Gamify Your Life

I slept well last night.  I have a feeling I will again tonight.  It’s starting to cool off and may result in snow tomorrow, so my days of running outside may be coming to a pause.  I’m not as bothered by this because there’s a new treadmill in the gym downstairs.  I haven’t been using the gym in the leasing building recently because for some reason they completely redecorated it.  They put in new flooring, furniture, window treatments, and fixtures.  They even changed how the furniture is arranged.

It looks nice, I must admit.  It took a bit for me to muster the courage to look it over.  I gave myself double points for doing alone.  There’s a new treadmill in that gym too, but the one I always use is still in the same spot.  I might use the new one if nobody else is working out.  It’s in the middle of the row of cardio equipment, which means the chances of someone working out right next to me are higher.  I’ll go at 5AM.  That way it will just be me and the weight lifters.  They just watch their form in the mirrors and ignore everyone else.  They also allow me to cut in to do my reps while they stretch, which is nice.

The people who are there just before closing are the Indian immigrants who live in my building.  They’re always nice to me, and sometimes they do cricket team workouts which are fun to watch in the mirrors.  Especially when it’s dancing.  It’s so cute to watch several guys doing the same dance moves in unison.  I’ve seen them playing cricket on the softball fields in the park across the street.  The ones who live down the hall from me play their music loudly, but you can only hear it when you’re in the hallway.  It made me feel more confident to play my violin.  We have soundproofing between units, just not the entrance doors.

I started a new project today with a friend I met on Twitter.  He’s a software engineering student.  We’re going to build a site that encourages people to do the things that challenge them in life, and reward them like any other video game would when they conquer a task.  I’ve done this for years, and it’s helped me stay motivated when doing things that are hard for me.  I love that rush I get when I finish a task that I really didn’t want to do.  Grocery shopping comes to mind.  I award myself points and do a victory dance for a bit afterward.  It feels good, like any other accomplishment, so it totally counts.  I keep score in my head.  I’m totally winning.

He’s far more into web development than me.  I got burned out on web dev years ago, and now I only do personal projects here and there.  The programming languages change over time, and the process is constantly getting easier.  I’m a firm believer in utilizing open source software, rather than recreating it myself whenever possible.  It’s kind of the point of open source-ware.  My friend wanted to build a custom content management system from scratch, but when we realized his language of choice won’t work on the server I rented, he agreed that we should use open source.  We’ll probably go with either WordPress or Joomla.  I’m leaning more toward WordPress, as I like it.

I’m excited about it, and am probably going to spend lots of time making award titles and graphics.  It’s a system that works well for me, and I hope others will find it useful too.  I’m a gamer, so it was a natural thing for me to do.  Non-gamers might also enjoy the benefits of the accumulation of small victories.  I hope so!  Either way, I’ll have a blast building it.

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