Super Me: A survival guide to life via casual games

Studies have shown that video games may not be the best thing for boosting one’s self-esteem. Losing is never fun, and being beaten even less so. This makes Super Me pretty special. It’s been developed by Channel 4 Education and has its roots pretty firmly set in positive psychology practices.

Designed after extensive research into today teens (and tween) lifestyle and well-being, Super Me is a system of games and videos that have been created to help young adults understand the control they have over their lives. To sum it up: It’ll help you “be better at life” (or so they claim).

Super Me!

Super Me!

Alice Taylor, Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 Education explains:

“For most teenagers – and adults too – the so-called ‘School Of Hard Knocks’ can be a painful education. SuperMe is a Multiplatform Pick-Me-Up that will reach young people wherever they’re online, and offer them inspiration and interactivity to help them get back on their feet after life’s little setbacks.”

As you wander through the project, you’ll be treated to celebrity videos and quotes (hello Richard Bacon, Pixie Lott, Speech Debelle and Shaun Wright-Phillips!), a bunch of fascinating factoids – and, of course – a few games to play while you’re at it.

And – for us at least, who are a little older than the suggested age-bracket – the games are pretty nifty. Featuring both single and multiplayer options, players are rewarded on their resilience, as well as their learned ‘wisdom’, ‘ability’, ‘influence’ and ‘connection’. It’s important to learn from your mistakes with Super Me – thinking accurately about past experiences and persisting at the hardest tasks will earn you the best score!

An intriguing – maybe gimmicky – part of these games is the inclusion of “cheat codes”, which apply to life, not the game. These are tips to help you become “more resilient”, and they’re generally useful (and often amusing).

The winning strategies for SuperMe are the winning strategies for life. As with life, it just takes a little practice…

The games themselves:

Super Me: Swerveball

Swerveball

Swerveball
Gameplay involves shooting a bead through an environment where there may be magnets, or other pushing and pulling forces, which affect the bead as it travels towards its goal. The player has to direct the angle and the force of the bead through the levels. Between levels players are asked to recall how they’ve played, and where they’ve done well and not so well. The game is designed to get players thinking about the past more accurately. Scores are based on the players’ ability to complete the levels and accurately reflect. Players collect wisdom points by reaching a target score in Swerveball.
Proximity
Proximity is a multiplayer game. The aim of the game is to fly in as close formation as possible with your teammates, hitting all of the gates. The better the team plays together, the higher the score. If a player breaks formation, or races ahead the team will score less points. The game is designed to reward collaborative play. Players collect connection points by reaching a target score in Proximity.
Linkem
Players are given beads and rings to shoot into the canvas. The aim is to make lines of positive connections with the rings, and to try and make the negative beads drop out of play. It’s a tactical game and an abstract way of getting players to think about positive and negative connections in life, and how lots of positive connections make us richer in life, in the same way of we score more points within the game. Players collect connection points by reaching a target score in Linkem.
Super Me: Linkem

Linkem

FloMo
The aim of the game is to practice flow. Flow is a mental state in which a person is completely focused and motivated within an activity. In a state of flow there’s a feeling of spontaneous joy, and rapture, according to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly. Once ‘in the zone’ players are rewarded with beautiful visuals and sound, but if they lose focus and drop out the game goes back to monotone and low-grade sounds. Players collect ability points by reaching a target score in Flomo.

So – next time you’re feeling a little down, or want to spend your procrastinatory hours on something that might improve your brain, it might be worth giving Super Me a shot. From the little bit of Linkem I played earlier, it could be well worth it.

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