Jane McGonigal on Getting More Done with Less Stress and The Health Benefits of Gaming (#93)

The Tim Ferriss Show with Jane McGonigal
Photo credit Alan Levine

“Happiness, success, and good health can coexist with all kinds of negative emotions. You don’t have to get rid of negative emotions, you just have to balance them out.”

– Dr. Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal (@avantgame), PhD, is a senior researcher at the Institute for the Future and the author of The New York Times bestseller Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. Her work has been featured in The Economist, Wired, and The New York Times. She has been called one of the “top ten innovators to watch” by BusinessWeek and one of the “100 most creative people in business” by Fast Company. Her TED talks on games have been viewed more than ten million times.

In this conversation, we dig into everything from recovering from head trauma to how you can use Candy Crush Saga to lose weight. Not enough? How about using Tetris to prevent PTSD, or using Call of Duty to increase empathy?

Her latest book is SuperBetter, which offers a revolutionary (science-based) approach for getting stronger, happier, and more resilient. I’ve been testing it, and it works. Not only am I feeling better, but I’m having more fun.

As adults, we often lose track of play. My hope is that this episode will help you to reclaim it. It’s not frivolous; it can help you get a lot more done with less stress.

#93: Jane McGonigal on Getting More Done with Less Stress and The Health Benefits of Gaming

Want to hear another podcast on the connection between health and video game use? — Listen to my conversation with Adam Gazzely, the maverick of brain optimization (stream below or right-click here to download):

#83: The Maverick of Brain Optimization

Want to hear another podcast relating to the use of psychedelics in health care? – Listen to my conversation with Jim Fadiman. In this episode we discuss risks, micro-dosing, ibogaine, and more (stream below or right-click here to download):

Ep 66: The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide - Risks, Micro-Dosing, Ibogaine, and More


This episode is sponsored by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is, inevitably, Athletic Greens. It is my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body and did not get paid to do so. Get 50% off your order at Athletic Greens.com/Tim

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive resultsClick this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run…

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What challenge in your life could you build a quest around? Who will be your ally and what quests will you identify? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


Selected Links from the Episode

JaneMcGonigal.com | ShowMeTheScience.com | Twitter | Facebook

Show Notes

  • How Jane answers the question, “What do you do?” [5:55]
  • Examples of real world problems that are solved with games or by gamers [7:15]
  • The story behind Jane’s concussion and how her career evolved from the accident [10:35]
  • How Jane climbed herself out of the hole of suicidal thoughts [16:55]
  • Action steps for using gaming lessons and applying them to real life [20:05]
  • How to build a quest into your life [27:30]
  • The health effects of Candy Crush Saga [31:35]
  • The health benefits of Tetris and Call of Duty [39:20]
  • On post-traumatic growth and post-ecstatic growth [49:05]
  • On the use of psychedelics to simulate traumatic experiences [54:45]
  • The threat of game addiction – how to not sink 60+ hours a week into World of Warcraft [57:45]
  • How to avoid potentially addictive games [1:04:05]
  • Jane’s current gaming workout schedule [1:08:35]
  • Who comes to mind when you think successful?  [1:13:15]
  • The story behind the Oprah “Thank You” Game [1:19:45]
  • Favorite documentaries [1:20:45]
  • What purchase of $100 or less has been most valuable? [1:22:25]
  • Morning rituals [1:24:30]
  • Carry-over effects of watching sports/games to performing better [1:27:00]
  • If you could have one billboard anywhere, where would it be and what would it say? [1:29:30]
  • Jane McGonigal’s one request for the audience [1:31:45]

Elements of Creating a Game to Influence a Real Life Outcome

  • Develop a secret identity
  • Recruit allies
  • Have your allies give you quests
  • Collect and activate power-ups
  • Identify and defeat bad guys

Top Therapeutic Games

Clash of Clans | Words with Friends | Candy Crush Saga

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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67 Replies to “Jane McGonigal on Getting More Done with Less Stress and The Health Benefits of Gaming (#93)”

