This article reinforces what McGonigal discusses in our first reading, “Reality is Broken,” about Dr. Martin Seligman, father of Positive Psychology. During an interview at the “Games Beyond Entertainment” conference in Boston, Dr. Seligman confirms that video games can indeed “play a part in promoting human ‘flourishing’”(Scimeca). He breaks this flourishing down into five components: positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement (PERMA). Each component has one thing in common: an individual does them for their own benefit. Each element is also “measurable, teachable, and game-able” (Scimeca). Now Seligman’s theories of positive psychology apply not only to video game design, but to socio-cultural uses as well. The U.S Army now uses these principles in their training and therapy for example. “Three years ago the Chief of Staff of the Army, George Casey, called Seligman to ask what positive psychology could do to alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, drug abuse, and divorce, all of which are common issues for soldiers” (Scimeca). These soldiers were trained in PERMA principles to teach “resilience and positive psychology” (Scimeca). This training allowed soldiers to focus on the strategy of developing and practicing coping skills for the extreme and emotionally overwhelming challenges assigned to them. McGonigal, although she did mention that games could go beyond entertainment to be utilized in this fashion, I would have liked to see a more in depth explanation of how exactly major U.S institutions and government branches, and this article more clearly confirmed her major claims. Although no current games actually teach PERMA principles, Seligman hopes to change that very soon.
Scimeca, Dennis. “Games Beyond Entertainment: Applying Positive Psychology To Games.” Gamasutra. Gamasutra.com. 18 May 2011. Web. 25 June 2013. <http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/124918/Games_Beyond_Entertainment_Applying_Positive_Psychology_To_Games.php>