Category Archives: Gamification

Fun Fitness #3: The Walk

I’ve already blogged about Zombies, Run!, which is a great app if you’re interested in – you guessed it – running. But I’ll be honest, as much as I love the app in concept, I haven’t actually used it all that much since I’m not the biggest fan of running. So today’s app is actually way more up my alley. It’s by the same company Six to Start, and the title is just as self explanatory… The Walk. Prepare for some more gamification coming your way!

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The Walk is another pedometer disguised as a game, an audio adventure to help you stay motivated in your fitness endeavors. In the story, you are the star of a thriller involving secret agents and terrorist plots. Unlike Zombies, Run!, you don’t listen continuously to audio here. Instead, you “unlock” the next bit of story the more you walk. For each chapter, the app has a little map so that you can see your progression through the chapter, and as you walk, your icon moves forward along the path. Several points along the path will unlock the next bit of audio so that the story continues, or you’ll come across different items that add to the story. The longer you walk, the more you progress, until you complete the chapter!

The only “downside” to this is that you’re not really forced to do one long walk and complete the chapter all in one go, which ruins the immersion a little bit. You could very well just take your phone around with you all day, get all of the audio clips and complete the chapter without doing anything else, and then listen to all the clips in bulk while you’re not actually walking. The story works much better if you’re walking while you listen.

However, this is not much of a complaint, because nothing is stopping you from doing the walk “properly” and listening to the audio as you go. There are some incentives to do this too – you get bonus badges for a completing a chapter in 24 hours, and completing it without any 3-hour periods of inactivity. And everything depends on the user – if you don’t mind getting the audio clips as a reward for your steps throughout the day, instead of using the app as an immersive experience all the way through, that’s entirely up to you!

Overall, I love this app even more than Zombies, Run! because I actually use it. I just finished Chapter 6 and can’t wait to see what happens next. So go check it out – anyone who can walk can benefit from this game. I strongly recommend it!

Gamification: Pokemon at work

I’m back with another idea to gamify your life! (If you’ve never heard of gamification before, click here) Today, we’re gonna catch ‘em all 🙂

So one thing that I used to do in my previous position was translation work. I did some manual translating (from English to French if anyone’s curious), but I mostly spent a lot of time reviewing batches and batches of translations, reading over them for mistakes and tweaking them for my needs. While I don’t dislike doing this at all (I quite enjoy it, actually!)… it was a lot. And it wasn’t always particularly exciting. So I thought, just for fun, that I’d try making it a little more exciting.

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Yeaaaaah Pokemon! I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a big kid at heart, and I’ve loved Pokemon ever since I was little. This isn’t the first time that I’ve tried incorporating these lovable monsters into my gamification ideas, but I feel like this method really stuck and makes me a little happier and more motivated at work.

Essentially, each Pokemon is a translation batch that I need to get done. Of course, you can apply this concept to almost anything, but I’ve found it helps that every Pokemon is the same type of task (ie translation batch). I print out a bunch of them and cut them out individually, leaving a bit of room at the bottom, under the picture.

I started out with a trusty Charmander!

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I kept a bunch of printed out Pokemon tucked away in a drawer, ready to be captured. When I get a new batch I need to work on, I draw out one of the Pokemon at random. The game is on! I then draw a “life bar” below the picture, which correlates with the steps I need to take to accomplish the task and “catch” the Pokemon.

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So for my translations batches, I usually had between 15-30 pages to proof per batch. I used the page count to draw up the number of hit points for that Pokemon. Then the little guy just hangs out at my desk while I work, and every time I finish a page, I just use a red sharpie to fill in one of the hit points, “depleting” its health, until I complete the job.

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I would sometimes have multiple jobs going on at the same time, but no matter, just add more Pokemon! The sky’s the limit (or in this case, the desk space…)

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Finishing a translation batch is just that much more exciting when it also means I get a new addition to my Pokemon team! At the end I then just put the captured Pokemon back in the drawer with its other friends.

