This past summer, I had the pleasure of reading Jane McGonigal’s Reality is Broken.
“Drawing on positive psychology, cognitive science, and sociology, Reality Is Broken uncovers how game designers have hit on core truths about what makes us happy and utilized these discoveries to astonishing effect in virtual environments. Videogames consistently provide the exhilarating rewards, stimulating challenges, and epic victories that are so often lacking in the real world. But why, McGonigal asks, should we use the power of games for escapist entertainment alone? Her research suggests that gamers are expert problem solvers and collaborators because they regularly cooperate with other players to overcome daunting virtual challenges, and she helped pioneer a fast-growing genre of games that aims to turn gameplay to socially positive ends.”
One of the “happiness hacks” Jane describes in the book is the game of Tombstone Hold ‘Em, a variation on Texas Hold ‘Em designed to be played in cemetaries.
The game’s a great adventure in learning about the history of a place and maybe breathing a bit of new life into a graveyard. Added bonus: it sounds fun, and anyone can play.
So, what I’d like to do is bring this to Guelph! October’s almost here, and Devil’s Night falls on a Sunday this year. Maybe a 2:00pm meet-up.
Who’s in? Give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can add you to contact the list.