Thursday, August 2, 2007

Chore Wars

Via Penny Arcade I stumbled onto Chore Wars. Chore Wars is a website onto which you and members of your household can log on as an adventuring party, getting experience points for every chore you perform in your household in real life. The party agrees on a list of chores, like doing the dishes or vacuuming the house, and assigns an xp value to the chore, based on the time it takes to do. Then every time somebody does that chore, he can go to the website and claim it, earning xp, gold, and treasure in the process. You can just do it to see who levels fastest, or you could agree to exchange gold or treasure for real world rewards.

Sounds pretty crazy, but of course it does pose a serious question to MMORPG players: Why are we willing to grind a boring task in a game just for getting a virtual reward, while at the same time being relucting to perform equally boring chores in the house for a much more real reward? We're willing to kill a thousand ethereals for Zaxxis Insignia to gain reputation with the Consortium, to gain a tradeskill recipe or two. But we don't want to vacuum the house, although that takes much less time, and would not only gain us important wife faction, but also a cleaner and healthier house. In the time you use for your daily Netherwing reputation quest you could as well do the dishes every day. I don't think Chore Wars will change much in our attitudes, but the attempt to channel the desire for xp and virtual treasures into something more useful than grinding mobs is commendable.

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