For the last two weeks I have been experimenting with Chore Wars as a way of getting my children to be more involved with housework. The premise is fairly simple but really appeals to the kids. It reminds me a little of Super Nanny, where a formalised way of recording the kids activities helps them on the path to a reward.
By performing tasks that can be configured easily they can be given XP points (eXperience points). The longer they play and the more XP they gain, the more levels can be unlocked. This really appeals to their love of gaming.
Initially my 8 year old was the most excited, running around making his bed, doing dishes, wiping benches, all with a big smile on, I couldn’t believe my eyes! My 12 year old who was in a bad mood with me at the time was doing his most to try to discourage the younger son, but I knew that given time he would come over. A few times I caught him on the site, but without any real movement. Due to some issues today, I blocked runescape for him, and he came up and asked me if I would unblock it if he gained 100 XP. After asking him what would be involved in gaining 100 XP, he had clearly checked the site out well as he listed the tasks he would do, among them was cleaning the bathroom and cleaning up the dog poo. As he was explaining it to me he had a huge smile on his face and couldn’t wait to get on the job. Never have I seen a child smiling explaining that they want to clean up dog poo! My hat is tipped to Chore Wars.
The game was created by Kevan Davis in 2007. It is free to join up, and there is also a gold option which for a one off fee of $USD 10 will unlock extra statistics.