Wednesday, February 9, 2011

You just got pwned!

Ok, so, my boys love to play online games. Their current most favorite is World of Warcraft.

Jon and I created a single account to share so that we could play with them and better understand what in the world they were talking about when we called them to dinner and they said "But Mom! I'm in a dungeon!"

Honestly, our account is currently inactive because since I started my business I don't have time to play. The nice thing is that our characters live on and when we want to re-activate our account (resume paying the monthly subscription fee) we can pick up right where we left off.

I've been listening and learning quite a bit this week about author Jane McGonigal. Her new book is called Reality is Broken and I currently have it on hold at Barnes and Noble to pick up tonight so you'll have to hang tight for a review.

She has some crazy ideas (and we all know how much I love those, right?) about how gaming is good for us and that through gaming we can actually work together to solve some really huge problems. Her TED talk is here. I watched it last night and it really made me think differently about the time my kids spend online.

All that having been said, what if we could create a real life game for every day living? An iPhone app created by a group McGonigal works with is called EpicWin.

"EpicWin is an iPhone app that puts the adventure back into your life. It’s a streamlined to-do list, to quickly note down all your everyday tasks, but with a role-playing spin. (from the developers website here)"

I downloaded this app today to start "playing" so I'll let you know how that goes. But more importantly, I want to start thinking about a way to create a game in real life. One where the boys will earn points for things like brushing their teeth, one where they'll earn experience points for doing their homework, and for completing chores. 

I guess there should be ways to lose experience points, too; such as arguing with a parent, hitting each other, or failing to complete an agreed upon task. Of course, some activities are neutral as well. 

Ok, I'm kind of geek so this is starting to sound like fun to me. Now I just have to figure out how to make it work. What do you think? What would your kids call their game? How should I dole out experience points or remove them?

Now to sell it to the boys. Wish me luck!

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