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Depending on your situation, it’s easy to have these displayed in front of you as you work, or tucked away out of sight. Not going to lie – I got a couple of bemused looks from people who came by my desk and noticed the Pokemon, but it wasn’t really an issue 🙂

Simple, silly and fun! The small amount of planning/set up is well worth the motivation I get out of this game.


Gamification: Exercise map

I’m back with an idea to gamify your life. (If you’ve never heard of gamification before, click here)

One thing that many people struggle with (and I am no exception) is exercising. I personally have never really liked sports, and I usually prefer sitting around with a book or playing a video game then lifting weights or running laps. I’d force myself to work out, but it was always so difficult to find the motivation.

I finally went all-out and started this new game for myself. I took several pieces of paper, taped them all together to make one massive piece that could fit on my fridge, and made a very simple board game.


Here it is on the floor since I no longer have it on my fridge 😛

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The adorable little magnet that I used… Yes it’s a Jack Frost style pony, don’t judge 🙂

Snaking its way along the map was a path split up into little sections, and I used a magnet that I had gotten as a gift as a little character that represented my progress. Every time I would work out, I’d move my pawn forward. Simple as that. Having that visual was enough to get me excited to run to the gym – I wanted to get to the end of the board!

While originally I had this giant map up on my fridge, this can be a much simpler project too. When I moved into a new apartment (and no longer lived alone), I had at that point finished my giant board and was ready to start a new one. I didn’t want to take over the fridge again, though, so this time I created a much smaller version of the next board and hung it on the mirror in my room. This is the one I’m still going through right now, and I already look forward to drawing the next board!


Creating the character pawn for this was even simpler than a magnet… A simple drawing on a piece of paper/cardstock and some sticky tack and voila!


Trying to replicate my little pony magnet


Sticky tack can still be quite useful… and so easy to use!

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I made a few rules for myself that you could alter however you like. With a normal 30-minutes-ish cardio routine I moved a space. I liked doing some lighter floor exercises as well – two of those would get me a space. If I went out and played tennis for an hour or more with friends, I’d get two spaces… You get the idea.

As further incentive, I also instituted a bit of a reward system, making little presents and scattering them throughout the board. Once I reached one, I could reward myself! They wouldn’t be anything too major – maybe a bubble bath or a new book. If I saw things at the store that I wanted but didn’t have any urgent need for (movies, video games, books, puzzles, etc), I would sometimes get them, wrap them up, and then keep them in my closet until I reached my goal on my exercise map. Then I could pick something up and unwrap it – so fun!


More cardstock and sticky tack will do the trick!

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Prizes make the journey that much more exciting!

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Here’s the point I’m at now. Making my way to the top!

Creating a game like this can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. Everything I used is made out of computer paper, cardstock and markers, and I hang everything up with tape, magnets or sticky tack. I’d strongly recommend trying this out if you’re struggling to find motivation for something! I have many other ideas for a variety of other chores and goals that I look forward to sharing.

The wonderful world of Gamification!

Today I’m kicking off what I’m planning will be a major part of this blog: gamification. I have a passion – maybe even an obsession – of finding ways to turn all sorts of less-than-fun aspects of my life into a game. I call it the Mary Poppins method… “In every job that must get done, there is a little bit of fun. Find the fun and –snap! – the job’s a game.” I just find that it adds a bit of spice to life and helps motivate me to get stuff done! (If anyone’s interested, I touched upon this topic in an old video I made and gave some examples!)

There are tons of ways to gamify your life, such as the many desktop or mobile apps out there, and I will be sharing some of my favorites. But I also really like making up my own games, actually using paper and pencil instead of storing it all in my phone. It’s way easier than you might think!

I’d like to use this page as a hub to all of the gamification blog posts I make – I hope to make an ever-growing library of ideas and inspiration to help you achieve your goals! If you have any ideas or suggestions of your own, or if there’s a particular chore or goal that you would like an idea for, please let me know! I’d love to try and come up with a ton more.


Exercise map

Struggling to find the motivation to exercise? Try out this adorable board game to keep you on track!

Pokemon at work

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I’ve used this one at work but it’s extremely versatile, perfect for bringing out your nerdy side. Get tasks done and catch ’em all!