Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chore Wars: The Minions of Jose Francisco

Reading Penny-Arcade, I found a nifty Web game that lets you turn your family into Role-Playing Game (RPG) characters and household chores into "adventures" worth experience, gold and the occasional battle with a monster. "Chore Wars," it is called.

Since the default settings are private, I can't link you to our party, so I have enclosed a ZIP file that has the three main pages:

  1. Party - Shows our party, "The Minions of Jose Francisco." Celeste is Maria Alejandra. Mia is Maria, which is the nickname Jose Francisco calls her. Esteban is himself. Lord Soong is me, named after one of my more famous villains.
  2. Adventures - Shows all the possible adventures to undertake.
  3. Week - Shows what has happened this week.
I strongly recommend that any family group give it a try.

To make the rewards real I'm doing this:
Every paycheck allotting $50 to reward money. I'll take a look at what the kids have done and dole out the money based on how much experience they have earned.

Game Gold/Money will be useful for:
  • Trading game gold for US dollars, probably 100:1. So spending 100 gold gets you one real United States dollar.
  • Buying a day off, etc.
  • Spending the money in the pen & paper RPG portion of the game.
You will notice that I spend a lot of attention to items everyone can get. I'm a Dungeons & Dragons player and for years I've been waiting to introduce the kids to RPGs. Well every weekend they'll get to go on an adventure, just two hours long, and the items and stats (strength, dexterity, etcetera) they have will dictate what they can do. This should encourage them to look at the different chores and try to do them so they can get items not available otherwise.

Of course, my house is so disciplined that the girls have to do all these things anyway - this is my way of trying to make it fun. So far the girls love it, but they are both scared of the computer, the Web browser, and the interface.

I digress...
One thing I love about my brother, Esteban, living with us is that he is very self-disciplined, grew up in a loving but strict household, and has had no children until now. That means that, as any new parent is, he's loving, but very hard. This is actually good for the girls because he's pushing them in school so much, and while it's hard work, and they tend to lose privileges with their Nintendo Wii, they are learning and their academic abilities are increasing. He is re-teaching them their entire grade (before summer vacation) in Spanish over the course of the summer, so while he's paired down the amount of work, it is still a lot to do; but Dulce and Maria are doing it and I'm so proud of them.

And what I love for Esteban is that he gets a chance to have kids too. They look up to him, they talk about him with me, and this morning when Jose Francisco stirred awake he said "TIO?" loudly before orienting himself. Tio means "Uncle."

Mom, please correct my grammar.