Review: SuperBetter

Recently I have started playing a new game. No It’s not Diablo 3. It’s not even the type of game I would have seen myself playing a year ago. But with a new lifestyle comes new interests. The game I am speaking of is called SuperBetter.

SuperBetter is an online, social game that allows you to put a challenge in place for yourself (such as eating healthier, losing weight, recovering from an injury, etc). You also can enter in a goal or reason for your challenge. Together they form a mission statement. Mine is: “I want to become SuperBetter at eating healthier so I can become healthier, stronger, and have more energy.”

Now comes the fun part. You can create “quests” which are tasks you can do once or as a recurring thing. These tasks are categorized as Physical, Mental, Emotional, or Social. Every time that you complete a quest you gain points in one or more of those categories. If you cant think of quests on your own SuperBetter provides “PowerPacks”-essentially bundles of quests based around a theme- which you can import into your quest list.

You are also encouraged to create “Bad Guys” to fight. These bad guys can be things like eating too much junk food, taking a smoke break, or anxious feelings. Whenever you defeat a bad guy (or fail to) you can check it off and keep a tally of your battle against the bad things you are trying to avoid. “Power Ups” help you in doing this. A Power Up is an activity or thought that is designed to give you a boost in one the four categories mentioned before. When you are feeling down, or are losing a battle to one of your bad guys you can activate a Power Up and reward yourself for doing something positive.

When you get enough points in the four categories from completing quests, defeating Bad Guys, and using your Power Ups, you gain a new level just like in a role-playing game. But the difference is you are not playing a fictional character, you are leveling up yourself. Every level brings with it a new “Secret Move” or tip on how to improve your life as well as access to research that supports the use of the Secret Move.

Pros: 

-Can be an excellent motivator for exercising or doing things to improve your life. I have done more pushups in the last week than in the last 2 months I think.

-SuperBetter is a social game so it encourages you to enlist allies to help and encourage you.

-Simple, clean site that doesn’t add a bunch of distracting fluff.

Cons:

-There is the potential to become more obsessed with leveling up than with actually progressing in real life. You have to be careful that you aren’t becoming complacent or using SuperBetter as a way to validate a lack of action in your real life.

-No full mobile application (at least for iPhone). It was originally supposed to be released in late April 2012, but according to the app’s page in the App Store the release date is now June 2012.

-To access the SuperBetter forums you have to create a separate account. It is for security purposes, but it is still an annoyance.

Overall I think SuperBetter is a great idea that harnesses the power of positive thinking, small everyday steps for improvement, and social networking to improve peoples lives. Its flexibility allows you to customize it for a variety of purposes, and it is simple enough for even the most technology illiterate to use. I encourage my readers to check it out!

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