January 31, 2013 by Darlene McC
Last year I though it would be kind of cool to use what little I knew about game theory and motivation to make a little game system for personal achievement. It seemed like a good idea at the time. It still seems like a good idea… but we can do better. We can make it bigger. Faster. More Awesome. So there’s been tinkering. Presenting:
Amazon rEvolution 2.0!
Game theory, studies in human psychology, and every time wasting app on your phone tell us that “gamifying” motivates people to do things they otherwise wouldn’t. (Case in point: this video. Which is kinda NSFW.)
Make it a game, people get excited to compete. You push yourself till you level, and leveling makes you feel great!
What if you made a game of your life? Just like playing Zelda when you were 8, your internal desire for fun and your love of rupies will help reinforce the changes you’ve been working hard to make. The same neurochemicals that keep you addicted to your xbox will help make goal setting and achievement less bland and “board roomy”. That was the impulse behind Evolution Challenge version 1. In Lucky ’13 the Amazon rEvolution gets bigger, better, and more gamie-er!
How To Play
It’s easy, fun, and way fast to get started. A few easy steps, a little craftiness on your part (or not, if you’re a spreadsheet gal like me), and you’re ready to rock & roll.
1. “The List”
You’ve probably heard of a bucket list before. What starts as 10 things you need to see or do before you die quickly breeds into 20. Then it’s 40. Next thing you know there are 1005 things that you have to do or die with regrets. Get a little notebook and marinate a bit, just jotting things down as they come to you. If you’ve been following What Amazons Want this is a great extension of your goals.
Check out Bucketlist.org for some ideas if you’re stuck, or chew on these a bit:
- Places you want to see before you die
- Physical achievements you want to make
- Challenges you want to conquer
- Weird stuff you want to be able to cook
- Languages you want to learn
- Skills (marketable or just cool) you want to master
It can be anything and it’s entirely up to you.
2. Assign Points
Assigned a points value between 1 & 100 to everything on the list. Break anything that feels “over 100 points hard” into smaller chunks. Current psychological theory shows us that goal setting is more effective when it’s self driven, so the list and the point values are up to you. The points directly correlative to how difficult the task will be for you to complete.
If something is so huge right now that you can’t even think of a point value for set that one aside for when you’re ready to take it on. You’ll grow & it will shrink in your mind.
3. Choose Your Levels
How will you know you’re getting bigger/faster/stronger/even more awesome? You’ll level up! If you have ever, Ever, EVER played a video game you’re probably familiar with this concept… but maybe you haven’t, so just in case.
In modern games when you’ve played a certain amount you get stronger, just like in real life when you exert yourself. But in the game you get to “level” when you get a certain amount of points. Your character typically dances and there are fireworks. You also get to assign yourself some better ‘stats’ and sometimes get titles. Why should this only happen in a game!?
Below are some level suggestions for the basic Amazon rEvolution; other Amazons have used female superheros, Greek mythological figures, and Egyptian godesses. Use what inspires you.
Because we’re a tribe of Amazons the levels are named to theme:
- New Recruit (0-100)
- Berry Picker (100 – 200)
- Basket Weaver (200 – 300)
- Spear Carrier (300 – 400)
- Quail Hunger (400 – 500)
- Deer Chaser (500 – 600)
- Bear Slayer (600 – 700)
- Apprentice Marksman (700 – 800)
- Wild Woman Warrior (800 – 900)
- Tribal Leader (900 – 1,000)
- Chieftess (1,000 – 1,100)
- Temple Guard (1,100 – 1,200)
- Acolite (1,200 – 1,300)
- Priestess (1,300 – 1,400)
- High Priestess (1,400 – 1,500)
- Geek Goddess (1,500 +)
Because your tasks are calibrated to 100 pt items each level is 100 points. That means if you conquer the hardest individual task on your list you’ll automatically level up.
4. Make A Tracker
Here’s where the crafty bit comes in. You’ll need a way to tally up how you’re doing and when you level. How about making a sweet chart of some kind? If you’re a visual gal go grab some poster board from the drug store. (Don’t forget the gold star stickers. You know you loved them, you little brown noser!) If you’re an uber-nerd then maybe a spreadsheet is more your style.
A few examples for your enjoyment – starting with Karla and her Greek themed levels:
I personally prefer the spreadsheet so I can reference it on the go with my tablet:
4.5 Decide If You Want Competition
This one is all up to you. Do you and your buddies want to go head to head for prizes? Then come up with tasts and point values together and compete to see who can level first. It’ll be like Street Fighter, only without the black eyes.
5. Choose Rewards
The biggest change from last years challenge instructions. What’s the point of an adventure without the loot!?
For each level give yourself something to shoot for. Be sure your rewards are in line with the overall goals you’re shooting for and not going to derail you along the way. Some ideas:
- Weekend or day trips
- Fancy restaurant outings
- A nice new outfit/jewelry/pen/home item – something that every time you see it you can celebrate your achievement
- Sporting equipment
You can also try matching the level to the reward and choose as you go. For example, if your last level included changing your body comp and running a 5k maybe you reward yourself with some new tights for the next race.
6. Share Your Ideas
Sharing is caring. Load up the comments with your bucket list ideas & tell us how you’re tracking your goals. What are your level themes? We want to know!