Happy Friday – The Rainbow

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Woke up this morning and didn’t want to get out of bed. Had mowed the backyard for about an hour the night before. My body hurt. Tab and I eventually decided to go for a walk to start our day.

Rainbow

Thankful we got to see the rainbow pictured above. Was one of those rainbows where you could clearly see the individual colors. The sky on the flip side of this photo was a beautiful pink.

Despite the rain we’ve had lately, Tab and I have been getting up and walking in the morning. There is something nice about starting the day with your best friend, enjoying the cool weather together.

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The Rewarded Life – Gamification

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Right down the street from my house is a series of paved walking trails. They interweave beneath cool leafy canopies; They provide a great place to relax and exercise.

My friend Jon and I meet there once a week. We walk and talk about the lives we are living. The small hills and smooth curves, of the walking trails, serve as a fantastic physical representation of how we can be doing well one week and veering off into the unknown the next. Around each corner we never know what we are going to run into. One week we saw a man sitting without a shirt in a grassy field. He looked like he was meditating or somehow communing with nature. I’m not into that. At least not out in public. Another week we saw a herd of deer. One of the most memorable times we had was when we were caught out in a thunderstorm. As marble sized hail dented our bodies, we seriously wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. Unless you’ve used a tree as shelter from a hail storm, you’d know that the tree is absolutely worthless. All the tree does is become a natural pinball machine for the frozen orbs. Enough about the hail though.

Gamification is the use of game design elements,game thinking and game mechanics to enhance non-game contexts.

Helping users lose weight since 2011.

My sister and my parents bought me a Nintendo 3DS for my birthday back in July. The 3DS has a built-in pedometer. After recording about a 1000 steps, the system rewards the user with 10 gold coins. These coins can be spent on two built-in games. Now what does this have to do with walking? Well, after discovering this simple feature, I started walking with the 3DS in my pocket. I wanted to earn more gold coins. Walking had turned into a game I wanted to win.

I wonder why other companies haven’t caught on to this phenomena. The concept seems so simple, integrate game-like elements into our everyday lives. I commend Nintendo for their almost sneaky approach to making users want to exercise more. My only wish is that the coins earned could be applied to e-shop purchases. In the meantime, avoid hail my friends.

Good Intentions

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Today has been one of those days where I have had truly good intentions and all of them have been thrown out the door. Last week, I resolved to start walking over my lunch hour, two times a week. So today my wife packed me lunch (she is awesome!) and I set out determined to exercise my way through the work hour. But:

  • I forgot my walking shoes. I figured this out this morning as I was driving down our street. Because I was already running a little late, I had no time to turn around.
  • My headphones are no where to be found. Usually, I keep my headphones with my ipod…not today.

I am not trying to say that I am easily defeated. I could have walked in my work boots and listened to the sounds of nature. However, I am also in the middle of trying to put my mind around teaching 10 chapters of Joshua in one night. I think I’m going to reschedule my walk and instead use this lunch hour to:

  • Read
  • Stitch semi-coherent thoughts together
  • and Pray

Wish me luck!