Gamification and writing

Anne C. Miles > Writing > Gamification and writing

Some of you know I’m a dev and designer. My little company is known for gamification, but today I wanted to talk about using it in my writing. Because I did. SO FUN!!!!!

I have been accused of writing this whole series to create an acceptable backstory for Ingress. Sigh. Not true. But funny.

Anyhow, gamification is something most people associate with loyalty programs at retailers. Earning badges and points for rewards. Ugh.

That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m also not talking about LitRPG, though that is a valid thing. I think a lot of us love and grew up with D&D. A lot of us are also avid video game players. (I am, but that is another blog post) Whether we like it or not most of us have been affected in some way by the storytelling in these games. But what I am talking about is more simple than that.

Gamification is what J.K. Rowling did when she created Wizard’s Chess and Quidditch. Mysteries, all mysteries, are gamified books. They have puzzles to solve. Robert Jordan’s prophecies and Old Tongue in Wheel of Time, Rothfuss’s puzzles he leaves throughout his stories (Lackless, anyone?) – all of these are examples of gamification.

I took notes.

So in my own work there are poems that mean things, prophecies, a stones game (loosely based on hnefatafl) and then my Spinner’s Cant, which is a code system used by the Spinners.

And then there are conspiracies. But we will learn more about those later in the series. It’s what I loved most about the Wheel of Time. I loved the message boards and endless theory threads. I want those for my series. Yum. That’s why we shall have forums here …and games. I want to give my readers the immersive fun and camaraderie those of us who loved Wheel of Time had.

And while we are talking WoT, I created the Redneck Ajah. But that’s a story for another day.

Anyhow, you can use gamification in your writing as well, to add another layer of joy. Try it!

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