Last time, I showed an innovation concerning using time and effort normally poured in to gaming, being poured into gaming that specifically aids finding drugs to treat illnesses.
This time, I have an example of an interesting, and as far as I know, unique, way of using gaming as a skill to encourage household chores to be done.
I give you Arcade, meet Laundry.
It’s a fairly straightforward transaction, user play-time translates into effort put into the laundry, better playing causes better chore efficiency, meaning that there is an incentive to play well, as playing badly means more time has to be spent.
From my perspective, it’s a curious way of getting kids to do the chores, whether they realise they’re doing them or not, but likely they will.
I suspect that tying games and chores together is not new, but this particular combination seems to be unique, and it’s another sort of thing I’d like to see more done with, fusing existing ideas in completely new ways.
The one difference that must be pointed out between this and other efforts on combining games with chores (and, incidentally like one magazine article I saw about fusing a daily workout on an exercise bike with a game of DooM) is that it engenders reuse of skills.
The exercise bike doesn’t require learning much in the way of new skills, neither does this – you’re still doing exactly what you did before, but it has a subsidiary effect and consequences.
Meanwhile, other examples I’ve seen that simply tie playing a game to some subsidiary activity don’t really work because they’re two separate activities forcibly combined together, rather than two behaviours that naturally combine, or by adapting one behaviour to drive another in a meaningful and likely intuitive manner.
The exercise bike example is just that: using a bike is reasonably intuitive, and using that intuitive behaviour in a different way – without losing its intuitively – makes it possible to do things never originally conceived.