“Noooooooo… Please don’t make me play Monopoly,” I wailed to my lovely sister. “Anything else. Really. Monopoly takes FOREVER!” To which she replied, “But, it will be fun!” I was unconvinced for many years. Perhaps you still are. Isn’t it extraordinary how we agree to try things we are certain we will not like just because someone we love says to give it a try? Finally, this winter break, I realized the joy that is in Monopoly and the reason why we’re taking it as a theme for this year’s 29 Days to Diva – a good game takes a long time.
Your 29 Days to Diva – Day 3 Challenge is to Commit to the Long Game.
It isn’t just Monopoly that is influencing this year’s 29 Days to Diva steps; but gamification in general. SAPS is a core framework of gamification, app developers, loyalty programs, and more. It is an acronym that stands for status, access, power, and stuff. The idea is that they are also ranked in order from strongest to weakest. Upon first reading, I know quite a few of you will balk at the idea of actively wanting “status” and “power.” I encourage you to think of the most positive connotation you can assume for those words. Negative connotations will keep us playing small and negating our ability to change the world through our art. We want status in our community to make exciting things happen for ourselves and other musicians. We want more access to the people we care about in our lives (remember Day 1?) I cannot think of anything more powerful than being able to heal other’s exhausted souls through music. Changing your perception and connotation can change your entire experience.
At the very basis of gamification models is to choose a clear and easy to understand action that is at the core of your effort. This is called your “grind activity.” Your grind activity is the smallest unit of energy for the players of the game. For our 29 Days to Diva game, our grind activity is going to be practicing. It is the basis of every element of the game. Without this, it is absolutely impossible to level up. Without practice, we cannot achieve status, access, power, or stuff. If we play the long game in Monopoly roll by roll, we play the long game in singing with practice after practice.
To hook users or players further into the game, we need to assign experience points to various actions that move them toward the rewards: status, access, power, and stuff.
Grab a pencil and a sticky note because it’s time to brainstorm, divas.
List your top 5 diva actions you take on a regular basis to move your career forward.
When I listed my major grind activities, I came up with — 1) Practice 2) Email 3) Apply 4) Audition 5) Perform. My brain loves gamification. (Just check out my Foursquare/Swarm addiction. Social gaming nerds, unite!) To truly activate that part of my brain that gets fired up by gamification, I needed to assign each of these activities a specific point value. Now, you should look at your grind activities. Do they lead toward the goals you have already outlined for yourself as a musician, teacher, or advocate? How do you weight them with point values? I know that performing is my biggest investment overall, but it also happens to provide the biggest career returns on investment. Therefore, in my activity points it gets weighted the heaviest. Email gets very few points; however, that grind activity can happen more rapidly and regularly than performing. Which is to say: the grind activities all work together to create your grand point total which leads to the rewards.
Finally, think about the rewards of status, access, power, and stuff. How do you want to be rewarded in your career? This may change the grind activities that you choose. Remember, a good game takes a long time. Here’s to a lifetime of playing this game together.
Who Knows an App Developer?
I am all electrified with the idea of a 29 Days to Diva game that awards singers for amassing diva points. Got another idea about what would make 29 Days to Diva better or more helpful? Drop it here!
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