When you play Super Mario, despite sometimes killing him of, you usually try again, and again…. and again. Sometimes this lasts for so long, you end up losing track of time, causing you to fail at doing something actually productive. But you can actually learn a lot from your games. There are numerous studies done, showing how gaming (a reasonable amount) is actually healthy and good for development. It helps with problem solving, motor skills and improves creativity. But today I am not talking about those benefits. I am however very open to write about that, if you are interested.
My topic today is about turning your actual life into a game. This is not originally my idea, a lot of people on YouTube and on their blogs, do challenges and use apps to make their life into a game. Some examples are Thomas Frank, The Goal Guys and Max Hertan.
What does it mean in practice? It means first of all that you have a goal. It could be writing a 10 page essay, or learning to do a split in 30 days. What ever your goal is, it can be gamefied. How to do it? I will break it down bellow, just like a real life video game, everyone will have their own approach, so feel free to tweak anything that you feel necessary.
- Have a goal. In a video game like Super Mario, it could be getting through a level or defeating Bowser. If it is defeating Bowser, you use the levels as your steps, until you are at the final showdown. If it is getting through a level your steps will be on a shorter scale, like jumping in the right place and killing the right enemy at the write time. So just like in a game, with a goal you have to come up with steps to win.
- Track your progress in a visible way. It wouldn’t be fun to play Mario or any other game, if you could never see how many enemies you have killed, or if you would never level up. That is the same in a real life goal. If you want to learn splits, make sure you document your progress. Even if you aren’t as close as you want to be to a split, at least you can see how far you have come, if you for example take pictures. Or you could mark in your calendar daily how many minutes you have stretched etc.
- Reward yourself. This is slightly controversial. There are a lot of people who are super successful, that think this is not helpful. And if you only do things because of a treat, instead of feeling the pride for getting healthier or for getting the project done. I can understand the concern. However I assume, that people don’t want to do things that seem big and daunting without some kind of small wins in between. So stretch while you watch a series you love. It’s two birds with one stone and it is more fun that way as well. Or after each page you have written of the essay you can go scratch your puppy. Make sure it is something that you don’t over do the rewarding tho. You don’t deserve to binge watch youtube for stretching your hamstrings for 2 seconds.
- Keep it real. if you start too many goals, too many projects and you try to make everything into a game, you might lose. You can’t play Mario, Call of Duty and solve the Rubik’s Cube all at the same time. The same thing with goals. Don’t beat yourself up for falling down or not getting through a level. Only beat yourself up, if you didn’t get back up to try again.
Here are some apps to helps you gamify your goals/tasks:
- Habitica: Gamify Your tasks
- Forest: Stay Focused
- Fitness RPG- Gamify your Pedometer
- Do it Now- RPG To Do List/ Task List
These are some of the apps you will get on an android device. I am sure there are many for the Apple phones as well.
Thanks for reading! This post was really fun to write, as this is something I want to incorporate more into my life, to get more exciting and interesting things done (as well as the mandatory ones). What are some of your goals you would like to turn into a game?
Thanks for reading 😉 Untill next time