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Designer Jane McGonigal launches 'gratitude network' game for Oprah Winfrey

Alternate-reality game designer and researcher Jane McGonigal has launched the first game from her SuperBetter Labs studio -- a "gratitude network" game, designed for talk show host and producer Oprah Winfrey.
Alternate-reality game designer and researcher Jane McGonigal has launched the first game from her SuperBetter Labs studio -- a "gratitude network" game, designed for talk show host and producer Oprah Winfrey. Oprah's Thank You Game, available on Facebook, features a large "I said thank you' button," with the idea that players take part in daily challenges and send thank yous to each other. The game is a collaboration between SuperBetter and the Oprah Winfrey Network, with the goal of "spreading the positive emotion of gratitude to half a billion people worldwide." McGonigal and SuperBetter director of design Chelsea Howe believe that the game will encourage players to show gratitude towards each other, via social elements and world heat maps. Sean Baenen, vice chair of SuperBetter Labs, noted, "We had a vision for a social game that resulted in every single person in the United States and Canada feeling truly appreciated for something they've done. It was an ambitious project in the field of social media as agency for positive emotions, making Ms. Winfrey the perfect partner." McGonigal is a proponent of serious games and positive change in games. She is currently director of game research and development at the Institute for the Future, and has previously written the book Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.

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