Mar 272011

So I’ve been thinking about our ethos of making all the quests and such around things that arent repetitive, or more correctly around the caution in the achievements literature on ‘if you make an achievement someone will optimize for it’ and thus the issue of ‘don’t make an achievement such as ‘produce a new piece of code each day’ unless you expect to get a whole bunch of ‘print(“today is ” +;’ over and over and over and over, which doesn’t teach anybody anything and is in fact fairly lame.

But then I got to thinking about art school, and the notion of required sketchbooks, and this meshed perfectly with WoW’s required dailys.  (well, ok, not ‘required’ but c’mon…).  There are certain things that you have to do them every day, no matter how poorly, in order to improve.  Art.  Musical instruments.  Writing.  (ahem… writing code…).  So I’m not so sure that there should ‘never be’ achievements like that – but rather that there has to be credence and though such that the activities are the kind of thing that can become self-rewarding over time, that the ‘badge’ becomes irrelevant in the face of the accomplishment.

I spent every tuesday and thursday morning for 3 years drawing figures.  Most of the time, I hated it, both because it was morning, and because I was frustrated with my own work.  It wasn’t until 2.5 years in that I could look back and be hugely satisfied with the progress I had made as an artist.  How do we ‘interject’ some motivation at the outset, but not lose the overall sense of the activity in the face of the ‘gamification’ of it?

 Posted by at 1:24 pm

  One Response to “Daily Grind”

  1. Excellent point (says the woman who wrote the blog post “In Praise of the Grind” nearly five years ago…

    The most rewarding “dailies,” I think, are those in which we feel a sense of accomplishment in having done them. They have to be hard enough to require effort, but no so hard that we’ll resist doing them regularly. Striking that balance is difficult.

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