June 20, 2012
In this series of posts, Rowan, aka All-Star Courtney, gives players the inside scoop on embracing the playful nature of SuperBetter. She will discuss topics such as creating your secret identity, how to transform your daily activities into a roleplaying adventure, and crafting the story of your epic journey. Look for the next post in a couple weeks!
Rowan’s Introduction: The Fun of Being a Hero
Hi there, heroes! Hope all of you out there are doing well and owning both your lives: the mild mannered every day you and the hero you. It is that duality that we’re going to talk about today. SuperBetter is a fantastic tool to overcome so many different things. It takes tough issues, both emotional (such as depression or anxiety) and physical (such as getting fit or an ongoing illness) and turns them into a game to win.
So, what is the point of this series? These posts are here to discuss ideas on how to make your SuperBetter experience more game-based and interactive. When someone creates their own world of reality, they have the full ability to grow within it. I started just the way every player starts, with the SuperBetter homepage and login. But I had a few extra tools in my chest. I had a background in Roleplaying, Storytelling and Game Creating. Using these tools, I created a world for my SuperBetter journey from the ground up. And in this blog series, I will share a lot of these tips and techniques with whomever wants it. But first, you have to be willing to play.
As adults we’re told so many times that games are for children. People roll their eyes and talk of people wasting their lives in fantasy worlds that accomplish nothing. Now science has come along and proven that there are real benefits found inside the childhood antics of playing games and playacting. This basic principle of SuperBetter is described in helpguide.org:
Play is often described as a time when we feel most alive, yet we often take it for granted and may completely forget about it. But play isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. Play is as important to our physical and mental health as getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising. Play teaches us how to manage and transform our negative emotions and experiences. It supercharges learning, helps us relieve stress, and connects us to others and the world around us. Play can also make work more productive and pleasurable.
For me as a hero and All Star, this was so important. I got to do so much more than my mild-mannered teacher self could. By turning this into a game, rather than just a check list of to do’s and to dont’s, I was able to make myself accomplish things I thought impossible. My willpower skyrocketed. You know why? My game persona would have done those things. The gaming aspect allowed me to step away from myself and do things not because I wanted to, but because my hero self would not take no for an answer. She had the willpower, so would I.
Also, I got much more enjoyment from it when I changed it into a game as it became so much more immersive. When I lost a battle, I knew the war still continued, so I could more easily pick myself up and continue. This is a part of transforming our negatives. I could try again and beat that enemy the next day because it was a part of the game, not just something inside me that I could never get away from. So with this transformation, from reality to game, from me to hero, I was able to move into the next benefit of learning from it and relieving stress. And boy, we can all use that.
Now, if you believe me, letâ€™s get ready to create, grow, learn and relax. Next time around we’ll discuss the importance of the secret identity and how to go about creating it.
Courtney Sloan is a gamer, teacher, storyteller, wife, and mom, as well as an author of dark fantasy, horror, and sci-fi. You can find her story ANTIDOTE FOR THE SOUL in the Gothic Blue Book: The Haunted Edition by Burial Day Books. She was also a Spring 2012 SuperBetter All-Star. Catch up with Courtney on her blog or at @writingtiger on Twitter.