i've noticed some similarities in
1. playing games that involve a lot of long-term caretaking, specifically ones you play on devices that are more or less always on your person, such as Ingress and Kim Kardashian Hollywood and the iOS Sims game
2. Quantified Self sorts of ideas: making numeric systems out of personal self-care (exercise, work, sleep, etc.) through, effectively, body augmentation, and using those data to arrange goals and analyze progress.

for example, the process of tracking self-powered movement (walking, running, biking) with endomondo on my phone leaves marks in a digital space, which i then track and do some analysis on in a spreadsheet; in Ingress, my physical movement through space, punctuated with some calculated button-pressing, leaves marks in a digital space measured by the game's objectives. none of these activities is ever about "winning" in a "finishing" sense; it's all about maintenance and learning new strategies and building new habits.

all of these things use time as currency. in the kardashian game, taking actions requires energy points, which regenerate with time. in ingress, the same thing happens with XM, although you can also get more by moving through space. in the sims, you make progress in the game by completing actions, which take various amounts of time during which the sim doing the action cannot do anything else. (every action is atomic; there is no multitasking. even long-term tasks like baking and gardening completely occupy the sim's faculties to the point where another sim cannot, say, talk to them during this process. this is mitigated by the fact that you control a small army of sims and can be clever about dividing their labor.)

if ingress is Augmented Reality then so is QS. these are both ways of giving us access to the same space we didn't have before; ways of superimposing new layers of information on a structure that lies unchanged.

sometimes i refer to games/activities like this as "gardening projects." they are played with spurts of concentrated, calculated action, followed by periods of inattention and patience. you can only influence initial arcs of progression, nudging things in certain directions using predictive intuition, rather than directly control their course.

imposing a quantified/gamified structure atop my own life has been helpful to me in the past. in the months after my mom got sick, i had a spreadsheet i named "LIFE RPG" where i gave myself points for daily aspects of life: cleaning, socializing, working, exercising, and creating. they were instructions that felt external and thus trustable. it made an answer to that sinking feeling accompanied by the question, "what am i supposed to do?"

Date: 2014-08-21 10:31 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] jcreed.livejournal.com
sometimes I feel that way about cooking

Date: 2014-08-22 04:01 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] jcreed.livejournal.com
oh just that cooking/baking or whatever feels like it takes a lot of focus or attention or whatever. Like some part of my brain is going something is on fire! wow! hey! something is on fire! and some other part is like pay attention or it's gonna get ruined! pay attention or it's gonna get ruined! and some other part is aaaaa! the baking powder has been in the wet ingredients for a rather long time! and some other part is oh no dishes in the sink gotta wash 'em!

Date: 2014-08-22 04:09 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] jcreed.livejournal.com
Sims 5 expansion pack: More "AAAAAAAAAAAAAA"!

Date: 2014-08-22 11:53 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] lindseykuper
lindseykuper: A figure, wearing a pink shirt decorated with a heart, looks upward from between dark shapes that suggest buildings. (Default)
Yeah. I hate it when I'm in the middle of cooking and someone suggests that we do something differently, because it's like AAAAAA-I-already-scheduled-these-tasks-you're-messing-everything-UP, even if their suggestion is good.

Then again, I guess I'm that way about most things, not just cooking. I'm just generally pretty bad at changing a plan while it is being executed.
Edited Date: 2014-08-22 11:55 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-08-21 10:35 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] jcreed.livejournal.com
and... yeah, this whole post makes a lot of sense.

My LIFE-RPG-equivalent had the categories M, W, F, A, and then during certain periods T and Ω, which were just binarily judged "did I do some of that today", and I kept track of streaks of "full days" where they all got tickyboxed. M was music, W was writing (but reading books also counted), F was "formalism", so math or programming, A art, T "thesis" or by extension taking care of other "stuff I'm supposed to do according to the world around me", Ω meditation.

Date: 2014-08-22 04:08 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] jcreed.livejournal.com
oh haha I'd totally forgotten. Even though it isn't it makes it feel like some kind of stable time loop.

I think the actual choice of categories is really interesting, though. (as choice of categories so often is)

Do you feel yours are more
(a) things you'd do anyway but you wanted to gently nudge yourself to do them in more even proportions, or
(b) things that you fear you'd never get around to doing hardly at all if you didn't have any structure guiding you to do them?

I think most of mine are (a), (where my reaction to not-having-done-a-thing was more "oh! hey! I forgot about that! ok, sounds fun, let's do it!) but exercise/socialization/meditation/thesis are more (b) for me. (I think exercise and social were fleeting categories that did not last very long)

Date: 2014-08-22 07:34 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] jcreed.livejournal.com
Hmmm. Yeah. I think what I had in mind was (a) is fine-tuning and (b) is more about coarse-grained introduction of new habits. The "I've done enough" reaction was a useful thing that I was helped to have by actually recording what I did.

Date: 2014-08-21 10:36 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] jcreed.livejournal.com
was also intrigued to find out at one point that Ben Franklin had a similarly systematic daily goal sorta scheme

Date: 2014-08-23 08:41 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] masqueradestar
masqueradestar: (Default)
have you seen https://habitrpg.com/ ? i've been using it for about 5 months and love it.



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