Written by Michael Woodman

When you have academic deadlines looming, the Xbox or PS4 can certainly seem like an unwelcome distraction! However, the science behind why games are so engaging can be turned to our benefit. Yes, you read that correctly; playing a game can help you get more done!

Habitica.com applies current research into gamification (the process of applying game-like rules to everyday life) to help you build good habits and stop relapsing into bad ones. What’s more – it’s a lot of fun, and it’s completely free!

  • Create a character – just like in a computer game or role-playing game: Keep track of your journey by logging in to the habitica.com website, or using the free IOS or Android app to mark off tasks as you complete them.
  • Keep your character alive and level up by…
    • Completing daily tasks which you set yourself, (e.g anything from study or revision periods to mindfulness practice or daily exercise).
    • Ticking off to-do lists, (which can be date specific – great for essay deadlines).
    • Refraining from bad habits! Mine include drinking too much coffee and not drinking enough water.
  • Bad habits deal you damage, good habits score you gold, experience points, and resources: Spend the gold you earn on rewards which you set yourself, or on equipment to protect you against the hazards of the game. You’ll soon start to feel like you’ve really earned that latest episode of The Walking Dead, because you’ve paid for it in gold!
  • Join a party with your friends to stay motivated: Every time you don’t complete a daily task, not only do you take damage, but so do your friends.