I’ve often found that to see results, you have to make the process fun! Looking for unique approaches to make things happen oftentimes requires the ability to find simple, easy, and exciting ways to remove barriers of entry. Gamification can be included in many aspects of life, an example being the Piggybank Game. We’re trying to teach my two-year-old granddaughter the value of money and possessions. My natural inclination as a loving grandparent is to just buy her things, but we tried a different approach. Every day that she stayed with us, we collected all the coins in the house and put them in a piggy bank. The adventure of treasure-hunting coins was very fun for her. Then after the three days she was with us, we were able to take the $7.53 from the piggy bank, and go to the store and let her pick out a toy with her piggy bank money. There were many toys that she wanted that were more than $7.53, so she had to decide. She chose a little plastic bucket and shovel for the beach and probably loves it more than anything I could have bought her. Through gamification, she learned about budgeting, retail, and the value of money.
Another way I incorporate gamification in my life is when I visit my physician. He’s always concerned about weight gain in his patients, something I’ve been working to improve. One day he was expressing his concern about the sad condition that some of his older patients don’t have money for their prescriptions. I responded with: ‘Why don’t I make a deal with you? For every time I come in for an office visit, if I’ve gained weight, I’ll give $100 for you to put into a jar for clients that can’t afford their medications. If I come in underweight, then you put a dollar into that same fund.’ The doctor agreed. It gives me an incentive to come in underweight before my next appointment.
Simple gamification is practical, fun, and really the way people live their lives. I’ve found this not only to be true in my personal life and development, but also in my ministry life at OneHope. Programs like Bible App for Kids and Kids Bible Experience require a degree of gamification that is going to keep children engaged and allow them to keep score as well. What ways can you think of to gamify your life to make it more practical, engaging, and fun?