  1. One of my absolute favorite interviews to date! This episode put an incredible portion of my life into words that I previously have struggled to do so with. Having grown up playing video games (and still an avid gamer) I find that turning anything into a game of some sort makes it tremendously easier for me to accomplish. In typical RPG fashion, I have my habitual tasks classified as Dailies (Daily Quests) to ensure that I get x amount of reading done per day/week, x amount of writing, exercise, mindfulness, etc. One of my most used sayings is, “It’s all a game, you just need to learn how to play,” which I use in reference to my education in University, building credit as a student/ graduate, my freelance business, and anything else that is task and even marginally rule-based. For example, learn the “rules” of credit scores and play the game to establish an exceptional credit footprint, without having to face the typical burden of debt.

    Games are a phenomenal way to learn, as my life is a great example of. Yes, I struggled with some social skills in my youth which still carry over into my life now, but I wholeheartedly believe that video games can educate children in ways that the standard education system is completely incapable of doing. From playing video games with my older brother, I had the tremendous benefit of never having to struggle to learn to read in school since games like Final Fantasy and Pokemon are/ were primarily text-based, therefore I learned before I even had to go. My girlfriend’s daughter just had her 6th birthday yesterday, and she is having a harder time with reading than we hoped, merely from disinterest and lack of incentive. I bought her a Nintendo 2DS with two of her favorite games, Pokemon and Kingdom Hearts, and now we can work/play together to get her reading level to the point that she can play (and read) the games by herself. I truly believe that video games do and are capable of so much more good than the violent stereotypes would portray, though I think that the notion that violent games=violent people is just an excuse when parents feel something else needs to take the fall.

    I’ll cut myself off here, but thank you for everything you do Tim! Again, one of my favorite podcasts to date!


  2. I love Jane’s enthusiasm about games. It really shines through near the end of the podcast when Tim is asking her general questions and she manages to bring them back to games every time. It just shows how successful you can be when you focus on an interesting niche.

    Two #5BulletFriday’s ago Tim mentioned that playing Tetris could help you sleep. This has been working really well for me. Whenever I am just laying in bed thinking too much, I play 5-10 minutes of Tetris and it clears my mind.


    My main challenge in life right now is taking risks and doing uncomfortable things. A quest I’m setting for myself is to take ice cold showers for 3 days in a row. I did one the other day and it was so extremely uncomfortable while I was in there, but it felt so good afterwards. I think this quest will help me get past my tendency to stay in the comfort-zone.

  3. Not a (video) gamer (did play D&D though), thought I wouldn’t find this one that appealing to me… proven wrong again by the “Tim Ferriss Wheel Podcast Experiment”… my own name for these extensive collaborations of AWESOMENESS

    Also, when you were talking about Dopamine, reminded me of Satan’s explanation of addiction: http://bit.ly/1MTPt03 (If you haven’t seen the South Park Ep on Freemium, highly recommend it).

  4. You are such a tease Tim. I went to Amazon to buy it and it’s not available till Sept. 15th. Oh well preordered. Looks great.

  5. Thank you Tim for your newsletter every week, as well as your Five Bullet Friday piece. I don’t always get to do/read/listen to everything you discuss, but the few things that I DO get around to are absolutely brilliant and precious. Have a nice day!

  6. I am a mobile app developer (I created some games too). It’s cool that games are recognized as stress reducing method in the productivity world, but also games can be a trap. If one play a lot of games, they can surely put off important things for later and not get much done. So the opposite is also true.

    Just like to be happy, the negative emotions do not need to be put away, we have to create a balance in gaming, just like we have with negative emotions to be happier [referring to Dr. Jane McGonigal quote].

  7. FANTASTIC interview. I am a big fan of Jane’s work (I even cite her in my TEDx Talk on Video Games & Real World Success). As a gamer of 30 years and an Organizational Development Practitioner for 10 years, I could not be more thrilled to see video games & personal development intersect.

    I believe that principles transcend the media in which they appear, so the traits that lead to success in video games can lead to success in the real world, if we are thoughtful enough to apply them.

