7 Apps to Gamify Your Life

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Gamification doesn't play. The newest thing in housework, exercise, advertising, and beyond, this reward-based method of consumption and productivity incorporates gaming techniques for increased user interactivity. Early adopters have seen success for both providers and consumers. Marketed as a new way to increase brand loyalty and dissemination of brand identity, gamifying your life has never been easier, cheaper, or more riddled with options. And if current development trends continue, gamified apps will only become more standard. Detractors of the strategy tout reasons that it deflects focus from realistic life modes, as life does not always function in a reward-based framework. Additionally, they call gamification — with its achievement badges, in-app currencies, and leaderboards — a repackaging of classic methods with a techie new twist. Whether you like it or not, gamification is here to stay (for now, at least). Give 'em a chance, and learn a little about these seven apps to gamify your life.

  1. Fitocracy

    Is it hard for you to hold yourself accountable for your exercise goals? Fitocracy turns "fitness into a social game." This startup web portal and mobile app creates an exercise system for you in a similar vein as a role-playing game, with a reward structure for your progress. You'll love learning ways to exercise hack, and you'll get hooked on performing fitness "quests" outlined by you and your friends. That's the idea, anyway. While Fitocracy remains in its early incarnations and has some competition from the more fleshed-out program RunKeeper, it's worth requesting an invite — you've got nothing to lose but weight.

  2. Onefeat

    Created in Paris by three friends and fellow FourSquare enthusiasts, Onefeat gamifies life while seeking to transcend the limitations of static geolocation. With the addition of an emotional dynamic to the concept of the check-in, Onefeat has you take pictures of sites and events. You complete missions in real life by uploading pictures to the game, making it seem like a fun mash-up of Instagram and FourSquare. With more than 200,000 downloads, you can bet that one of your forward-looking friends will be bugging you to join Onefeat fairly soon.

  3. Mint

    Mint is a must-have app and a website that assists with your personal money management. With a beautiful user interface, this app is not a social one, but it does turn your financial life into (basically) a clean-looking infographic. You can gain points with the site for assisting others with their financial questions, or just focus on winning the game of life with your well-planned, pretty finances.

  4. GetGlue

    If exercising isn't your thing, GetGlue is an app for all happy couch potatoes. Billing itself as "a social network for entertainment," you can now add a social element, and some rewards, to your television and movie viewing life. In a move that reinforces the contention that traditional television commercials are swiftly becoming all too obsolete, GetGlue challenges you to check-in to what you're watching, rate it, and — here's the kicker — win free stuff. As you're essentially contributing to more market research, you can earn points, stickers, network, and win gift cards for places like Sephora and Starbucks.

  5. Chore Wars

    Dishes stacking up? Dust bunnies making the house look grimy? There's an app for that. Chore Wars is designed like a fantasy game, and wants you to "[r]ecruit a party of adventurers from your household or office" to claim experience points ("XP"). A great get-it-done idea for the messy gamer nerd or Tolkien fan, get your +9 Swiffer on and be clean in a snap.

  6. Turntable.fm

    If you missed your true calling as a Sirius DJ or MTV Veejay, Turntable.fm is a gamified music service that offers its users the opportunity to play DJ for friends within the application. Fun avatars that showcase your talents and musical triumphs get unlocked as you gain momentum and feedback from your listeners. Sharing music is already fun, why not make it something at which you can be #WINNING?

  7. Engage

    If you're a go-getter at the office with your eyes on the prize, you surely wouldn't mind making a little game of it, would you? Engage, developed by IActionable for Salesforce.com, is the leading pioneer in gamifying corporate work culture. With public leaderboards, achievements, and points, Engage is designed to increase productivity in the workplace. While garnering its fair share of critics, you're likely to see more video-game style reward tactics implemented throughout your daily life — and soon.

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