Saturday, July 16, 2011

How Gaming Got Us to Corolla

Have you heard of Gameful.org? Well, I was researching something not very relevant when I stumbled on it and it looked confusing, but interesting. So I looked through the forums and there it was - a post (can't find it now) from someone who set up a job search game. It sounded cool - turning a stressful and frustrating process into a rewarding game. At the same time, we've been trying to pay off one of our student loans. So we decided, why not make it a game?!

We were already making more than the minimum payments on the loan and figured that we'd pay it off by the end of the year. But it was a drudgery. So we set up a whole system of game levels, points and rewards. Oh, and there were penalties too. I'm not going to bore you with the details. Besides, we tweaked the game as we played it. For example, the way the rewards were originally set up wasn't working; it just wasn't very motivating. So over a couple of beers at the local Flying Saucer we came up with a better rewards system. Our top level reward morphed into an off-season overnight getaway to some place nice, like maybe Edenton, NC or Wilmington, NC.

Long story short, the loan is paid off as of early last week, months ahead of schedule. And we already claimed our reward, thanks to my cousins and their families. They rented a house in Corolla for a week and invited us over. So we had our dream getaway and more - 2 whole days during high season in a vacation rental on the Outer Banks with the family!!! It was AWESOME!

Now we're back (I'll post more pictures later tonight) and are going to set up a new loan paying game (we have LOTS of student loans). This next loan is going to be a pretty big one and we estimate even with the game it'd take us close to 2 years to pay it off. So wish us luck!

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