First Reflections

Posted: September 2, 2015 in fitness, gamification, writing
Tags: , , , , ,

Alright, so a day deep and probably too early to say much, but so far it’s been a success, and the echo back from the various apps and motivators I am using is resolving itself into an eventual whittling of those tools. It’s late (because I’ve been writing, so that’s a plus!), so this will be short.

First the primary gamify apps: HabitRPG and LifeRPG… still too early, but a few things of immediate note.

HabitRPG has a depth I had not explored before. Besides the satisfaction of seeing my character already growing, with better equipment and a steed (it’s a freaking seahorse!), there is a social aspect that really helps keep you engaged with the Habitca site. You can join parties to fight bosses (the success of which is based on you and your companions completing your tasks each day). You can also join guilds of varying interests, from writing and learning Spanish to simply gathering to discuss pop culture. It reminds me of the old message boards and chat rooms I encountered when the interwebs first opened to me decades ago, strangers chatting about like-minded things, sharing ideas, interests and actually motivating one another to succeed. It’s a far cry from the endless comment threads elsewhere on the internet that are simply rank with derision, anger, hatred and ignorance. It’s a great feature.

LifeRPG on the other hand is the app and nothing more. While originally it was my favorite in this fight due to the ability to feed skills based on completing tasks, the lack of anything else starts to make it feel a bit hollow. We’ll see how I feel as the days go on and I see my Writing, Coding or Strength skills increasing with completed tasks.

As far as the fitness apps go, Zombies, Run! is proving to be brilliant. With your headphones on you start your run with the sound of a helicopter, and a voice on the radio trying to guide them in, and eventually you as well, amidst the hoards of zombies roaming the land. You are prompted to run when zombies are near, you are given missions like raiding the local hospital, and you collect random items along the way. The key to its success, besides the voice actors and the immersive story, is that you don’t actually have to look at your phone or ever change direction. When they say go to the hospital, just keep running. When they say there are zombies, just run faster! To top it off, in between the dialogue and sound effects, you can overlay your own background music, so you still get to run to your favorite playlist.

Fitocracy so far is great at keeping track of my activities, and rewarding me for those, but I simply have not been using it long enough to make a final decision on its value. On the other hand I think I have already had enough of FitRPG to determine it still has a long way to go to be of any use. The quests are too simple, I’ve already acquired some of the best loot possible, and it constantly has issues with freezing and syncing with the data from my FitBit app. It simply is not worth the effort, though the idea is fantastic and I hope they can make it better in the future.

That covers my first 24hrs. So far it’s been satisfying and very promising. I am very optimistic about the adventures to come.

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