Posted by : Jameson Durall Monday, February 14, 2011

I've been listening to Jane McGonigal's new book Reality Is Broken and she talks about an augmented reality game called Chore Wars.  It's an online game that allows you to set up a party of people in your household and create adventures for them to go on.  Each of the Adventures is a chore from around the house that you can assign experience, gold and treasure to and can be claimed by the party member who completes it.

I thought this sounded like a good way to get me doing stuff around the house more consistently and also helping my wife feel rewarded for all of the things she's doing.  What I didn't expect was how much she liked the idea, but even more so how much my son is excited by it.  I told him about it before I had everything setup properly and he's been asking me constantly when we can get started.  I got things setup yesterday evening and he immediately rushed to brush his teeth, clean his room and make his bed so he could get claim these adventures.

As each party member gets XP we level up and gain attributes for the types of chores we do.  For instance, taking out the trash often gets you a plus to your Strength and if you ignore Intelligence chores like paying bills you can lose from that stat.  We are still working out how we want to handle real world rewards, but have decided that my son can turn in gold to buy toys and video games.  I like this idea much better than a simple allowance.  I have a feeling that my wife and I will turn in gold for things like back rubs and getting dinner out instead of cooking.

I'm sure there will be much more to say after we've tried this out for a while, but we are all pretty excited about it right now.


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