Treating life as a game 
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Zoe Hawkins
April 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm

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So we are all incredibly lazy, there is no doubting that. Somehow, I can justify spending 8 hours straight grinding in a JPRG, forcing my characters to train and then train some more. Meanwhile, it is a mission and a half just to make myself eat a salad and get to the gym!

It seems developers have picked up on our innate laziness, as well as our drive to get characters to level up. Enter programs to “gamify” our lives.

The most established of these so far is Fitocracy. As the name would imply, the focus is fitness. There are a variety of quests, achievements and badges to be earned, not to mention plenty of levels. With hero status, you can even challenge others to duels. In essence, Fitocracy is designed to harness the addictive quality of gaming for people trying to get fit.

The newest of these is this (fully-funded) Kickstarter, HabitRPG. Not only can you use this for fitness, it also applies to all habits and activities – from taking the stairs to drinking enough water. Succeeding in your goals or habits will earn you EXP, while failing will make you lose HP. Again, there is plenty of leveling, as well as armor and mounts.

Neither of these seem to have much of a storyline or plot to their games, although presumably our lives are supposed to provide those. Still not sure how long I would grind in Final Fantasy if there weren’t a boss to fight or a trophy to gain.

Mashable has even jumped on this bandwagon with an entire section devoted to gamification. There, they define it as:

Typically gamification applies to non-game applications and processes, in order to encourage people to adopt them, or to influence how they are used. Gamification works by making technology more engaging, by encouraging users to engage in desired behaviors, by showing a path to mastery and autonomy, by helping to solve problems and not being a distraction, and by taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in gaming. The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, such as completing surveys, shopping, filling out tax forms, or reading web sites.

A quick google of gamification will show it is becoming the new business buzz word – everyone wants to seem fun, hip and exciting. Users and clients are being approached as players.

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I get it – society has finally realized that gaming is awesome. Now leave me alone to grind on my JRPG!

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

    Wow. this is really awesome, would so take part in this. quite a positive thing. Now if this would net me extra gil or let me learn Ultima sooner , I will die happy

    • Sageville

      Sadly they lost me at “fitness”.

      • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

        But now you can’t level up :(

        • Sageville

          I’ll join up when the “Lazy-git on the sofa” patch is released, guaranteed platinum right there.

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    “Achievement unlocked: Did not punch anyone in the face today”

    • ElNicko

      Achievement unlocked :Only swore at 3 idiotic employees today

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        Achievement unlocked: Did not feed cat from plate after it stared at you the entire supper long *This is a really tough one to achieve man. Took me a few tries. Why do devs make these achievements so grind like! Argh!

        • Admiral Chief Erwin

          Pfff

          DRAGON KICK CAT

          UNLOCKED

          • ElNicko

            achievement unlock : administered first aid for severe bites and scratches after Cat mauled me

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            Achievement unlocked: Got tetanus shot

          • ElNicko

            achievement unlocked : Got a New Cat

          • http://www.idontlikegamingiloveit.com Tateboetie Malaaitie

            The dragon kick also works to train cat not to poop on carpet.

          • Admiral Chief Erwin

            Dragon kick works on dogs as well.

            If skilled enough, you can stare at the dog, for an IMPLIED Dragon kick, if level is high enough, it will be just as effective

        • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

          Shoo I find that really hard actually! For the entire meal the lil bugger just won’t stop staring with those big eyes …..

          • HvR

            I find that the cat will mind its own business 2 seconds after you let in the Rottweiler “Vat hom Satan”
            Hint: also works on beggars, neighbor’s kids and Maltese.

          • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

            Firstly Satan?? lol … Remind me never to come to your house, for a dog that’s called will clearly devour me whole

            Secondly, the kids!!! lol Hardcore!

          • Andre116

            Do you have a problem with beggars watching you, in your house, while you eat? Tough neighborhood?

    • Lourens Jordaan

      Achievement unlocked: Birthday cake!!!

      Level 35 human
      Experience: +365
      Attack: -1
      Defence: -1
      Speed: -5
      Stamina: -1
      Wisdom: +1

      • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

        LOL why are all the stats decreasing !

        • Brady miaau

          Level 35 human!

          Although as a level 35 1/2 human, I think speed decrease is only by 1

      • HvR

        only 10 levels to go and then you unlocked the Venus’s potion of Viagra and Baal’s Pump of Penis.