    We live in an interesting time where video games are still young as a medium, but have tremendous potential. As a business professional, adult, and parent, I still run into the negative stereotypes against those who play video games.

    It’s interesting to note how phone based gaming apps have changed the general populations appreciation of games like Tetris and Candy Crush Saga – I can’t wait to see where future applications of video games are heading!

  8. What a fascinating concept of bringing a gaming mindset toward everyday life! I’m sure this type of thinking applied to classroom environments would get many more kids interested in learning when they are younger.

    Thanks Tim for bringing Jane onto the show! Incredibly valuable information, as always

  9. Thank you for having more women on. This episode was so awesome. Just put Tetris on my phone. Love that game and I’m glad it helps my brain!!

    You’ve inspired me to podcast! Rolf Potts (someone I connected with the first time you mentioned him on your blog… Way back) will be on my show Spark My Muse in September.

    Maria Popava is another hero of mine. Thanks for the great shows!!!!

    I think you should have Leah Busque on!

    Another good one for you would be the head of Charity Water (the “Nike” of Chairties. 5 Million ppl have clean water who didn’t) Scott Harrison

  10. I am listening to Maria Popova’s interview 50 minutes in and she says that leukemia patients who miss doses of meds over the prescribed two year period have a higher reoccurance number than people who do not miss doses. I am calling BULLSHIT on this. Which pharmaceutical company paid for that study? And nice way to put blame on the victim for a reoccurance of cancer. Other than that…it’s interesting.

    1. hey Judy it was Janes interview, not Maria. Facts can be important when you call bullshit. maybe instead of calling bullshit you can include some studies that might dispute some facts or is it that she/he who calls bullshit with caps locks wins?

    2. On this one, I can believe there are studies show it both ways. It would be interesting to see them. And I could think of a few ways in which the studies would likely be worthless.

      As pointed out, studies funded by manufacturers (or association thereof) of the food or drug, tend to be skewed. The perfect example of this would be the beverage industry, where a beverage industry funded study is something close to twice as likely to determine softdrinks do no play a part in weight gain, and it is mere consumers irresponsibility in consuming too many calories or such BS.

      Secondly, to compliance effect, so the patients who take their meds every day, are also likely the ones who watch their diets better, and take their vitamins everyday.

      It would be exceptionally hard to control for diet, exercise and other do-gooder actions.

      Which is why I would call BS on any such study.

  11. Loved this episode :-). I can personally vouch for the fact that (video) games aid in cognitive functioning and productivity.

  12. I’m so glad you did this interview Tim! Exploration into gaming has so much overlap with lifestyle design, flow, and optimal performance. I spend just about every waking minute investigating this overlap, with the specific application to learning in the formal education industry. How cool would it be if curriculum, grades, and the daily learning experience in school were designed with greater attention to what we know about engagement, memory, etc from games? There are only a few schools in the country really pushing the envelope here (e.g. Quest 2 Learn), but we’re still basically in the stone age with this stuff. I hope your future conversations and writing can go into this context even more.

  13. Question of the Day:

    Tim, one of the interesting takes on turning life into a game is The World Peace Game. John Hunter gave a TED talk about how he plays a social experiment game about solving the worlds problems. He essentially presents a world crisis scenario to various groups and demographics including 4th graders vs older students. The results of the group thought experiment are very interesting. For those interested:


    1. Hi Jane & Tim,

      Thank you for a great podcast! I can identify with Tim’s fear of being sucked into the vortex of MMOs and have also avoided them. Do you think MOBAs (like League of Legends) have the same addictive and harmful qualities as MMOs? Any tips beyond the 21 hours a week rule that I can relay to my older sister who has 2 great kids that play LoL? An idea that comes to mind is to install rescue time on their computers and make sure that they are staying within healthy limits.

      Thank you for any insights and keep up the incredible work!


    2. Question of the Day:

      I’m currently facing the challenge of buying my first home. I think it could make a great quest. My allies are my wife and our realtor, but even finding a competent realtor was a challenge.

