Tag Archives: #gamification

Self-Management Is About Self-Support, Not Manipulation

(Image courtesy of the author; taken in January 2020 by the author’s then 5-year old daughter)

Successful leadership embraces management skills. But any successful manager is a successful self-manager.

And these successful managers and self-managers know that the best leadership and management is not about control and never about manipulation. It is focused on support. This also applies to self-management.

There are many aspects to management both when we manage teams, projects, or ourselves. We can use many different tools and techniques.

But any of those tools or techniques would not bear any fruit if you don’t concentrate on support for your team, project, and yourself.

The best way to support anyone— and you will know it from when you supported your children or younger siblings and friends when they were upset or needed to accomplish something and resisted it — is to turn the activity at hand into a fun game or play.

That includes management of any kind.

Here is an utterly simple tool to ignite the “idea-generating machine” in your head to approach management tasks — be it for the team, project, the whole company, or yourself — gamefully. Ask yourself the following question:

“If this [challenge, project, task, activity, chore] was a game, how would I approach it as its designer or player?”

Awareness and permitting yourself to be gameful and playful is all it takes to shift your focus from stressed and overwhelmed to supportive and creative.

I wish you joy with it!

If you want to level up in turning your management skills to gameful and playful, and with that save your company, team, project, family, and yourself the costs of seriousness and drama, then read my book Gameful Project Management: Self-Gamification Based Awareness Booster for Your Project Management Success (from “Gameful Life” series)

To discuss the possibility of one to one or small team coaching, contact me here:

E-mail: vib@optimistwriter.com

How to Conquer the Information Overload Gamefully

Image by the author

(An excerpt. Read the full article on Medium)

The challenge

In the internet interconnected world, the information becomes a much too easily accessible good.

There is even a well-known term for that — the information overload.

“Information overload (also known as infobesity, infoxication, information anxiety, and information explosion) is the difficulty in understanding an issue and effectively making decisions when one has too much information about that issue. Generally, the term is associated with the excessive quantity of daily information.” — Wikipedia

Today, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when most of the world is online for big chunks of the day (especially during the working hours), there is even more information every day. Those of us, who don’t work on the “front line” during the pandemic, can express our generosity mostly online nowadays. So there are valuable short and long bits of information in all possible digital formats. These come from official sources, press, entertainment industry, our families, friends, bosses, employees, colleagues, communities we joined, and social media we frequent. But there are also libraries giving free access to books, films, and more, museums, zoos, culture centers, and theaters offering online tours and performances, and so many more.

The workdays for all of us have become a fusion of our work and personal lives.

The oncoming information, especially the one about the COVID-19 situation, lockdowns, and reopening, affects both our work and personal lives, and it has never been more challenging to draw a line between them.

The main effect of that multidimensional information overload is a profound confusion and a feeling of being lost.

How can we handle all this overflow of the information, especially when we start a workday?


The gameful solution

A perspective change is often the best solution in confusing situations.

How can we view the information flow differently?

I discovered that the gameful approach to life provides effortless and joyful resourcefulness in all areas of our lives and most circumstances, including times of crisis.

While writing the Book 1 of the “Gameful Life” series, Gameful Project Management, I have discovered that what I was creating with my non-fiction books and articles on Self-Gamification, were not the ideas to replace the well-establisher others. Instead, I was creating “awareness boosters.”

Even the subtitle of the Gameful Project Management book has the phrase in it: Self-Gamification Based Awareness Booster for Your Project Management Success.

To find out what an awareness booster is and how information coming upon us can become such a booster, we need first to identify what awareness boosters are. Let’s start with awareness.


(Continue reading on Medium)

Self-Gamification is an Art and a Game

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(An excerpt. Read the full article on Medium)

Self-Gamification is an art

Self-Gamification is an art of turning whatever we are up to into fun and engaging games for ourselves. It is the application of game design elements to our own lives.

It is also a self-help approach showing us how to be playful and gameful, and bringing anthropology, kaizen, and gamification-based methods together.

In Self-Gamification, we are both the designers and the players of our self-motivational games, which are the challenges, projects, and activities turned into games.

But wait a minute! It is an activity too. You need to be active in the design and play of the self-motivational games.

So it is also a game.


Self-Gamification is a game

I was surprised to have had this epiphany only recently, after gamifying my whole life for three years consistently, and parts of it for an even longer time.

But on the other hand and when looking at it anthropologically, it is not surprising at all. I wasn’t thinking that much about the game. I was playing it. And that is the only way to experience it as a game.

Only when I was challenged to play another game, the game of explaining how Self-Gamification works could I see it more clearly. That is a paradox. Which is why it makes sense since we humans are highly paradoxical beings.

Some time ago, I recalled how, when I was young, I rarely referred to what I was doing in my games or play as such. I was busy with some activities. I might have called them “games” or “play,” but I didn’t think of the terms when I was playing.

However, outside of the game’s or play’s realm, the gameful and playful activities seemed safe, and I could easily imagine doing them than a chore my mother had asked of me. Only when she shaped the idea of the chore as something enticing did I agree to give it a try to be entertaining. And I must admit that it did happen more often than not.


