Physical exercise. Working out. Being at your desk with a book. You can do so many tasks (or activities) without breaking a sweat. And, for some, this comfort is especially appealing.
But if you’re trying to lose weight or focus on the big stuff in your life, you probably want to challenge yourself to do something you haven’t done in a while or set goals you haven’t quite crossed off your list. And that can be tricky.
A team of gamers from the University of California San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering created an app called ModGuide that can help you do just that. As TechCrunch describes it, the free app is “a gamified way to manage your life.” You choose what you want to do—go to the gym, or read a book—and the app automatically engages you with goals and incentives that, together, motivate you and encourage you to get out there and do it. So if you decide to go to the gym, the app incentivizes you with badges and points. If you get points, that means you’ve done your workout and had the time of your life. And if you’re doing a lot of other stuff, you can keep adding new activities to the app to keep progressing.
What’s especially fascinating is how the game helps you make better choices—otherwise, you could get frustrated, skip out of your activity, or give up and not do anything. In fact, on average, the University of San Diego study showed, ModGuide users “were 60 percent more successful at completing daily activities and 70 percent more likely to complete weekly activities when compared to a control group.”
Writing for Altimeter Group, Anat Berko remarks on why this kind of gamification could be useful to businesses in addition to regular consumers:
“Gamification is cool in and of itself. But there’s more to it.
“With a small allocation of team time and the right amount of technical know-how, organizations can embed gamification across their entire operations to impact the bottom line: Decrease attrition, increase productivity, foster growth, contribute to innovation, and gain meaningful insights into their users. In short, you can use gamification to apply a ‘lean startup’ mindset to your entire business.”
Co-founded by Amin Massoudi, director of the Jacobs School’s Entertainment Technology Center, and Karen Janse, director of SDSU’s Practice in Technology Management Program, ModGuide is a free iOS app that you can download from the App Store. Currently, there are no plans to support Android devices.
If you’re intrigued, follow Gameline on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
About the author: Sarah K. White is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and serves as co-editor of NFTE the eBook series Startup Magnetism. White has been a serial entrepreneur since 1987, and currently works with NFTE to improve the students’ chances of becoming entrepreneurs. She and her husband have been NFTE educators for nearly 20 years, and have taught students in 37 different schools across two states. She has also been a guest speaker at NFTE courses and meetings in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. White is an avid reader and lover of travel.