Have you heard of EpicWin? It’s an application for the iPhone that turns your todo list into a real life RPG. For every task you complete, you gain XP. This is a brilliant concept! It turns your boring todo list into something fun. Just watch the video below to get the idea.

I was just thinking: If you can do this for your todo list, why not do it for your bug tracking system? And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Every decent developer team uses a bugtracker (such as Bugzilla or Trac): a tester opens a new bug, a developer fixes it, the tester checks if it’s fixed and closes the bug… BORING!

What if a tester (aka Bug Summoner) searches for bugs, and when he finds one, summons a new Bug into the RPG bugtracker system. The developer (aka Bug Slayer) checks if it’s a valid bug. And if it is, he sends back XP to the Bug Summoner (because he found a valid bug). The Bug Slayer then kills that nasty bug. The Bug Summoner checks if it’s really dead, and if it is, the Bug Slayer receives XP. If it’s not dead, the Bug Summoner revives the bug and someone has to slay it properly.

You can even take this further and let your whole workplace run on an RPG system! Lots of employees procrastinate by playing games on Facebook during work hours. So why not let them play the Workplace RPG? Productivity is aligned with RPG goals. Gaining an XP level can give you a better company car, an extra vacation day, a raise, etc. Instead of hating Monday’s, you can now look forward to receiving those last eXperience Points to increase your skills or level up, or becoming the company’s “Slayer of the month”.

For managers or company owners this also makes sense. Having clear metrics on how well each individual is performing is priceless. Of course you will have to align the RPG rules with the company business goals.

After a quick search on Google I noticed this other article with the same general idea. So am I just dreaming or could this actually work in an IT workplace? And would you want to work in such an environment?

Koen Witters

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  • I think many workplaces are opening up to making tasks more fun. We wrote our own program to reward for bugs found, getting them fixed, and hitting deadlines. Each task was worth pocket change, pennies, nickels, etc. (rather than experience). Once the pot got full, we’d treat ourselves to a group lunch, or after hours drinks.

    Fun find!

  • Hey Koen – Pixelthis are a game development company in New Zealand, and we have made progress along similar lines. We have integrated an achievement/levelling system into our intranet. This means the staff get points for completing timesheets, working on projects, meeting deadlines etc. The bug tracking part is a great idea 🙂

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