  14. loved this podcast, though I was excited before I even pressed play because I’ve listened to Jane’s (and her sister’s) TED talks several times. A follow up question (in case she does a follow-up like other guests have): she talked about playing Tetris to help PTSD specifically and Candy Crush to help with other specific things, but not PTSD. Does that mean that Candy Crush would not help PTSD? Is there something specific to Tetris that other games don’t have (and if so, what) or is it just that research has only been done on the effects of Tetris?

  15. Thank you for what you do. It makes such a difference to me. I have no more than 6 books in my line of sight (one of which is ‘The Art of Learning’). Reality is Broken is another. I have persisted in using the Superbetter app in escaping (much more in the after effects) 20 years of abuse & working through 9.5 years of severe chronic pain. I am 35. In using this app I have persevered in a gameful way & have been pain free for 2 months now as well as managed to overcome a painkiller dependency & am progressing in overcoming Major long term Depression without meds. I lost 50 lbs with your Slow Carb program. I REALLY appreciate all the help. Much Love to you and the Mcgonigals 🙂 I hope u are aware of the extent to which it matters. Hugs

  16. Tim, Big fan of your podcasts. This one was shaping up to be one of the best ones yet until Jane the Concussion Slayer said she admired the success of Elizabeth Warren. I was floored. Can there be a bigger fraud on the Harvard faculty? If she ever does become President, I guess I’ll be playing a lot of Candy Crush Saga.

  17. My young kids play minecraft every Sat & Sun morning, I’m now inspired to build my own world!!! THANK YOU Tim!!!

  18. Tim, Have you finished that book of case studies/examples yet? You first talked about it ages ago. Is it likely to be a ebook? Interested to see how you position it and to read it of course!

    Thanks, Doodle

  19. she had me until she went sexist. Take what she said in regards to gender, and either switch it around, or replace it with race. If it isn’t acceptable when thats done, why is it acceptable when she ‘hates’ on men?

  20. Massive Thank You in advance for the upcoming podcast with Tara Brach. I had to rewind 30 sec just to make sure I had heard that correctly. Hats off to you and Jane for your courage to share your personal setbacks with us.

  21. What do you think of using video games to reduce the effect of pornography on your mind? In listening to this interview with Jane McGonigal and how she talked about using Tetris after traumatic experiences, I really connected that to my experience with “post-porn syndrome”. Meaning the immediate, incessant playback in my mind.

    I have gone through seasons of being more and less prone to watching porn. Something I’ve noticed is that immediately after watching it, I regret it, and want it out of my head. So I actively stimulate my brain with other things, whether that’s thinking about my job, fantasy football, Boom Beach, or prayer—whatever seems natural and captivates my thought.

    My reasons for avoiding porn are largely motivated by my Christian faith, because I think habitually engaging in such graphic lust diverts my focus from God. It’s not so much a legalistic guilt, but a regret that I didn’t trust God and pursue him to the fullest. Additionally, I can tell how it warps my own sense of sexuality and the way I view the opposite sex.

  22. QOTD- Becoming fully fluent in Japanese. Would be a “Splintercell” type, FPS/RPG set in Edo Japan, with some cool Ninja allies that use their lingo as they teach you the art of espionage.

  23. Jane, you mention mirror neurons and getting better at tennis after watching it. You should read The Inner Game of Tennis (if you have not). Written in 1974, the book highlights that exact phenomenon and goes deeper into how to use if for tennis.

  24. I’m a big a fan of your work, and value your ideas, commitment and word. Which is why I’m so curious about the results of your stand up kids birthday blog post.

    I saw that the school passed their donation goal, which was amazing news and its a cause I believe in and support so I was thrilled at how well they did and the waves they will be making with this effort.

    But I haven’t seen any follow up on your end of things, not even an announcement when the school hit and surpassed it’s goal.

    I was wondering where you’re at with this program, if there’s any follow up (that I may have somehow missed), how did the contest go, etc.



  25. Wow, that was really fun and helpful. I definitely will follow Jane’s steps and go on a quest to “go for it” in my life. I downloaded the Tetris Free app and played a little, with some help from my World of Warcraft addicted son. Oh yes, he does play more that 21 hours/week. One step at a time. Haha. Too many irons in the fire, I need to figure out priorities for my quests.

