How to Turn Your Life Into a Video Game

Hello Brains! Remember how I said you can
turn your life into a video game? It’s true. In fact, I’m on a quest right now. [medieval sword sounds] [Intro Music] Last week I talked about why video
games hold our attention so well and how we can apply that to our everyday
lives. Today I want to go a step further and show you how you can turn
your life into a video game. For instant motivational powers! It’s called gamification and it’s
really popular right now. Gamification is the application of
game design elements and game concepts to non-game situations like your life. In other words gamification turns all
the boring stuff you have to do: Homework. Dishes. Laundry. Into fun challenges which can help
you “level up” in real life. And, thanks to apps, you can now gamify
everything from your morning run to going to bed. On time. I’ll show you some of my favorites in just
a minute but first to help us understand how gamification works: cool science stuff! [Music] It starts with intrinsic motivation.
That’s basically your desire to do something like go to the gym. By itself,
intrinsic motivation isn’t always strong enough to get you moving or keep you focused. That’s where gamification comes in.
Gamification provides extrinsic, or external, reinforcement that helps turn
your intrinsic motivations into action. You don’t need external reinforcement
for stuff you already love to do or do all the time. But, for ADHDers, a lot of
day-to-day tasks aren’t intrinsically rewarding enough for us to stay focused
on them. As I talked about last video ADHDers tend to need external
reinforcement to do their best. And you don’t have to look much farther
than the Pokémon Go craze to realize just how motivating games can be. OK. Enough explaining. Let’s get to the games! And how they can help. That too. “I like how I feel when I run but I
can’t seem to get started.” It’s a lot more motivated to run
when somebody’s chasing you. Especially zombies. Zombies! Run! is an app
that lets you listen to your music while you’re running and interrupts it occasionally
to provide you with story missions. Or let you know that zombies are
chasing you and you should probably, you know, step it up. Just be careful not to overdo it. Fake
zombies can lead to real ankle injuries. “I want to get stuff done but to-do lists are so boring.” [Falls Down] Not when you can take your to-do’s
down in a street fight. RPG style! Epic Win is a simple to-do list with awesome
graphics where you can create an avatar that makes progress when you do. You
can add tasks to your to do list for that day, choose repeating to-do’s like water the
plants every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and even sync your calendar to it. Would you just listen to this music? This is a to-do list. [Music] I like it because it’s fast and easy to
use. Plus every time you open it says: Epic Win! [ominous music] “I feel awful and I don’t want to do anything.” Super Better was designed as a Recovery
App to take you from feeling terrible to feeling terribly awesome. You can
use it to help you with things like anxiety, depression, eating healthier, recovering
from a physical injury, or even just to feel better in general. I love it because
it makes baby steps feel like the accomplishments that they are. You can
also invite allies to help you on your journey. [Ding] Bonus: it may even help you live longer. “I’d like to start walking but it’s boring.” I know I totally get – [music plays from phone] Pokémon Go is so good at gamifying
walking that most people don’t even realize they’re exercising until it’s too late. Here’s how it works: there are Pokémon
out there in the real world. But you can only see them through your
phone’s camera. To catch them you have to walk around and find them
and then throw little pokéballs at them. If you run out of pokéballs just walk
over to the nearest pokéstop to replenish. Want to battle someone? Just
walk over to the nearest pokégym. Did anyone here how many times I said walk
just then? No, because all you hear is: Poké, poké, po – Gamification! Pro tip: you want to throw the pokéballs
when the green circle is at its smallest. Wasted a lot of pokéballs figuring that one out. I totally looked it up on the internet. Have
you met me? I do research. It’s what I do! Warning. If you watch this video with at
least one band-aid on do not play Pokémon Go while using the
stairs or crossing the street. “I really like this whole gamification
thing. Can I make my whole life a game?” Why yes you can! Habitica, formerly known as habit RPG, is
awesome because it’s really versatile. You can use it to encourage good habits,
stick to your daily routines, and even use it as a to-do list where you can break
down big projects into smaller steps. You can create or join an adventuring
party, hang out in the tavern, there’s even an ADHD guild and a whole wiki page
dedicated to adapting it for ADHD. If you also struggle with depression
check out the challenges from Take This. Of course, like any game, it’s totally
possible to get bored of these. They may not work forever but they can
work long enough to help you establish new habits. So, long after I’ve forgot about
these games I might still be watering my plants three times a week and taking
my dog for lots of walks. [Ding] If none of these appeal to you, don’t
worry. There are a ton of other options out there or you can make up your
own games to make life fun. Edward and I both tend to neglect the dishes. So this is the game we came up with: we take turns using sticky notes with
our initials on them. Whoever’s initial is closest to the sink
has to do the dishes and you can’t switch your note until you’ve done
all the dirty dishes. The positive: you don’t ever have to do
dishes when you don’t feel like it. The negative: the longer you wait the
more dishes you’re gonna have to do. Nothing makes doing the dishes as rewarding
as getting to move that sticky note. Speaking of which. [Clanking and paper sounds] Ha! That’s it for this week. Let me know what
kind of gamification work for you. Comment below. Hit me up on Facebook or
Twitter and if you like this video and you want to hear more ADHD tips, tricks,
and brain hacks, subscribe. Bye Brains! “How do I stop losing my stuff? Please answer!” You sound like you’re saying this in
very desperate tone so short answer have you heard of Tile? [Ding] “How can I control my impulsivenees?” A huge part of ADHD is not having any space
between your thoughts and your actions. Meditation and mindfulness are scary words
for those of us with ADHD but they really help. [Outro Music]

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