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Halo 2 ARG designer creates Oprah Winfrey Facebook game

"Unlock the superpower of gratitude inside yourself."

US chat star Oprah Winfrey has roped in game designer Jane McGonigal to make her a new Facebook game, which allows people to share gratitude for real-life good deeds.

The goal of the game is to "thank" half a billion people worldwide. The current total is a little over one million.

"The idea is to thank everyone in the United States," Winfrey explained in a video on the Oprah Winfrey Thank You Game page. "And then we'll move on to Canada. And we'll keep going, going, going around the world."

Jane McGonigal, who worked on Halo 2's infamous "I Love Bees" ARG game, has created a Facebook Like-style system, where thanking one person is supposed to help organically spread love to others.

The flames of Oprah's love now cover the US.

There is also a Flash-based game where you can unlock the project's secret Facebook Wall by connecting virtual people's gratitude together.

"Gratitude actually changes your brain so you're better able to see the good in other people," McGonigal said. The project's science expert is, handily, McGonigal's identical twin sister Dr. Kelly McGonigal, teacher of psychology and neuroscience at Stamford University.

"We've known for a while that practising gratitude can make you happier and healthier, reduces stress, helps you sleep better and even helps boost your immune functions," McGonigal twin Kelly McGonigal explained.

"What we're learning now is that it's not just enough to have an inner feeling of gratitude, you need to actively express that gratitude to others. You need to get your gratitude out in the world."

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Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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