(Continue reading on Medium)

The Real-Life Role Playing Games

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(An excerpt. Read the full article on Medium)

Let’s address the first of the three tools that Self-Gamification brings together. This tool is anthropology, which is

“the scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans.” — Free Dictionary

When applied to myself (I’ll address this idea in a second), this approach helped me to discover my many quirky thought patterns. These can be so much fun when observed non-judgmentally and with open-minded interest.

I discovered I had the idea that I didn’t want to learn to play Role-Playing Games (RPG), because I judged them as being too complex.

Only recently, I became aware that we all play many different Role-Playing Games every day.

“A role-playing game (sometimes spelled roleplaying game; abbreviated RPG) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting.” — Wikipedia

You could say we all have real-life role-playing games. We are parents, children to our parents, bosses, employees, students, assistants, and many more. And many of these roles overlap every day. Especially now when we are together with our families at home, helping our children with homeschooling, working, supporting our elderly parents by calling them many times a day, maintaining a household, cooking, and so much more.

In Self-Gamification, too, we play specific roles. These are the roles of designers and players of our self-motivational games, which are the projects, activities, or challenges we turn into games.

“A self-motivational game is a real-life project or activity that you adjust in such a way that it feels like a fun game with which you are eager and happy to engage, both in terms of its design and the playing of it.” — Victoria Ichizli-Bartels, Self-Gamification Happiness Formula

But there is another Role-Playing Game, which I’ve loved playing ever since I heard about it.

I learned about this possibility from award-winning authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts, and dear to my heart friends, Ariel and Shya Kane. Here it is:

“You can create a game where you pretend you are a scientist or an anthropologist discovering the way that a particular culture functions or operates. Don’t take anything that you discover personally. It isn’t personal. Many of your prejudices were absorbed from the culture you grew up in, and unconsciously you have internalized these cultural values without the benefit of seeing whether they are honestly true for you.” — Ariel and Shya Kane, Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work

So along with the other roles you take on during the day, I suggest that you play the anthropologist’s role-playing game.

(Continue reading on Medium)

This was also an excerpt from my book Gameful Isolation: Making the Best of a Crisis, the Self-Gamification Way. I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to get access to the vlog accompanying the book then check out this page: victoriaichizlibartels.com/gameful-isolation/.

How to Turn Something or Anything into Games

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(An excerpt. Read the full article on Medium)

Self-Gamification is a lifestyle

The question is how to turn something or anything into games.

The answer is multi-faceted, and in a way, the “how?” embraces the answers to all the “W” questions: “who?”, “what?”, “when?”, “where?” and “why?”.

But the most important facet of how to turn our lives into games is that the gameful approach to life, Self-Gamification, just like those for our health, well-being, and happiness, is not a one-time pill to fix a problem once and for all, but a lifestyle. Because:

“Happiness is not a destination. It is a way of life.” — Anonymous


What is Self-Gamification?

So, what is this new approach to increasing self-motivation and bringing ourselves back on our happy path? And why the need for a new term?

First of all,

Self-Gamification is the art of turning our own lives into games.

Self-Gamification is not the same as gamification, although, as the name suggests, the former is based on the latter.

Gamification has become a buzzword, but many people, especially non-gamers but sometimes gamers as well, are still confused when they hear it. They recognize the “game” part, but not the word in its entirety.

One of the most common gamification definitions is

“the use of game design elements in non-game contexts.” — Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R., & Nacke, L. (2011). From game design elements to gamefulness: defining gamification. In Proceedings of the 15th international academic MindTrek conference: Envisioning future media environments (pp. 9–15). ACM

Following on from this, therefore,

Self-Gamification is the application of game design elements to one’s own life.

You could also say that,

Self-Gamification is a self-help approach showing you how to be playful and gameful.

I felt the need to coin this new term for gamifying one’s life when I realized through self-observation that there is more at stake here than just learning from games and game design.

One of the gamification pioneers, Yu-kai Chou, pointed this out when he said that gamification is

“more than points, badges, and leaderboards.” — Yu-kai Chou, Actionable Gamification

The same applies to Self-Gamification.

Beyond this, there is an essential feature that distinguishes Self-Gamification from gamification as it is currently known. Here it is:

In Self-Gamification, you are both the designer AND the player of your self-motivational games.

So as a designer you take responsibility for how the game is developed. On the other hand, as a dedicated and highly interested player, you are responsible for playing the game, as well as giving the designer feedback on how it could be improved.

The design part is critical — which is taking responsibility for how fun and engaging your games are for yourself as a player. Without judging the player, you must create the best games for them, i.e. for yourself.

This is the primary difference between the Self-Gamification approach and the games and gamification frameworks designed by others. In Self-Gamification YOU, and no one else, have to develop your short (minutes or hours long), also daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc. games. You’ll do well playing other people’s games, but you will inevitably give your personal touch to each of the games when you play them, and it is your choice and responsibility for how you mix these games with those of your own design. Nobody else could do it for you even if you or they wanted to.

Now, let’s consider the three approaches Self-Gamification brings together to help you turn your life into fun games and have fun with everything or anything you are up to.


(Continue reading on Medium)

This was also an excerpt from my book . I hope you enjoyed it, and it inspired you to turn something into fun, for you, games. I invite you to check out the other resources on Self-Gamification here: .