Too much gamification make Mur something something

Note- I recorded BOTH a Ditch Diggers with Matt today and an I Should Be Writing on my own. Those will go up soon.


That’s me.

I have been using Habitica (previously Habit RPG) to try to keep track of (or change) my habits and to-do list for a few years now, to varying success. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes when it doesn’t work, I kill my friends in my party. (Sorry, Jim, John, and Laura.)

We have an I Should Be Writing guild there, but it’s not very active. I’m not too good at doing challenges. I will work on that TONIGHT.

I’m a level 77 mage, with a candy cane cactus as my familiar and a white unicorn as my mount. I also have candy cane armor. My 8th grade self just felt a goose walk over her grave. A GOOSE OF AWESOME.

Is that enough gamification? I discovered no, Virginia, it is not.

Through Habitica I found 4thewords, a site in beta. This is like a visual RPG version of the magic spreadsheet. You “fight monsters” by writing a certain number of words within a certain time limit. If you do this, you “win” and get loot, level up, etc. And of course you get bonuses if you write a certain number of words every day to make a chain (444 for this site.)

I’ve only played it for one day, and gained one whole level, so I don’t have much to report. The site is a little too cute for my tastes, and the avatars have one skin shade, so that likely leaves a number of writers feeling a little left out. I’m still eager to check out what the gamification does to my productivity. It has leaderboards for longest chain, most words, and number of battles.


I think the biggest problem (which I wouldn’t know how to fix) is the same problem I had with Write or Die: you have to write within a web browser. So if you’re used to Scrivener or Word or Pages, you write in the browser and when you’re done, you take your words and paste it into the program, which is slightly inconvenient. But like I said, I wouldn’t know how to fix this, since the site is designed to see how fast you’re getting writing done and doesn’t work on the honor system like NaNoWriMo does.

The site does have one more feature that I probably won’t be using unless I write fanfic or something, and that’s the opportunity to read what people are writing. I’ve discovered some use this site for fiction, but others use it for blogging. Kind of myopic for me to think it was only for fiction, or at the craziest, nonfic.

Anyway I’ll be trying this out too. I think the biggest problem I have with these sites is there doesn’t seem to be any way to friend people. On Habitica, you can have up to eight people in a party to fight bosses (and when you don’t do your daily habits, everyone in the party suffers health hits) but I can’t friend people specifically. And I haven’t found a way to do it in 4thwords, although I don’t know anyone else there anyway.

My party in Habitica. Don't they look awesome?

My party in Habitica. Don’t they look awesome? Note the flying pig and a dinosaur mounts.

I must run back to 4thewords so I can get another day and take my streak to two days.