    I’m also looking forward to the anti-depressant effect as I’m currently dating after being married for 25 years. Things sure have changed. I’ll take all the healthy help I can get.

  26. This was a great interview. My wife and I have been playing the Lego Games together for years. We also do Crosswords together, Battle at Dr Mario, Mario Cart. We are each other’s spotters during game battles. I am sharing this one for sure.

  27. Maybe I missed something, but I thought in the interview Jane mentioned something about a website where you answer questions to create a profile and it then begins setting you tasks etc based on profile. I’m not finding anything like that in the list of links.

  28. Coincidence – I was listening to an insightful Tara Brach podcast on Mindful Speech (17 Nov 2011) today and wondered when Tim would get her into the rotation. 5 Bullet Friday answers the question. Nice one.

  29. I actually utilized gaming to recover from acquired brain injury due to two brain infections that resulted in four months hospitalized and 3 months of daily 5-hour infusion. I had to relearn how to walk, properly form sentences, operate with a newly dead eye, lack of balance, and severe concentration issues. Prior to being sick, I loved video games, and used them as a quick “chill agent” throughout my work day. So naturally, not able to move around easily, work, or go anywhere, I chose to play. At first, when I started up Dragon Age: Origins, I was slow – I couldn’t remember what that last NPC had told me to look for, or where, and I got turned around a lot on the maps. It was frustrating, but I stuck at it. Over time, it got better…relatively quickly. I have been telling people for over a year that video games are what allowed me to recover as well as I did from two diseases that each have about a 15% full recovery rate, and about the same percentage mortality rate (with the large chunk in the center being permanently disabled). Long live video games.

  30. Very nice topic indeed. The equivalent in years of the time of all the players spent on WoW is more than 7million. 7million of years is twice more than the time separating us from the apparition of the Australopicus. It’s also 50times more than all the hours spent at Apple from its beginning. This extract of a conference of Idriss Aberkam underline the possible impact of federating people around addicted projects in a closed future.

    Have all a nice day


  31. Tim and Jane,

    Great discussion. I was listening to this last night. And earlier yesterday had the chance to watch my son with his friends at the library. They all play Minecraft and Roblox together. It’s fun to see that they love going to the library and it spills over into more than just gaming.

    They are working on building a game together (using the cloud to share code) and nobody told them to do that. They just decided on their own. So gaming is teaching them entrepreneurship, how to work together on projects and more. Very cool to see it in action.

    My generation? None of us wanted to go to the library. But some of these kids do today and gaming has a LOT to do with it. And they do pick up books on their way out. So it also encourages that as well.

  32. Great interview! I started to play console video games a couple of years ago as a way to deal with the frustrations of work, usually the lack of being able to accomplish anything. I wanted to immerse myself in something that wasn’t TV/Streaming while kickin’ it on my couch. I wanted something interactive for when I just wanted to be on my own. I can’t believe what a huge positive impact gaming has had on me. Interestingly, I have settled in to the twenty-one hour/week range naturally over time.

    Anyway, I thought I’d post links to some videos of the crew from Neebs Gaming playing a couple of the games that were mentioned in the podcast. Highly entertaining, even for people that don’t game themselves. Adult language warning, however, so not for the kiddies or anyone who would take offense.

    Minecraft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_mkk7ghD6E

    Portal 2 Co-op: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3ZjkW6mmuE

    Also, here’s a personal favorite of mine. The guys discuss 13 tips to a happier life with the audio over some Battlefield 4 gameplay. Check out the Duolingo mention in Tip #2.

  33. Yeah, I first found Jane on a TED talk and was truly impressed. It was at a time where people were suggesting that gaming was bad. Repetitive gaming I can understand, but it does keep the mind active.

    I’m trying to turn website/business building into a game. Just haven’t chunked it enough yet.

