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  • Writer's pictureGorgan Ng

How can you gamify your life by using quest-based video games' mechanics?

Happy New year everyone! Ah, yes, a new year; it is the time where everyone is excited about setting resolutions and goals to meet. We know how working towards these goals can be mundane and tiring, so in this post, we are going to look at reframing goals from a video game's perspective.

Most of the time you can find objective or quest indications in most of the modern video games' mechanics. If you follow my Instagram account, you will know that recently I have been playing Halo Infinite. Loading into the game's campaign, I find myself watching a cutscene and then it brings me to controlling Master Chief, AKA John 117. The first objective was to move the camera up down left and right. And as I continue my fantasy journey as the Master Chief, I learnt more ways to move and interact with the character in the game by completing the objectives given to me by the game.

Unlike in-game, our physical life doesn't have such cool mechanics to tell us what to do next. Hence our daily task or even long term goal can be daunting!

The same concept can be applied to physical life. When you feel like the tasks at hand are overwhelming and didn't know how to tackle them, you could try breaking them down into smaller achievable mini-quests. This is not a new concept, but it is often overlooked because almost everyone always recommends you to break your goal down. But what if you look at it from a video game perspective that you are not just breaking down your goal, but you are going on an adventure to level up by gaining experience points every time you complete a smaller objective. It will be a little bit more exciting, isn't it? Kind of like role-playing.

Let's take personal projects, for example, it is my goal this year to be able to present a workshop on video games and mental health. This is huge and scary tbh. So, I reframed the goal as a quest in a video game. The big overarching quest is to present a workshop. And I broke down the big quests into smaller and more attainable quests such as Act 1: researching the content of the workshop. Act 2: organizing the content. Act 3: create PowerPoint slides, etc.

To break it down, even more, we can also decide what would be the main quest/ objective and secondary quest/ objective. For example in Act 1, I can decide to only have 5 main research articles that informed my workshop. This can be my main quest, and as for the secondary quest, I can read more than 20 articles. While it is not necessary to read more than 20 articles, it will definitely help me to achieve the main quest. Much like in most video games, you don't have to do the secondary quests, but by doing them, you could gain more experiences or better equipment that assist you in your main quest.

Hence, slowly but surely, I am embarking on an adventure of building my workshop, levelling up my knowledge on the topic of video games and mental health by gaining experience points when I read journal articles!

The concept of using objectives in life doesn’t limit to a big project and it could make mundane chores such as dishwashing a little easier! My wife and I have very different approaches to doing the dishes. To me, chores are mundane and boring and it requires a lot of mental energy or 'mana' to activate the dishwashing skill. Hence I often separate the load into smaller loads. I tackle each section of the total dishes to be washed one load at a time. It makes the whole task more manageable. Having to conceptualize and gamily the chores make it lesser of chores, but reframing it as something that is a little fun or meaningful.

Whereas for my wife, she goes with efficiency and effectiveness of using both her time and energy, so she has a different approach. It doesn't mean that my way or her way is objectively better than others, it simply means it works best for me as an individual. The more I do it, the objective may change as well. Instead of completing the chores, I can always reframe them and change the quest to make dishwashing a little more efficient than my previous way of doing the dishes. This can also be my secondary objective. I don't have to be efficient, but being efficient not only help to complete the primary objective of washing dishes, but it also saves me time and energy.

Let's try putting a spin on your daily physical life and seeing them as quests, objectives, missions, side quests and tell me how it works (or not) for you!

What is your primary quest(s) in 2022?

What is your secondary quest(s) that could help in your journey to achieve your primary quest(s) in 2022?


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