Read my books!

In the book on January 13, 2020 at 1:27 am

I’ve written two New York Times bestselling books, SuperBetter and Reality is Broken. (and shhh… it’s a secret… but I might be working on my third book right now!)superbetter big cover

Find out what other people are saying about SuperBetter… and then get your own copy and start your adventure today.

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!

“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

Here are some my favorite podcasts I’ve done!

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The Joe Rogan Experience: Episode #694 Jane McGonigalaudio link and (video link)

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The Tim Ferriss Show: Episode 93: Jane McGonigal on Stressing Less and Getting More Done with Games – audio links and transcript!

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Oologies with Alie Ward: Ludology (The Study of Games) with Dr. Jane McGonigal – audio links and transcript!

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Invest Like the Best with Patrick O’Shaughnessy: How Games Make Life Better (audio links and show note)

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Meditative Stories: Exploring the alternate reality of your own life with Jane McGonigal

And 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 January 10, 2020 at 7:06 am

“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 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.

3 habits to think more creatively and optimistically about the future


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In this lesser-known TEDx talk for the 2017 Skoll Forum, I teach you 3 fun habits (mental challenges) you can try while you watch to strengthen the neurological pathways that allow us to think more creatively and optimistically about the future. I LOVE this talk, and not nearly enough of you have seen it… check it out!

“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.

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Congratulations! You just found the hidden easter egg: a page from my new book SUPERBETTER. And you get to read a sneak page! Well played.


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

Achievements: Unlocked

In achievement: unlocked on January 9, 2020 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.

My best effort so far? SuperBetter, a game that has helped more than 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 Pennsylvania’s randomized controlled trial of SuperBetter for depression, and learn more about our NIH-funded clinical trial of SuperBetter for rehabilitation, which showed that players of SuperBetter recovered from symptoms of concussion faster!) SuperBetter is used by professional athletes, children’s hospitals, substance recovery clinics and campus health centers worldwide. Since 2018, the SuperBetter app has been evaluated independently in multiple peer-reviewed scientific articles as the most effective app currently in the app store for treating depression and anxiety, and chronic pain,  and for having the best evidence-based design for health behavior change.

More recently, I launched the Ethical OS with the Institute for the Future. It’s a set of gameful tools to anticipate the unintended consequences of new technologies, so we can avoid social harms and protect humanity’s long-term wellbeing. Featured in Wired and on NPR, the Ethical OS has been downloaded more than 25,000 times and is currently in use by mayors, universities, start-up incubators, and leading Silicon Valley companies in a global, collaborative effort to make a better future – and not get blindsided by the tech we create.

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:

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

“20 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.. 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?…)

(Check out the Secrets page for my most recent projects and research!)

Fun fact about me: I’m the subject of a children’s book! It’s from the STEM Trailblazer Series, to inspire young people with life stories of innovators in science + tech. This makes me super super happy.

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TAKE A CLASS WITH ME ONLINE! Brand new for 2020

Do you want to think about the future with more creativity and optimism? Do you want to see what’s coming faster, so you can be better prepared for disruptions and more in control of your future? Do you want to get better at changing what’s possible today – in your company, your industry, your community, and in your own life? Take “Ready, Set, Future: Introduction to Futures Thinking” with me, Jane McGonigal, your professor on Coursera.

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This course will introduce you to the practice of futures thinking, as developed and applied for the past 50 years by the Institute for the Future, a Silicon-Valley-based research and learning group founded in 1968. In this course, you’ll build your understanding of what futures thinking is and what you can do with it. You’ll master essential foresight techniques. You’ll meet some professional futurists. And you’ll choose one or more future topics you want to investigate with your new foresight skills. This course is for anyone who wants to spot opportunities for innovation and invention faster. You can gain the skills and confidence to help YOU become someone who makes the future, instead of letting the future happen to you. (Watch the video trailer and start learning now!)