My husband, a lifelong gamer, finds gamification a waste of his time. He’s always possessed enormous discipline so his motivation comes from somewhere deep inside, a core of goodness I lack. I gamify as much as I can and it works like a charm for me.

I write using 4theWords, a program where you explore strange worlds and kill monsters by writing. You can also earn all sorts of virtual wardrobe items. They reward streaks with various kinds of wings. And they have all sorts of special events.

Because 4theWords is there for me, I’ve written a scary number of words. Below is my avatar with my stats. Lots of people have more total battles fought than I do. I get excited about writing enough to add to my daily streak and I sometimes forget to line up monsters to fight unless there’s a quest with great wardrobe items.

4theWords is a pretty dense gaming world with lots of great people including writers whose books you are probably reading. Mary Robinette Kowal is there as is C.L. Polk. (If you want to join, you can find me there as SoftlyWriting. If you use my code, you get extra gaming crystals and I do as well, but it is only once you actually join after the 30 day trial period.) 4theWords costs me a bit less than $4 a month.

I also use Habitica, which can be totally free to use if you don’t want to buy pets, backgrounds or seasonal wardrobe items. Like 4theWords, Habitica is another monster-killing adventure, but this time based on completing your tasks and improving your habits. It is nowhere near as beautiful as 4theWords, but it allows me to join in a party of like-minded people who will take damage from the monsters we fight, if I don’t step up and do all my daily tasks. It keeps me on the straight and narrow.

It operates a bit like a To Do list with three categories of items that you create: habits (drink more water, eat more vegetables, avoid cookies, floss teeth, etc.); Daily Tasks (things I do daily like make oatmeal for Steve); and Projects (things like finishing a novel or a short story or cleaning the kitchen).

No one sees your tasks, habits, or projects except you. But the party cheers you on as you crush your work. If you are looking for me on Habitica, I’m Lady Carolyn of Wordsdonia. Habitica is free, but you can pay them for extra stuff.

Finally, I create my own games (like the Submission Challenge) and try to pull people into them so that I have companions on the journey. When I was running I was into Athlinks for the ability to connect with other people running and I loved that aspect of Fitbit.

Gamification is critical to enjoying my life and to being able to do the things I need to do without stressing too much about it. It’s a great source of enthusiasm, which replaces the discipline I lack normally.

Hope that you are finding ways to enjoy your life and tasks as well. If you know of new ways to gamify your life, please let me know! Be well, friends!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I wish it would work for me, but I’m like Steve, “gamification” just doesn’t work for me

  2. Clearly those of you who get Ph.D.s are made of sterner stuff than I am. 🙂

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