Use your gaming habits to build better ones

By Stephan Bazzocchi

New year, new me. Well, not quite. More like the same old me, just with a little more drive to accomplish things than me from December 2014.
This year, unlike other years, I have actually made some resolutions. For far too many years now, I have been acquiring games during Steam or Humble Bundle sales, and then they sit, unplayed, or played for only a couple of hours.
Example 1: during the Steam winter sale, I picked up Fallout 3. Sure, it’s an older game, but I never really played it much when it first came out. So I played a few hours. A couple of days later, New Vegas went up with all DLC for 12 bucks. Guess what I bought?
Shortly thereafter, I stopped playing Fallout 3 and devoted all my time to New Vegas. That lasted for a week. Now I am back to Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. No idea why – no rhyme or reason – just that’s what I’ve been feeling like playing lately.
So now for Resolution Number 1: finish a few of these games I bought. (We’ll see how that pans out.)
Over the holidays, with the few days of sitting somewhere other than my work desk, I realized that there are some things in my culinary repertoire that are seriously lacking. Most people make a resolution to eat more healthily or cut back on their calorie intake. Not me.
Using some online tools, I am going to learn how to make an omelette (yes, yours truly, does not know how to make an omelette – or crepes for that matter). Doesn’t sound like much of a video game, does it? Well rest assured I will be using the plethora of achievement generators online once I accomplish these tasks, gaining real life XP and crying real tears over expanding waistline rage.
What better way to accomplish these tasks than with HabitRPG ( What it does is allows you to enter your daily tasks and habits into the webpage. Completing them gives you RPG style rewards; missing them causes your little guy damage. Miss too many, and he dies.
What better way for a chronic gamer to affect useful change than by turning it into a game! Now I will just hope that he keeps me interested long enough to encourage some new habits and get rid of some of the bad ones.
Lastly, Resolution Number 3 and 4. Finish my 2015 challenge of reading 45 books this year. I completely underestimated myself last year by thinking I would read only 15 books. I was rather surprised at the end of the year when I realized I had read 40.
Everything from Kafka to Burroughs, while revisiting old favourites by Douglas Adams. This year, I hope to destroy that 45-book goal.
And finally, Number 4. Write more music with hardware synthesizers, and move away from the PC for anything other than providing a midi time clock. Besides, blinking lights and tweaking knobs is always more fun when it’s fully tactile instead of using a mouse anyway.

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