  34. The “Ask” at the end is brilliant. This will really help my Dad; and our relationship. I have never been a gamer, since Donkey Kong II as a 7 year old. And so grateful for the reminders and insights into the relevance of modern day culture, psychology and health. Kevin Brennan

  35. This is by far one of the dopest interviews I’ve ever heard. It didn’t get me giddy like the Arnold Schwarznegger, but it did give me a way to make doing my daily tasks fun.

    Here’s something I just started and am experimenting with for the rest of the month.

    I’m currently into the game Destiny. There’s a part in the game where you do bounty hunting missions and you earn experience points to level up.

    Here’s how I’ve broken it down.

    Purple post-it notes: Main Action Items – 5 Points

    Blue post-it notes: Side missions (this mainly involves doing work that mainly benefits others) – 3 points

    Yellow post-it notes: MISC missions (clean desk, send a low priority email, etc) – 1 point.

    The post it notes are posted on my moniter: Bottom part of the monitor is purple, the right side is blue, and the left is yellow.

    My daily goal is to hit 10 points which rewards me with 30 minutes of whatever I want to do such as video games, pick up basketball games, read; anything unrelated to work.

    My weekly goal is to hit 50 points. The reward here would be taking an entire day off and unplugging.

    This is still something new I’m trying out, just thought I’d share.

    1. I like this a lot. I’ve just recently started focusing on assignments and licensing various things in Battlefield Hardline. When I accomplish something, especially if it was a task I found challenging or an unpleasant grind, I am often chomping at the bit to do the same outside of the game.

  36. Hi,

    I want to make this simple. My whole life I’ve wanted to start and grow businesses instead of live the rat race. I’m 24 now (as of a week ago) and I still haven’t done it. I’ve got pages of ideas and its all I talk about to anyone I meet including my future wife, but I can’t seem to do it! I feel frustrated and stuck. I’ve listened to 4 hour work week 3 times now as well as many other books (7 habits, Entreleadership, Eat that frog, E myth, Blink) and I feel like I’m just on the other side of my dreams. Even as I’m writing this I’m wondering what’s wrong with me and I’m speaking in the voice of Tim Ferris (as I’ve listened to the book) as Tim has given examples of writing to celebrities and hard to reach people.

    Please help and advise.

    Wanting more in life


  37. I had aleady seen Jane’s first TED talk, before listening to thispodcast, and was amazed by it.

    I listened to this interview, for fifteen minutes, paused it, and went to buy Jane’s first book, Reality is broken. She is truly an inspiring person. I have only read some 40 pages, but it’s good.

    I haven’t read all the comment, so forgive me if this has been mentioned before: Jane’s sister, Kelly, has an interesting talk on TED about stress I recommend everybody who loved this podcast to check out.


    Tim, if you are reading this, keep up the good work. I learn so much from these podcast … and buy way too many books.

  38. “Happiness, success, and good health can coexist with all kinds of negative emotions. You don’t have to get rid of negative emotions, you just have to balance them out.” That’s really true to avoid stress or any negative emotions all you need to do is just to think a happy moments in your life and all of the negative emotions and stress will be gone.

  39. I wonder if there is a connection to a well established effectiveness of EMDR therapy. I don’t see Jane mentioning it anywhere online.

  40. Amazing podcast. I just purchased Ms. McGonigal’s book, “Reality is Broken” and went from KNOWING that gaming was a huge waste of time to feeling like a fool for not being a gamer after reading 25% of the book! What an incredible book.

  41. Hi Tim,

    First and foremost, thank you for many enlightening podcasts. It occurred to me that I would suggest an interesting person that you may want to consider having on your podcast. The person I have in mind is Manfred Spitzer, a German author and neuroscientist.

    He meets all the criteria. He is a top performer in his field,i.e. brain research. He is also a witty person with a lot of interesting to say about a whole range of subjects such as:

    -the effect of modern technology on our brains and behaviour

    -the perils of digital media

    -on how the losses in the business world caused by multitasking

    He popularized the notion of digital dementia in a book entitled “The Digital Dementia”, which sadly, hasn’t been published in English thus far. Who knows, maybe with a little bit of publicity across the pond a US-based published would realize that this is a worthwhile book that should be brought to the attention of English speaking readers.

