The word “quest” itself has magical connotations. It holds in its bosom the promise of an adventure, the mystery of the unknown and is pregnant with all kinds of possibilities. Adventure stories are replete with the hero going on a quest to dispel dark forces, to win a fair maiden’s hand or to vanquish a terrible monster. The hero’s quest is filled with the fear of the unknown and the excitement of potential fulfillment. Quests are intricate to the fabric of human life as they create a sense of worth and the satisfaction of accomplishment.
When it comes to role playing games, a ‘quest’ is a task that the character or a group of characters (controlled by the player/players) are required to complete and gain rewards in return. The rewards may range from addition of new skills and abilities or treasure or game currency or access to new locations. Completion of quests does not mean winning the game, and one quest may last from a few minutes to a few weeks, with proportionate rewards for the same.
The game may consist of gather quests, delivery quests or escort quests or any combinations of these. These quests are integral to the progress of the story in the game. There are also ‘side quests’, not part of the main plot, and not entirely necessary also, but help players level up.
Gamification consists of the use of mechanics, elements and techniques of game design in context that are actually not games to engage users and solve problems (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011; Werbach & Hunter, 2012). However, it is not the same as regular games which achieve the same goals, though are designed solely as games. Application of game rules and ethos to a ‘non-game’ scenario leads to positive reinforcement by incentivizing people to do some things, while having fun and gaining valuable experience too. Gamification does not bind anyone like the structured games, and everyone is free to act the way they deem right, within the conditions of the game, and reap its benefits too.
Questing is an important tool that is incorporated in role-playing games to keep players from getting into repetitive actions like killing, and also to keep players motivated by gaining new skills or in-game money to buy new equipment or by unlocking access to new places. Repetitive killing or hitting, also called ‘grinding’ in gaming language, can become monotonous and also ruin the player’s enjoyment. Quests hold the players’ attention as they find a story developing with every move they make and challenges they overcome as they get near to their goal.
In a role playing environment, how the quests are designed can have a significant impact on the players’ motivation. More interactive the gaming ecosystem, more motivating it is for the players. If it helps solve problems, apply tactics, and gain knowledge and skill, questing becomes more interesting and motivating for the players.
Modern computer games are not the old school tic-tac-toe games. They come loaded with adventure, with an interesting storyline, and let players play the character. As players complete quests, their problem solving skills improve, their decision making becomes stronger and perceptive abilities get a boost.
Leveraging the satisfaction one gets from finishing a quest, technology can help motivate people to complete even their boring everyday tasks by turning those tasks into adventures to be accomplished. Gamification of chores like doing the laundry or getting the groceries can be a fun way to motivate people to give their time to these chores which are seemingly boring but important for day to day life. With their avatars leveling up, earning points and rewards, people will no longer resent their regular chores, but maybe even look forward to completing them as soon as they are reminded about the same by their game or app.
The gaming experience has to be motivating for the players to feel like coming back to the platform again. Motivation can be related to their emotions, as the players gain recognition and build a reputation. It could also come from validation by important peers. Motivation is also the result of unique skills and abilities that players pick up from the game. Any value addition like enhanced analytical thinking or a boost to creativity can also be a source of motivation.
Quests have has to be designed and laid out in such a manner that questing makes people feel accomplished, not just in their virtual avatars, but also enriched in their real lives. More fun activities, more tasks that require analytical skills, more meaningful rewards — all of these add a new dimension to a person’s identity, giving them a sense of achievement, and they feel motivated to carry out their tasks, not perceiving them as ‘tasks’, but as the means to achieve rewards.
Blockchain has pervaded all spheres of our lives, and gaming is no exception. Borderless Tech’s EXP.LIFE is one such extravaganza that allows one to live and experience life in the digital sphere. The platform uses a smart gamification protocol to engage users (players) to digitize their life experiences to create an immutable and honest profile of one’s true self.
EXP.LIFE allows users to not just complete real life quests, but also create quests for other users to compete, and even their game assets are globally accepted tradable assets, and can be taken to the real world, not restricted to just the game.
With EXP.LIFE, there are exploration quests, where traveling and exploring new places fetches rewards, there are group quests, where completing objectives as a group or team earns rewards for players, and there are accomplishment quests, where some sort of objective needs to be accomplished in order to earn rewards. There is also a default starter quest, to help players understand how to use the platform. There will be some exploration quests, some group quests as well as some accomplishment quests to get the players started and motivate them to explore further.
Quests define our true character. How well we go about them and complete those mirrors a real picture of what we are made of. The anticipation of reward and the exhilaration of the adventurous journey of a quest attract the basest part of the human self. Quests are undeniably the greatest source of motivation for the human mind.