After two Massachusetts teenagers hurled Molotov cocktails at a neighborhood building à la Grand Theft Auto last month, the media was once again aflame with the time-worn truism that gamers are wretchedly divorced from reality. Hardly; they were merely delinquents who couldn’t even properly assemble a Molotov, using a flame retardant cloth. Any serious gaming savant would refer to their floppy disk of The Anarchist Cookbook lodged away in their basement. But then again, they’d be too busy schlepping through Dwarf Fortress or hiding under boxes to give a rat’s ass.
We’re too busy worrying about in-game “Epic Wins” to care about in-life “Epic Wins.” Gaming scholar Jane McGonigal is especially interested in replicating the very concrete and fulfilling expression of success in virtual reality (i.e. leveling, skill progression) in the real world. This upcoming iPhone app, aptly named Epic Win, from the makers of Little Big Planet, looks like an interesting experiment which could take a step in that direction.
Epic Win boasts some serious video game maker cred, with RexBox of Little Big Planet and Studio FungFung of Mini Squadron. The premise is simple: Complete a to-do list of tasks in real life (e.g. washing dishes, making your bed), and in turn your character–complete with its own avatar–will “level” and “gain loot” in the game. Whether gamers forced to play by their loved ones in an attempt at rehabilitation will cheat, is yet to be seen.
But you don’t have to take my word for it:
(via Touch Arcade.)