talked before about how video games can be a powerful force for good, and SuperBetter is a free game that exemplifies this philosophy. It reminds us a lot of the Mindbloom Life Game.
Give SuperBetter a try and let us know what you think. The service is completely free, has a great tutorial to get you started, and you have the option to sign up with Facebook or create an account with your email address. Best of all, it's fun!