Throughout my primary and secondary education, I had a strange relationship with studying. Many of my fellow students constantly glorified the notion of spending minimal time and effort on their studies – and the cool kids were those who could display an image of ‘natural genius’ – getting good grades without significant effort.
Students that enjoyed studying were readily branded as ‘nerds’ or ‘geeks’, and ostracized by those who preferred to spend their time on activities that they deemed recreational like games or movies.
Thus, many in my generation grew up thinking that:
- Studying is not enjoyable and should not be considered a fun activity;
- If we must work, we should spend as little time as possible on learning and focus solely on the results;
- The most important value we get from school is our grades, which is important for our future career.
It didn’t take much peer pressure for many of us to adopt this mindset. As early education offered more breadth than depth, it was hard to find enjoyment in all the different mandatory classes we had to take. We were all unsure of where we wanted to go in life, so the priority in school was not in learning, but rather how could we manipulate the system to give us the report card needed for the next stage in our lives (for example, we quickly learned that to get high marks, we just needed to predict the questions that would be asked on tests and memorize the answers).
Throughout my childhood, I found the most joy from reading fiction novels, playing games, and watching movies. I eagerly immersed myself into new virtual worlds at the end of every school day – always ready to embark on my next adventure. It was so exciting to be able to play the hero of the story – someone who had a noble mission and a grand storyline to follow. It was thrilling when more and more multiplayer games became popular, and we had opportunities to share this journey with our friends and engage in friendly competition.
The Turning Point
The good thing is that I learned various life skills from the games I played, and I attribute that to the passion I had in the content I was digesting, as well as the sheer number of hours I invested in the activity. But as I started university and slowly found passion in the material I was learning for the first time, I started asking myself:
- Why am I (and so many of my peers) so eager to invest tens of thousands of hours into gaming and shows that offer marginal real-world benefits to our futures when the most exciting game I could be playing is the game of my own life?
- Why do we not consider studying an enjoyable experience, especially when we have all the knowledge in the world at our fingertips and can learn about anything that we desire?
- What started this toxic culture of dissociation from what we are learning in school and what is truly enjoyable in life?
- Why are so many young students eager to dismiss and discredit hard work – when we obviously are willing to put in the hard work when given the right incentives? (Simply ask any gamer how much time and effort they spend in perfecting their skills or earning in-game virtual currency.)
I had so many questions that needed answers – so as I continued with my education in Neuroscience and Psychology, I experimented with gamification in my studies and work – first with my friends and family, then my workplace, and finally building my own community of like-minded individuals passionate about productivity, growth, and learning and embarking on the journey of turning our lives into a RPG.
As our community filled up with students and lifelong learners eager to explore new ways to invest their time in growing the future that they desire, we realized that there are fundamental issues with the way the educational system is raising the next generation of thinkers and doers, leading to a systematic decrease in motivation and productivity.
Students globally are frustrated by:
- The difficulty in discovering why they are studying and what the future they desire looks like;
- Understanding how the material they are studying leads them to success that they want;
- Finding other like-minded learners who are passionate about the material they are studying;
- Sharing the why, what, and how behind their decision making with their loved ones to foster shared understanding.
Let’s share how some of the students in our community utilize #theGamificationProject to understand themselves better, be motivated to work on the right things, and then share their progress on their growth journey with family, friends, and community.
Brian (New Jersey, USA)
As a senior in high school, college applications were coming up and he and his friends needed to find a way to motivate themselves to do their best work and get into the university of their dreams. They were huge gamers and wanted to channel that energy into their schoolwork.
They first started with Habitica, but they had a lot of issues with the application:
- They felt like they were still fighting the journey alone;
- It felt more competitive than encouraging when playing together;
- It was demotivating to see other party members have perks when you did not;
Looking for a better solution to make work fun, they came across #theGamificationProject and instantly fell in love because the XP system was built to encourage each other and not to compete against each other. Levelling up in the system made them feel like they were also levelling up in real life – and the item shop helped them reward themselves with the gold they earned without feeling guilty.
They got a lot of value from the Be Intentional Framework as it helped them define their goals and create actionable plans for their future. The system made it easy to be accountable and share their career goals and plans with friends and family in a way that helped them understand them better, by breaking it down into the why, what, and how. With their goals, key results, projects, and tasks fully defined and showcased live to each other, they can support each other in a way never before possible.
Here’s some direct sharing from him:
“This project really made me feel like I’m playing a game! It’s aesthetically pleasing, and the system is so easy to customize. You have turned Notion from a basic workspace to a fun interactive fantasy world!”
If I had to describe 3 things I love most about #theGamificationProject, it is…
- Easy to build routines into your daily life;
- Easy to reflect on your day and plan for the future (which many productivity tools lack!);
- You get to be a part of a very supportive and awesome community!
It’s such a great bonus that the system also comes with extra templates that boost productivity and help me organize every aspect of my life – I’ve discovered templates that I never knew that I needed (e.g., finance, content consumption, food intake, etc.). Thank you!
Elisa (Los Angeles, USA)
This nursing student went headfirst into developing her gamified system to power up her study habits and position herself for success. In her first few days of using the project, she made a full-fledged Animal Crossing theme to immerse herself in her favourite fantasy world.
Here’s what she had to say about our project.
It allows me to reimagine my to-do-list and streamline the process. I now have one place to put things and get a detailed view of my day. It also provides me with more motivation to actually do things and reward myself for accomplishments.
I think it can help other students like me who find themselves with endless to-do lists and no incentives. It also just makes studying so much more fun for me, and as a student, that’s what I spend most of my time on so I don’t want it to be a chore.
The community has also been so supportive with study with us sessions to help me stay accountable and be highly productive! With the encouragement of the Co-x3 Family, I’ve been inspired to build a dark mode for my animal crossing theme, and will be sharing that with everybody soon.
We had a live build with me session with Elisa to improve the gamification project even further, building specific views for students to easily access and manage the material needed to ace your assessments and exams. Check that out below! 👇
Ashish, Anisha, and Brahmar (India)
As recent university graduates, these 3 close friends found themselves drifting apart and speaking less frequently after moving back to their home cities. When they found #theGamificationProject, they were so happy, because now they are able to know in real-time what projects and tasks each other are up to, and can help each other complete them. This has built common ground for them, and they are now connecting regularly and speaking frequently.
They quickly built a Harry Potter theme, modeling themselves after the 3 main characters – Harry, Ron, and Hermonie.
Here’s what Ashish, who introduced the project to his friends, had to say.
“I consistently help a lot of my friends and colleagues. With the project, we now have a feeling of completion and can easily motivate each other to grow and push their level. Any person can use gamification, it helps to improve your scheduling, and with this, you have more motivation to do any task, as it gives you a reason for doing the tasks.”
Individually, the project helps to motivate me to do tasks that I don’t feel doing. Sometimes I procrastinate for months to do tasks that require even a small of energy, and now it gets finished within a week or sooner. I am more managed now in terms of the day. I now know what I have to do today and can plan easily for the next day, which sometimes I even don’t know what I should do.
And as a huge bonus, the community is awesome and supportive! 😄