Below is a video featuring Jane McGonigal, game theorist and author of Reality Is Broken, a book about the use of games as heuristic devices for solving problems. Here, she talks about the way she overcame the despair that followed a serious head injury. Essentially, she made her recovery into a game, in which she deployed strategies, recruited allies, and told herself a story that enabled her recovery.
It seems to me that the environmental humanities, especially those of us who work in rhetoric, have a lot to learn from this approach. As many have noted, American environmental rhetoric has often depended on fear as a motivating force. McGonigal details a technique that could be used en masse to mobilize hope. That’s really important, especially at the interface between scholarship and activism.