Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Alright, so... many of us (myself included) came here after watching Jane McGonigal's TED Talk, or something similar. About the same time, I saw Jesse Schell's DICE 2010 "Design outside the Box" talk.

I'm curious what people think about these insights. Do you find that this motivates you? I recently got a Fitbit, and it has a little "flower" on it which measures your recent activity level... be more active, and it grows, be sedentary, and it shrinks. A little virtual "pet" to motivate you to exercise. There are also leaderboards, and scores for your daily activity level.

What other "real life" games like this are out there? Do they work?

In the meanwhile, I am also going to start following Lee Sheldon, game designer, who restructured his game design class with XP, Quests, Guilds, etc to try to motivate his students. He just created a blog about it.

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Comment by Shane M. Wheeler on March 31, 2010 at 7:31pm
In a word- sometimes. http://www.chorewars.com/

My sister and her friend got hooked on Chore Wars, a nice little motivational plan that kept them 'playing' the game, building up resources so they would keep their house clean. And it worked for them for a long while- not sure if they are still doing it.

I used Chore Wars while living with friends to motivate myself to clean, write, apply for jobs, and all the other little minutia I was putting off to play other games- and it worked. But only for a while. Nobody else in the house was willing to get involved with it, so it lagged as a tool.

I know that on the day of discovering Evoke, I had already stayed up all night, but then proceeded to furiously research and start my missions well after I should have fallen asleep. I then woke up to return to it and began other missions, talking to people, commenting on people's evidence,etc.

So, yeah, I think they can certainly work. I've been dreaming up a few projects while I fight off this cold, and there's a part of me going "I might be able to pull this off". Not small projects either. Evoke has definitely sparked something off in me, and I hope I'm not the only one who has moved from being disengaged and hopeless to cautiously optimistic about making a difference.
Comment by Sarah Hickox on April 1, 2010 at 4:58am
My older sister is using games on her Wii fit and has lost a lot of weight. So, it must really work. I think this is a great concept to start following through on.
Comment by Dr Pete on April 2, 2010 at 3:44pm
Thanks for the info about Chore Wars! I will definitely have to look into that. I thought about getting the Wii fit, but I've been trying to limit my video game playing, so I was afraid to go there.

I definitely find that games sometimes light a big fire under me for a while, then I can completely lose interest in it.
Comment by PJE on April 2, 2010 at 3:54pm
I'd say it works. Going to watch 'design outside the box' now thanks for the tip.
Best wishes
Chore Wars! I am still laughing.
Comment by Katie Piatt on April 2, 2010 at 4:06pm
I read an article that coined the term 'funware' - adding that gaming element onto normal activities. Amazing how something as simple as adding a leaderboard produces such massively increased levels of engagements, and gets people doing otherwise 'dull' things quite happily.


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