As the imitable but insuperable Tami Moore pointed out in her blog post today, human beings are creatures of A) habit, B) reward. That is to say, if I keep doing something again and again, I’ll likely continue; if I think I’m likely to glean something I like from a behavior, it will likely continue.
With that in mind, and knowing that I have in the past been happy to perform repetitive tasks far beyond the point where I would otherwise lose interest (I’m thinking here of PVP in both Warcraft and Star Wars), just because I want that shiny that I don’t quite have the currency for, I’m
shamelessly bogarting evilly swiping absolutely copying being inspired by Tami and Steven’s idea. I’m modifying it somewhat, though, because A: I’m tracking more than just my exercise routine, B: I’d prefer a pseudo-currency to using real money; C: I am a quest-and-objective motivated person, rather than a daily grind person.
So what does this mean?
It means that for my personal ‘game’ I am going to develop out not one but
three four kinds of ‘quest objective’ currency- Fighter’s Token, Rogue’s Coin, Mage’s Gem and Lord’s Medallion. The first three are related loosely to exercise, budgeting and diet, and scheduling and hobbies. The fourth type is a meta-currency designed to reward even development. In addition, I’m going to keep track of a ‘treasury’ of guilt-free spending money.
My goal is, for each game currency, have daily, weekly, and monthly rewards. In a ‘perfect’ month, I should be able to earn exactly 50 of each basic currency (with one exception; there’s no limit to how many Mage’s Gems I can earn). There should also be ‘damage’ effects for each currency; this will discourage bad behavior (and punish behavior that is not merely apathetic but actively counterproductive).
Rewarded for physical ‘fighting’ fitness.
A fighter’s high points are about training and physical abilities. This currency rewards activities that build physical fitness. Because fighters are often tasked with last-ditch, hold-the-line defensive efforts, the higher tiers of Fighter’s Token cash-ins are gained explicitly through maintaining exercise over calendar periods.
Rewards at this point:
-1: Skip both routines in one day (in addition to individual cost).
-1: Skip routine (once in a day).
0: Maintain routine at current level.
1: Increment routine by one step. Mutually exclusive with the below:
1: 10 points of movement; Where 1 point is earned by 1:00 jogging or running, or 2:30 brisk walk.
3: 7 consecutive days of routine (in addition to other rewards)
10: Stand Your Ground: One full consecutive month of routine.
My physical fitness routine is, simply, morning and evening do an equal number of pushups and situps (I do a fair amount of walking). I’m currently at 9 of each, totalling 18 pushups and 18 situps in a day. If I increment the routine by one step, that means to increase the number by one in the morning, and one in the evening (for example, today is an increment day- that means I did 10/10 this morning, and will do 11/11 this evening).
Rewarded for good use of gold (fiscal responsibility) and proper (meal and fiscal) planning. Because rogues are all about foresight, careful thought, and devastatingly-effective combinations, high-tier rewards are gained by turning in 4 combo points. A combo point is earned by going one full week without being caught off guard. Being caught off guard is being forced to spend coin in any of the following ways:
-5: Frivolous spending (something I do not have an actual need for, using money not in my treasury).
-4: Takeout or fast food (beyond Tuesdays*) more than $10/two weeks.
-3: Alcoholic beverage not purchased with Fighter’s/Mage’s tokens.
-2: Sugary beverage not purchased with Fighter’s/Mage’s tokens.
If you are caught off guard, you forfeit one combo point (if you have any) in addition to the Rogue’s Coin spent.
Rewards at this point:
0: Eat one ‘marginal’ meal in a day (cereal for dinner, casual sandwich, etc)
1: Eat two healthy meals in a day, including home-made lunch taken to work if a workday.
3: 100% of grocery purchases made in a week are on sale (20% off or better) and/or a healthful staple food costing $1/unit or less ($0.99/100g sliced meat, $0.89/lb bananas, etc).
10: Redeem 4 combo points.
*Tuesdays my father and I go to lunch together, as we work in adjacent buildings. It is burgers and onion rings. It’s not healthful, particularly, but it is delicious and I will not be removing it from my routine; I like spending time with my father.
Use of the mind, logical thinking, and creative ability. Rewarded for creative pursuits and proper time management.
Because I often have issues remembering to get things done, or tend to accumulate video games and not finish them, or fail to follow through on my hobbies, the largest thrust of earning Mage’s Gems comes from remembering to do chores and following through on hobbies. The ‘damage’ effects to my Mage Gems consist of things that cause serious problems if I don’t schedule properly or follow through. Note that while there is no limit on Mage’s Gems, they are self-limiting (in that 10 gems, at approximately two hours of work each, is probably a reasonable monthly limit to gain).
-1: Up fifteen full minutes past planned time.
-1: Plants not watered (if this is Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday).
-1: More than one coffee in a day.
-3: Grocery list not on the phone by Monday at 5.
-3: Grocery list not on the phone by Tuesday at 5.
1: Laundry folded, bed made, teeth brushed and dishes from breakfast cleaned before leaving the house for work.
3: Grocery list for the week ready and loaded on the phone by Saturday night, plus vacuuming for the week done.
Variable: Finish painting a game piece, write in Dar na Theria, work on a D&D campaign, put in solid progress toward completing a videogame, post 2x/week in the blog, etc; hobby work, basically.
10 of each basic currency can be traded in for 1 Lord’s Medallion. 10 basic currency is a perfect, no-holds-barred, no-flaws, textbook brilliant week in a given discipline. If I can have a perfect week with all three disciplines, therefore, I’ve earned a Lord’s Medallion. (Given the ‘perfect month’ bonuses each currency carries, a perfect month also earns a Lord’s Medallion.) The Lord’s Medallions can be cashed in for either $12 to add to my treasury, or 30 basic currency in any combination.
2 of each basic currency can be traded in for $1 to add to my treasury. (I recognize that I could be stupid desparate at some point).
Any 2 basic currency can be traded for any 1 other.
The rewards, when I eventually figure them out, should be worked like this: 1 of a basic currency gets you a minor break in that sphere, but should be pitched so that it’s easier to earn 1 basic currency than the break you get for spending one. 1 each of two different tokens should be worth roughly (and the key word is roughly) $1 in (where possible) the sphere not represented. For example, 1F/1M might be worth drinking a can of Dr. Pepper (not healthy meal planning at all!), 7F/7R might be worth a comic book or some new Warmachines pewter (yesssss, feed the hobbies), 5R/5M might be worth a new ebook or cheap indie videogame (both of these being completely sedentary activities, though I recognize there’s quite a lot of overlap with the Mage sphere here).
Finally, the earning methods for each currency are subtly different, in the ‘push’ bonuses- the Fighter discipline rewards persistence, the Rogue rewards, well, discipline, and the Mage rewards good memory and good scheduling.
Yes, I realize I’m a geek. But tomorrow starts a new month and I want to give this a try. My life, as the saying goes, is so much more interesting inside my head.