    For a flavour of what he has to say, have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ueg55KUQa0

  42. Hi Tim; just a small typo on the name of the book: it’s “Finite and Infinite Games”; not “Finite and Invite Games”.

    Excellent episode! The things I learnt from this episode will help me help one of my closest friends who’s addicted to gaming, and as a result wasting his life away in front of a screen, get his confidence and curiosity back 🙂

    Definitely going to buy the book for him and myself!

  43. Its a wonder when do actually we grow out of play? At the moment i get lots with my 3yr old forever ready to get stuck into it. But the concept makes sense and plus i always feel better after, having forgotten about everything else and emersing myself in getting the monster truck to do a triple double backflip off the edge of a makeshift quarter pipe i.e. the fold in the carpet. 😊

  44. Hey there,

    I just wanted to know if there were any studies on watching games as I got rid of my PS ages ago but still watch walkthroughs on youtube like Prince of Persia, COD, MOH, Portal 2 and anything else that interests me.

  45. Having just finished listening to this episode, when you work on this as your next book, which you will, please include a chapter specifically applying the principles to ptsd veterans. 22 veterans a day, til there are zero.

  46. Love the podcast, honestly it’s changed how I view my life. This was a great interview too, but I feel Tim allowed Jane a dodge when he asked her a pointed question about video game addiction. He even said he chooses not to play when he’s up against huge game development houses who study brain reward centers to make games as addictive as possible. Her response was to simply limit gaming to certain hours per week without acknowledging how incredibly difficult or impossible that is for some people. Having pulled countless all-nighters addicted to video games, I now can’t touch most games if I want my life to be productive and happy. Guess I’ll just stick with Tetris at night… 🙂

  47. This interview is so powerful! Thank you, Tim and Jane. I’m finding this portion: “How Jane climbed herself out of the hole of suicidal thoughts [16:55]” an incredibly powerful and important lesson in overcoming amidst extreme circumstances.

  48. I really loved this interview. It so re-frames the usefulness of playing video games, which are generally thought of as a waste of time, particularly for this generation of kids. My 10 yr old son is a huge Minecraft fan and also loves Terraria. We loaded Tetris onto my iPhone, and of course he’s instantly better at it than I am.

  49. Hey Tim would you be able to interview Kelly McGonigal on the podcast? I would love to hear you all discuss our culture and the thought of “rewarding” ourselves with things that actually bring us farther away from our goals (i.e. if you’re trying to lose weight, but work is stressing you out, so you “reward” yourself with candy), and how we change that culture and our short term, immediate gratification views.

  50. hey all, what android app do you use to play these “talks” on … so frustrating, can’t find a way to play it, pause it, come back to it later and pickup where I left off!

  51. Well while gaming is concerned, with controller in hands and using on daily basis, you are exercising your Finger bones.

  52. I love the fact that I can google Tim Ferriss “stuff” and get exactly the “stuff” I’m looking for. I remembered this interview about gaming and resilience. Giving a class in the morning on “mental games” and wanted to add some current context to the couple year old material from UPENN. Now I can teach my Soldiers (I’m in the Army full time) some great MRT stuff with updated, relevant and inspiring material from Jane. Tim Ferriss… the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks bro!

    1. I accidentally came across this podcast today as have been at two emergency rooms this week with unmanageable depressive episodes. I am 57 years old and have bipolar depression for years. I have been suffering for weeks trying to have med adjusted but I can’t lie and say I am suisidal to get into hospital. In meantime trying to cope until my appointment which is finally in 2 days. My husband noticed I have been playing candy crush a lot (which is all I ever play) and I told him I think it is helping my thoughts slow down and stop racing. So I Google it and found this podcast and I believe everything she has found in her research. Gonna look into other games which may help me. Thank you

      1. if you are interested i post all kinds of inspiration on my IG… some of my very own interpretation and some from great minds throughout history. a nice little reminder that life… is worth living… and thank you Debbie for sharing some of your story!! It is a very strong thing to be able to discuss it openly. just look for @chief_mcconnel and you can find me.