      • Brady miaau

        that is just awesome

  • ElNicko

    its a Fantastic Idea, however implementing it and getting users to adopt it is another ball-game. (talking from an IT Systems POV)

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    Cut someone off in traffic
    *ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED*

    Pour in 1000 liters petrol
    *ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED*

    Eat 50 burgers
    *ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED*

    Sleep uninterrupted for 8 hours
    *ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED*

    Stealth-ninja fart 15 strangers
    *ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED*

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      Hahaha stealth ninja fart. Nice one

    • Deon Steyn

      Did not make a COD joke for a whole week
      *ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED*

      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Not you, you just made one. Better luck next week.

        Me? I’m going for that one this week

        • Deon Steyn

          Me I’m going to start tomorrow

        • Super Rince Lvl2

          am going to ref this I think…

          • Admiral Chief Erwin

            I’m already on one day.
            only 6 moar

          • Super Rince Lvl2

            Mmm, I should have checked all your postings today before telling you I will be officiating the shit out of this.

      • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

        You just made a COD joke

        *ACHIEVEMENT RETRACTED*

        • Super Rince Lvl2

          What you said

        • Deon Steyn

          Doh… Starting tomorrow

          • Super Rince Lvl2

            I will keep my one good eye on you boy!

          • Deon Steyn

            It’s going to be a long ass week…

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        Impossibru!

      • Super Rince Lvl2

        I do not believe you! 0-O

    • DrKiller

      Can we get a guide on some of those achievements? ;-) “Sleep uninterrupted for 8hours” – How the hell? There must be a cheat in the system! Can someone else come and change the time on your alarm? Will the achievement pop-up? :-)

      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Cut someone off….pfff
        1000 liters petrol….:( sad but true
        50 burgers…….pfff
        sleep…….gaming to tire out + soft bed
        stealh-ninja……OH YEAH I DID

  • Anon A Mouse

    Am I the only person to ever wonder if I’m not just a Sim in some losers Sims game?

    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      HAHAHAHA GO POOP MINION!!!!

      I mean, no, not really

    • Deon Steyn

      I felt like that once at a pool party, could not find the damn ladder.

      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Was daar drank betrokke? :P

        • Deon Steyn

          Just a little :)

      • Sageville

        Were there hot and cold taps and a plug in said “pool”

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      I always look pixelated through the shower door. Anyone got a patch for this?

      • Deon Steyn

        My body mass is all glitched, I need a muscles patch.

        • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

          It’s going to take 6 months to download and you will need a steady connection, if it falters once it’s going to just add more glitches

          • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.holliday.39 Matthew Holliday

            Also requires an “always online” connection

          • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

            Cue Virgin Active Analogy … because once you’re a member you can’t get out .YOU’RE ALWAYS ONLINE…..*dum dum*

    • Sageville

      Ag Cute!

      My “Anon A Mouse” sim is now posting existentialistic ideas, remind me to throw in some matrix-cat timeloops, just to mess with his mind.

      • Anon A Mouse

        What?! Did you just say there is a glitch in the Matrix?

        As a side note you do know you just outed yourself as a loser? lol

        • Admiral Chief Erwin

          XDXDXDXD

        • Sageville

          NoooO!

          • Anon A Mouse

            Oh look it’s Erwinnnn’s dog armor.

          • Admiral Chief Erwin

            I cannot wait to get home to try this out. Dog is bigger though.
            [Mental note, pick up 15 rolls of foil before home time]

  • Trevor Davies

    The only problem with gamifying my life is that I know the cheat codes.

    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      Ok, I’m curious, what do you want to cheat at?

      • Trevor Davies

        Rewarding myself for going to gym. I can do it even if I don’t. The problem isn’t wanting to cheat, it’s knowing I can. Damn temptation & my weak will ;)

        • Admiral Chief Erwin

          Gym? Bah, a Jedi craves not this thing

    • Sageville

      ENTER CHEAT CODE: USERIGHTHAND

      Achievement Unlocked: Got Laid!

      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Oh well trolled sir, well trolled!

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    I CAN GET ARMOUR FOR MY DOG!!!

    • Brady miaau

      would you want to?

      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Wouldn’t you???

  • matthurstrsa

    Awesome in theory, but as the cartoon suggests, companies aren’t really taking it far enough yet. There is no real reward, beside a personal satisfaction.

  • http://twitter.com/ClericZA Kobus Nel

    It’s a positive thing, sure. But an app won’t get you fit, exercise is the key factor here.

  • Yateen Dayaram

    I want God Mode