Whatever happened to… Chore Wars

Is anyone still playing Chore Wars? It was built on such a brilliant concept that I really hoped to see it take off, although having put it through its paces myself I can see why it might be slow to do so.

My problem was that when I tried to rope my husband in to play, he’d do the chores but just wasn’t interested in updating the site, so I ended up with a solo game that wasn’t any fun. I might’ve hung in there longer given SMS updating and better support for parties that don’t actually live together (and if that stuff ever makes it in I’ll go back and give it another shot), but as it is I can thank the experience of Chore Wars for helping me figure out a few things that I want from a chore-focused game.

  1. Efficiency. Sometimes I just have too many ways I could spend a chunk of time, and I waste part of it trying to decide. I need to minimize waffle on days when I’ve got loads of things to finish, but I don’t want to spend a huge investment on setup or turn the assistant into a micro-manager. So, if I tell it how much time I have, it can give me appropriate options or pick a task for me.
  2. Adventure. While there are a lot of tasks I need or want to get done, I also occasionally get this unsettling feeling that there are lots of interesting things I could be learning and doing too. So I’d like to give my friends, and maybe even random people, the ability to offer me little ‘bonus’ adventures and things to explore, both online and irl.
  3. Choice. Am I bored? Overloaded? Feeling sad? I (or others) can categorize tasks, enabling my assistant to recommend activities to suit my situation and mood.
  4. More rewarding rewards. OK, so points, game items and badges are great, but I really want a Nabaztag. The system allows me to assign currency values to my tasks, and at the end of every day my assistant manages a bank transfer from my current account (or my friend’s, who assigned me a task) into my reward account, or savings, or whatever.
  5. Convenience. Want optimal updating flexibility. I’ve finished a task writing a doc on my laptop, so I IM my assistant. I’m in Soho with an hour to kill before meeting a friend for lunch, so.. OK, what the heck, I’m dreaming so here’s how it goes: I call.

    A (automated and customized to sound like Patrick Stewart): Hello, Jen. Can I help?
    Me: Track me. [My Blackberry is GPS-enabled.]
    A: I’ve found you. You’re in London.
    Search local tasks.
    A: OK. Minutes available?
    Me: Sixty.
    A: I’ll find something for you. [MP3 plays while searching.] Good news! I’ve found four activities: two tasks, and two adventures.
    Me: Tasks please.
    A: OK. One – Fabric samples from Liberty’s. Two – Adapter from Apple Store.
    Me: Pass. Adventures please.
    A: OK. One – Cool music at Sister Ray, a random adventure. You are near to that location. Two – Trust me, you’ll love this, from Kim.
    Me: Send Adventure two.
    A: Sending adventure two. Have fun! When you see Alice at 1:00, tell her happy birthday from me. [My assistant interfaces with my Outlook calendar and contacts.]

Loads to think about here! Makes me wish I had any programming capability whatsoever. :)

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