A non-gamer’s subjective view on gamification

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Without really intending it, five years ago, I started my career in gamification by publishing a little book called 5 Minute Perseverance Game: Play Daily for a Month and Become the Ultimate Procrastination Breaker. At that time, I haven’t even known the word “gamification.” I just enjoyed turning writing and other activities in my life into fun games.

This year, I celebrated this occasion by publishing the second (5-Year) edition of the 5 Minute Perseverance Game.

During these past five years, I not only learned about gamification, but I even started calling my approach to turning life into fun games…


From the first draft to the finalized product ready to be uploaded on the online bookstores.

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Each book is unique. It is unique to everyone involved in this book’s creation process, regardless of how many books went through their hands before.

Last week, I self-published my twenty-second book. And like so much in our lives, the revision process of this — and all the books before it — was paradoxical. It had both routine and surprises to it.

A side-note on the tools mentioned below: There is no affiliation relationship between the companies producing and selling these tools and myself or this article. That is one of the reasons I didn’t provide any links to these…


All three are strongly interconnected.

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Why does it make sense to turn habits or any activity involving habits into games?

I can see three main reasons. Any other reason builds upon them.

Reason #1: Fun

First of all, you can make your healthy, necessary, and desired habits fun and even entertaining. Through your active involvement to create and keep developing engaging and enjoyable activities for yourself from anything you take on, you learn to be kind, honest, and helpful to yourself. This practice will naturally translate to how you treat others.

If you treat yourself as the best and most important player of your self-motivational games — which…


Super flash (= super short :D) nonfiction with an idea.

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I noticed that being creative with the self-motivational game design and testing that design can pull me out of a situation where I feel down, desperate, and overwhelmed. It is like helping children when they are sad or angry by asking, “Would you like to play a game?” or suggesting a gameful approach to help them accomplish a chore.

Why don’t we apply this approach to ourselves?

So, when you are feeling down, ask yourself,

“Would you like to play a game with what you want or have to do?”

A note to this article: It is an excerpt from…


An extraordinary Gameful Life Newsletter

Cover design by Alice Loveday Jago.

Habits are both visible and invisible threads, sometimes representing and always connecting the projects, activities, tasks, challenges, or anything else we want to master or tackle. — Gameful Habits

In the previous newsletter, which I sent out only ten days ago, I mentioned briefly the upcoming launch of my book called Gameful Habits: How to Turn Your Daily Practices into Fun Games. It will be a standalone book in a collection (series) of books I call “Gameful Life.”

Since habits are always present in our lives and (often) minds, I decided to do the following.


To worry or not to worry how our writing might affect others?

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This article is an excerpt from my book Cheerleading for Writers: Discover How Truly Talented You Are. The chapter titles in this book follow the letters of the alphabet. That is why almost every time I began writing a new chapter, I searched in various glossaries first for words starting with that next letter.

Liability caught my eye when I looked for words starting with an L. I wondered how I could write something cheerful and motivational for my fellow writers about liability.

The word life, I thought, is different. You can show positive things about life, but how do…


June 2021 Newsletter by Gameful Life

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In the last month’s newsletter, I featured a picture of poppies, although they haven’t been blooming in Denmark then yet.

They do now and beautifully so, but when I searched for an image for this newsletter, forget-me-nots drew my attention. They are my son’s favorite flowers, and his little sister claims to have them as her favorites sometimes, too. They bloom in many places on our street, and this year their blue color seems to be brighter than it ever was. It is still gentle but bright nonetheless. I don’t know how this is possible.

I hope I live like…


Being sad or upset might be the best starting point for turning your life into fun games.

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I turn my life into fun games consistently for several years now.

In the past few days, I felt the sadness wash over me with one afternoon where I could not stop tears from falling.

A thought appeared then, or rather a question. “Is it a point in my life where I stop turning my life into games?”

The answer came immediately but quietly and friendly. It was a “No.”

It was interesting to observe that however sad I felt, I was sure of this answer. …


The clues to both are broader than what you might think.

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Writers often hear both:

“Write what you know.”

“When you write, don’t limit yourself to what you know.”

As in anything, we humans try to prove one side or another.

Looking for a definition to be able to understand the dilemma

I’ve read numerous articles on both sides and can resonate with many of them. So I wondered whether the disagreement might lie in the way we define knowledge.

I looked into one of my palm-size thesauri for help and found the following synonyms for the word knowledge:

“Enlightenment, erudition, wisdom, science, information, learning, scholarship, lore, and also understanding, discernment, perception, apprehension, comprehension, judgment.” — Random House Thesaurus, 2nd edition, 1995

Dumbfounded by the meaning of knowledge


All five have to do with the paradoxes of and endless possibilities to uncover magic in real life.

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I am a passionate reader of both fiction and non-fiction. But I discover myself writing more and more non-fiction. I contemplated why that might be the case and uncovered at least five reasons, with at least one of them sounding paradoxical.

Upon a closer look, I discovered that they are not that contradictory at all. And upon another look, this time outwards, I realized that most successful and prolific authors write and publish non-fiction, too.

My favorite fiction author, Nora Roberts, has her non-fiction on her blog, which embraces articles in memoir style, opinions on the state of the publishing…

Victoria Ichizli-Bartels

Life gamer, life coach, top writer, author, engineer; originator of Self-Gamification — an art to turning life into fun games → optimistwriter.com

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