Thursday 5 January 2012

Turn your workplace into a living RPG (and increase productivity) {Gamification}

Work and play generally don't go together unless you're a sports person and your whole career is a game. Our hobby is separate from our day jobs, but what if you could blend the two together and create a game that's not only fun, it actually encourages you to work better? 

Gamification is a philosophy in which game conventions are applied to non-game situations. Processes that were once mundane are now goal-oriented and more fun. People are more productive when they think they're taking part in a game because of the consistent gratification games bring and the clear tasks they're given. Using gamification, we can begin to see how this method can be applied to the workplace in order to enhance enjoyment of fulfilling tasks and increasing productivity.

Create a quest list and start levelling up
The to-do list is the backbone of most people's workday, so this is the easiest aspect of work to transform into a roleplaying game. Your to-dos become your quests and each quest grants experience points upon completion. The number of points directly reflects on the difficulty of the task in hand, meaning you will gain more experience points for more difficult and time-consuming tasks. Take this table as a guide:
5xp - send an email/ call someone
5xp - arrange a meeting
5xp - clear desk of clutter
10xp - take notes in a meeting
20xp - complete an important report
+5xp for every day you are under deadline
-5xp for every day you are over deadline
Experience points are tallied up at the end of the week and kept in a spreadsheet. Every 1000xp you increase a level and every time you level up you can treat yourself in some way, whether it's to a big dessert or a new DVD - whatever makes you happy - you've earned it.

Get Epic Win for iOS
If you don't feel like manually tracking all your experience points then there's an app that can do it for you as well as a bunch of other cool stuff. Epic Win allows you to collect xp and gold for tasks as well as battle evil monsters and level up your stats. You get a quest map which you move along for every quest you fulfil and each new location contains a cool new over-the-top sounding item.

Roll random office encounters
One of the best parts of any RPG are the bloody fights we get into (in character). There's no reason why you can't have a dice battle or two during your regular work day though. Draw up a list of 12 monsters you can battle so you can roll 2d6 to fight one Write them out on a spreadsheet, but codify them so it still looks like work. For example, an Orc could just be 'O' and a Balrog, 'BG'. Give each monster a number from 0-3. After you complete a tasks with a total of 40xp you can roll for a wandering monster using a web-based roller. When one comes up you must fight it, first rolling a d6 for the monster and adding the number you have associated with it. Then roll your die plus your level. Whoever has the highest number wins the battle. A win is worth 5xp. Note that every time you increase in level, move the monsters' number threshold up by one, so if you're level 2 then monsters will be +1 to 4 and so on.


  1. Ha ha... I had a good laugh :)

  2. I have been thinking of this a lot - gamification. At my desk (in office), I have had two D6 for a long time. I haven't used them so much yet, only in a few situations, e.g. to determine who will be doing a specific boring task (lowest roll loses, and have to take on that task). But I would like to use the dice more, e.g. how to prioritize tasks based on luck and importance. The XP system you are mentioning above is quite neat, will have to look into it, and see what can be done with it. Thanks for this little eye-opener! =)

  3. I love this and, it certainly falls in-line with something i've been musing over for a while. This is especially applicable to my willingness to slack off if unmotivated and, my love of gaming.

    Good stuff!

    - Cartomancer

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