Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let's have some fun!

by Angie

Games are fun. Sometime in life you have to do things that are not inherently so fun. Here’s an idea: let’s take an aspect of our lives that we HAVE to do, but aren’t excited about and see if we can make it into a game. I do this with my kids all the time; we turn tasks like gathering dirty clothes, picking up toys, and getting dressed into fun little games that get them excited, motivated, or just playful about these activities as opposed to uncooperative, sullen, or grumpy. Games do that... they engage us, reward us, and generally make things more fun.
I was insprired to write about this when I recently came across an explanation of an online game that was designed specifically to make real-world tasks more appealing. Chore Wars is an interesting-looking multiplayer chore management game.  We haven't played it yet, but from what I can tell it's a game world in which you take on specific real life household tasks to gain experience and level up your in-game character. This can be used to make undesirable jobs exciting and motivate yourself (or kids, or whoever) to actually clear out the cobwebs in the corner of the ceiling…literally. You can pretend you are facing off against a giant spider hoard while swinging the broom, and then log the exp afterwards. Or if you are more of the competitive type, you can show up your roommate by gaining more exp and gold than her! Or offer prizes to motivate a spouse to accomplish the items on the honey-do list that have been hanging out for waaaay too long. The idea is to have fun, receive recogntion for the hard work you do, and reward yourself for a job well done.
We’re getting ready to launch a Chore Wars account for our household because.. why not? We have to clean up after our whirlwind children (and ourselves!), so why not add elements of motivation, reward, and fun to the equation? After we try it out we'll let you know what we think... and if Chore Wars sounds fun, give it a try and tell us how it worked (or didn't work) for you! If Chore Wars doesn't get you excited, there are lots of other ways you can incorporate playing a game into your daily routine. It doesn’t have to involve complicated rules or computer programs or bits to be effective. Fun, fun, fun is the main point here.
So here’s my challenge to you… come up with (or discover) a game you can play with your family, friends, coworkers, roommates, or by yourself that makes some aspect of your life a little more enjoyable, and post what you did in the comments to inspire others! Let’s get a big group-think on and see if we can’t find small ways (or big ones) to turn those frowns upside down!


  1. I've suggested Chore Wars to Jessica twice now, but she doesn't find the idea that motivating. I think it sounds like a lot of fun.

  2. JT- Maybe you could point out that if YOU (and maybe Theo and Jay?) were motivated to do more household chores, THAT might be fun for her :)

  3. Now I'm trying to think of a game to make commuting to work more fun...