“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
-Leonardo da Vinci
At the start of this gamification experiment, I had a detailed system of time-tracking, progress standardization, a full list of “activated abilities”, and more. The system was fun at first, but quickly became difficult to track and manage. In it’s current form, my gamification set-up is much simpler, and I think I will leave it this way. In Part 4, I will conclude this experiment with my final recommendations on how to go about gamifying your own life. I’ll also answer the questions I asked in Part 1 regarding happiness, motivation and procrastination.
If you’re at all interested in gamifying certain parts of your life, what follows in the next few paragraphs is a comprehensive overview of the system I’ve found to work best.
As the foundation to my gamification set-up (and what I’d recommend as the foundation of yours), all short-term goals are converted into “quests.” Each quest requires at least four components:
This post is Part 3 of an ongoing experiment in which I gamify my life. To catch up to speed, here’s Part 1 and Part 2. The log continues with my second and third week of the experiment.
Wow, this week flew by! I stayed diligent with tracking my progress in my various skills, but recently I’ve been experiencing tracking fatigue.
If you recall, I’ve been using a motivational time-tracking app called “Level Me Up!” (based on the 10,000 hours to mastery rule). Although the app’s “leveling up” feature is cool in its own right, in order to motivate myself to level up, I’ve created a system of short-term incentives (usually by allowing myself to buy items I’ve had my eye on: a coffee maker, subscription to Audible.com, etc.) to add an additional source of motivation. This system worked well for two weeks. Unfortunately, three challenges with this system are beginning to rear their heads:
a) Remembering to turn on the Level Me Up!’s skill timer while I’m working on a skill (and remembering to turn it off right when I’m done) have proven to be quite a nuisance because I keep forgetting. Especially at work where I’m constantly breaking for meetings, food, coffee, etc., it’s a pain to keep track of whether the timer is running or not.
This post is Part 2 of an ongoing experiment in which I seek to gamify my life and study the implications such gamification has on motivation and happiness. To catch up to speed, here’s Part 1.
Week 1 – Days One & Two
So far, I feel pretty much the same. I still wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, and repeat. But there are a few subtle changes that I’m already noticing.
Just like social media and tablet devices, gamification is very hyped in the media these days. With the advent of Foursquare, Fitocracy, and Farmville, gamification has become a big deal for any company looking to increase loyalty amongst its customers; if customers have fun interacting with your company, engagement (and sales) are bound to go up.
If companies can use gamification to make customers more engaged with their company and products, might gamification be a practical solution for individuals looking to feel more motivated and be more engaged with life? That’s the question I seek to answer in this series. What follows is a log I kept as I set up and conducted this lifestyle experiment.
I have no quantifiable metrics for success or failure. I will simply keep my eye on this one question: “Am I enjoying life more as a result of gamification?” I understand that this is very subjective, but outside of the world of online analytics, companies often measure customer engagement in the same way through surveys and focus groups.
I begin the log at Week 0 as I set up the different aspects of the experiment.
Note: Parts 1, 2 and 3 are dedicated to the experiment itself. Part 4 contains all of my recommendations and guidelines for gamifying your own life. If you want to jump straight to the recommendations and guidelines, click here.
Week 0: The Set-up
After spending most of this past week test driving the initial elements of this experiment, I think I’m ready to go. A great deal of my experiment is based on the research of Jane McGonigal and Jesse Schell. As such, the following four elements of gamification have been implemented extensively into this experiment because they are the fundamentals underlying most, if not all, successful games. The four elements are detailed below, along with how I’m implementing each one.