Not to mention people will just spend more time looking at, and building their todo list in order to play the game in the first place.
Well, you will get better/faster at ironing, though that's not terribly exciting, either.
But that's just as well. The economy would go haywire if you could grab a knife or something and kill the inexhaustible supply of local wildlife for gold pieces.
Huh, you do know that is what happens in real life, right?
It's called hunting, and you can sell the items they "dropped" for gold pieces. :D
A) Local wildlife is not inexhaustible. Renewable, but not inexhaustible.
B) You have to find someone willing to pay you before you get your gold pieces. You can't just walk into the local store and sell off your vendor trash for a fixed sum.
The closest you'll probably find to a violation of this are the people that will pay a cent or two per lightning bug caught, but you're just not going to catch enough of those to matter economically.
 Dammit I'm showing my age
Correction: MMO's are full of chores!
In short, a project management app with an MMORPG-ish twist. Completing a task gives you XP (as set by another member of the team, or maybe random) and a chance at items, milestones being similar to quests, etc. You could party with your coworkers/collaborators (multiple people being assigned to one task, for example) or fight each other in an arena (has nothing to do with project management).
I've already started working on it for use at my current job to bring some fun and competition to the boring stuff (making craigslist templates). If anyone here has any interest in it let me know, would love to release it at one point.
Try going for some sort of consensus among team members rather than random selection -- it gives everyone some ability to reward work on tasks that are important or that nobody wants to do.
I think this is an excellent idea, but, as many are thinking, what's to stop me from cheating? Tasks assigned to oneself privately are sometimes very abstract. If I assign myself a task, "be a good person today," I'm very likely to rationalize into thinking that I completed the task, whether I did or not.
Does anyone have any idea when this will be coming out?
I also suspect that people my age (41) or older who like this sort of thing are faking, but maybe that's just envy talking.
Now a version of this that could verify if you did something, either automatically or with some user involvement would be even cooler.
One idea: take a before and after picture as proof that you did it (maybe do some image processing if possible)
Another idea: use a GPS signal to verify you're actually at the laundromat when you say that you did the laundry.
On top of that, by instituting your "prove it" functionality, you are only incentivizing people to cheat. In this case, trust is the best way to prevent cheating.
You were saying...?
People will always be interested in winning. Doesn't matter if the software is for self-fulfillment.
I toy with the idea of verifiable quests. For example, Take a picture a day (I can verify that they have from flickr). Blog once a week (I can verify this from their RSS feed)... although each one of those requires custom programming.
Maybe give more XP for those things that can be verified.
It depends on how well the "Do not cheat" and "Do your chores" imperatives are internalized. There is also the fact that (at least for me) it is much harder to do something than to not do something.
In http://kuwest.com you get 3XP for adding a task, 5XP for commenting on it and 7XP for uploading a picture.
I'm also thinking you wouldn't want to flood your social network with lies about what you're doing.
In http://kuwest.com you have more quantifiable tasks, so you can complete a quest when you, say, run 100 miles or read 1000 pages.
As a disclaimer, I'm somewhat of a Luddite when it comes to this stuff so the fact that I'm not enthused should in no way count as a strike against it; I'm not a fan of foursquare et. al. but they seem to be going very well.
The timeline is to have quests done by the end of July and at least a mobile website by the end of August.
Skip to 17:30 for the most relevant part (but the whole thing is interesting)
While it's good to know that my idea have some confirmation in the market, I wish I have gotten there first.
I love the idea though and it is a cool demo movie.
(it reminds me of the iPhone app Booyah, but better executed)
It's live now, but I haven't promoted it. I was going to hold off until I had the quest engine done and polished a little more, but feel free to sign up now.