Example of A SOAPStone for TED Video

 I am responding to: put the “text” you chose                                                                                           

Applying SOAPSTone to a text → with evidence and explanations of the effect          


IDENTIFYING + Providing  EVIDENCE/EXAMPLES from the text

     Explain the Effectiveness


The voice that tells the story, or in nonfiction, the author. What do we know about the writer’s life and views that shape this text?



                  Jane McGonigal, She is a Gamer and Game designer, She qualified to become a Ted Talk Speaker by the virtue of “Healer Game” under the title of “Super Better.” It s a unique genre that she attempted, her experience with Concussion inspired her to develop this game. The present speech is an attempt to share her insights related to this game with the audience. She wants to establish SuperBetter as a healer for individuals suffering from various serious mental and physical ailments.


She starts her speech with a hook that says that she can add, seven more minutes into the life of a person, right after that she explains the hostility of some people when they say that games are waste of time. She builds up an argument, by sharing five regrets that many individuals had when they were on the deathbed. It seems like a perfect starting point for a speech where the speaker is inspiring others to adopt a habit that holds the status of being an unwholesome habit.  After this build-up, she narrates her personal story where a game helped her in surviving against a severe mental condition.                          


The time and place of the piece; the current situation or context which gave rise to the ‘text”.(writing, speech, adv., poem, etc)

A Ted conference at the stage of Ted Talk, for the online viewers it is available on a Podcast.  it can be compared with a chapter from any self-help book explaining a new technique to live life.

The basic premise of this TedTalk suggests that a speaker is offering a solution that has the potential to add ten years into the life of a spectator. It becomes an effective speech right from the word go when the speaker shows a “Math Chart” and try to establish that 19 minutes long Podcast will add seven additional minutes in their life. This ploy was taken at the beginning of the speech, it effectively takes the curiosity levels of the audiences on a high note. It is good to win their attention.


The group of readers to whom this piece is directed. The audience may be one person, a small group, or a large group.  What qualities, beliefs, or values do the audience members have in common?

Ted Talk, A large group of people sharing diverse demographic details. The profile of the audience is uncertain in the absence of any information given by the organizers or the promoters of the group. It seems like a random group of people. 

When we have a look at the comment section of the video, we find that the nature of the audience is universal. The comments give us an idea about the fact that the majority of them are inspired by the words. The nature of the comments also gives us an idea that some of them even became nostalgic, it forced them to retrospect their life from the point of view of the five poignant questions raised by the speaker.


The reason behind the text. What does the speaker/writer/ filmmaker want the audience to do, feel, say, or choose?

The purpose of this video is to promote a culture of gaming, it establishes video games as a means to address the emotional upheavals of life. The speaker tries to increase the spectrum of the impact of video games by touching various spheres of life. For instance, it says that games can become a forum for social connection. Most importantly this video presents some scientific evidence and psychological traits that have the power to enhance the personality of a person.

When she mentions that games have the power to nourish the alter ego or the secret identity of a person, she touches a chord with the audiences.  She shares a real-life incident from her life when she developed a virtual character resembling her secret identity. This anecdotal evidence related to the alter ego has the power to impose a catharsis in the viewers.


The general topic, content, and ideas contained in the text. What is this piece about?  What is/are the key points of the text?

This video establishes certain video games and other means of entertainment to enhance the process of Post Traumatic Growth. The text of the video breaks down the process of healing and post-traumatic growth into the components of physical Resilience, Mental Resilience, emotional resilience, and Social Resilience.

 To substantiate the claims related to the impact of the “SuperBetter” she plays a quiz with the audiences and requests them to do some simple activities. Although this exercise lacks depth because it fails in developing any conclusive evidence, however, on face value it seems entertaining and offers temporary relief.

As it can be comprehended from the statement where she says “game-playing didn’t help her in getting rid of symptoms like headaches and others. However, it reduced her suffering”.

It seems like an unscientific statement.  Post-traumatic growth is a serious subject and many medicated and non-medicated tools are available for a cure. Ideally, she should have mentioned the state of the mind, for instance, she could have said that games diverted her mind and helped her in forgetting the pain.


What choice of words and use of rhetorical devices let you know the speaker’s tone? Is the tone light-hearted or deadly serious? accusatory, or sardonic?

She tried to connect with the logos and pathos of the audiences with the help of a structured speech that starts on a logical note, when she shares her personal life story, it appeals to the pathos, and finally, she calculates the impact of the SuperBetter with the help of a math chart, it appeals to the logos of the audiences. During this speech, she adopted a light-hearted tone, with a slight undertone of accusatory expressions.

The speech is full of humorous punches during slightly serious topics.  For instance, when she says that her doctor told her not to do any activity that can stimulate her brain unnecessary, she presents a list of activities and finally sums it up by saying “practically no reason to live”.  It is a serious statement, it should attract some sympathy from the viewers, however, some of them ends up laughing. It is the magic of her tone that makes this serious statement to come across as a humorous punch.

She becomes accusatory when she says that most individuals are not aware of the power of video games.


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