Have you been struggling trying to figure out how to motivate (or just make them do it!) your kids to help out more and be responsible? I have – a lot… and also given up lots of times, finding my self doing “everything” myself when every one else are enjoying TV or games instead. Being bitter is not my cup of tea – I’d rather try to come up with a cunning plan…
Last week I started a free gamification online course on https://www.coursera.org/course/gamification. the course was really engaging and had a great setup with short 3-12 min videos. In most videos there are one question you need to answer to proceed. After watching 10 videos or so I did the exam for that first week of the course, and had a score of 100%. It was a really fun and easy way to gain new knowledge.
In one of the videos the teacher Kevin Werbach gave me an assignment to list all the things I could come up with that are gamification in real life. Gamification is when there are some kind of rules, you play the game voluntarily and the game motivates you to do something or to change a behaviour and you get some kind of prize if you succeed. There could also be a use of game-like features like points, prizes, badges, assignments, leader boards, teams or avatars.
I did have some problem seeing where this could apply at first… but then I saw a few examples. At work for example when they are starting competitions to motivate people to sell more, to work out more, or when they have “Employee of the month”, or in diet clubs like Weight Watchers On all these occasions we usually find points, prizes, badges, teams, leader boards… So, yes they are all gamification of course.
We also learned how gamification was a powerful and fun way of changing behaviour. A game pull the player into a “circle” where the player feel joy which gives power to do things they otherwise might not do. This can of course be used for evil AND good purposes.
I started thinking about where I might could test this new knowledge. First I wrote a long email to my client about everything we could do with this in their business. Maybe something will come out of that – who knows. But after that I came to think about behavioural changes I would like to see at home… and I came up with a concept where all members would collect points when helping out with things I want help with, to be able to buy things they want with the points they collect. Hopefully this would motivated them to help out more at home.
I just wrote it down on two post-its to show my daughter Saga (10) when she came home. Guess if it was an instant success! She loved the idea of being able to collect points, compete with the grown ups – and being able to “buy” Friday snacks, Saturday candy and weekly allowance (all of which she was given for free before!).
I am totally amazed with the engagement this created! We all sat together and created the list of what should give points.
Actions that give points:
Set the table before dinner 1p
Cook dinner 1p
Clean after dinner 1p
Go to school 1p
Walk the dog 1p
Clean the cat box 1p
Do homework (minimum 20min) 1p
Clean out the room 1p
Throw out the garbage 1p
Water the flowers 1p
Washing the car 1p
Doing laundry 2p
… and more.
And a list of what we could buy for these points, things that we would like to have or do.
Friday snacks 5p
Saturday candy 5p
Weekly allowance (20kr) 5p
Watch TV 5p
Both my husband and my 10 year old are obsessed with this now competing with each other, setting up their collected points as soon as they get home 🙂 And when we where shopping groceries for Friday dinner I asked Saga what she would like for dinner, “Meatballs – because then I can make dinner and collect the points!”. I have never seen such a result in such a short time!
There are also plans on creating avatars to put on each players box on the board, and to have a trophy for “player of the week” 😉