I hate doing the dishes. So when I happened upon an app for my iPhone that promised to make the fate of the world depend on how often I wash the plates, I jumped at it.
Enter EpicWin, the to-do-list app for the geek crowd.
For $2.99, you can watch as your Dungeons and Dragons-style avatar gains experience points and collects treasure while you check things you have to do in the real world off of an ever-expanding to-do list. While I was making my bed this morning, Beardsworth the Dwarf was roaming some far-off land, collecting new items for every pillow I fluffed and every sheet I straightened.
Staring at my dwarf's ever improving armor and weapons—paid for by vacuumed floors and cleaned litter-boxes—it wasn't hard to come to the conclusion that you can turn just about anything into a game. After all, why do chores when I can complete quests?
Things like this fall under the Internetspeak term of "life hack." Life-hacking is simply a way to trick your brain into thinking it's doing something fun, when it's really doing something more efficiently.
While EpicWin plays into the constant need to be entertained by the mundane, it also has something in common with my brief, yet overpowering Foursquare obsession: I HAVE to collect things. Pretty soon, I wasn't flossing my teeth because I wanted a clean mouth; I was doing it to unlock more things on the app.
Whenever I am too lazy to make it through my list of things to do for that day, I feel a small sense of regret that my digital self will have to go without a new battle ax for another few days.
That's just what I need—a digital Jiminy Cricket guilting me into finishing the laundry.
THE WEEK ON THE RANGE
The Range broke the news that Republican Jesse Kelly, who hopes to unseat Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, supports a national sales tax of 8.5 percent on goods and services to go along with his proposed flat income tax; shared a bulletin that Sue Krentz, the widow of slain rancher Robert Krentz, had been struck by a car and was airlifted to University Medical Center; and linked to a Phoenix New Times story that asked disturbing questions about the shooting of Pinal County Sheriff's Deputy Louie Puroll, who told investigators he'd been attacked by drug-smugglers in April.
We also told you about a KOLD Channel 13 report on UFOs over Tucson; shared new political debates from KUAT Channel 6's Arizona Illustrated; and showed how U.S. Sen. John McCain seems to get crankier and crankier as each day goes by.
We noted that one of our favorite Tucson Weekly "art boxes"—decorated distribution boxes—had been stolen; and brought you a video interview with a competitive eater who calls herself "Cardboard Shell," after she polished off a monstrous desert at Something Sweet Dessert Lounge.
We brought back the Artistic Range, highlighting photos from the Etherton Gallery, Temple Gallery and the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery; paintings at Davis Dominguez Gallery; and sculptures at Philabaum Glass Studio and Gallery.
Aleksa Brown brought you photos of DeVotchKa, Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta and others from the HoCo Fest at Hotel Congress; UA student Joshua Morgan brought you photos of the Southern Arizona landscape; and a new Tucson Weekly intern, A. Greene, brought you a video from PARK(ing) Day.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
"Was this written by Brewer's grammar coach?"
—George L. Bradley, via Facebook, in response to the post "Fan Mail" (The Range, Sept. 23), which spotlighted a rant from a reader angry at Mari Herreras' story "Immigration 101" (Sept. 2). The reader wrote, in part: "The problem is we have a too many, not a majority, who feel as you, 'bring the sorry bitches on to have their babies'."
BEST OF WWW
October is almost upon us, as is the annual tradition of scare-a-minute haunted houses. On TucsonWeeklyTV, you can find a preview of one of these houses, and take a peek at the behind-the-scenes process to set it up.
In case you missed the annual PARK(ing) Day, we've got a video of this year's event, which invited people to set up small, temporary parks within parking spaces downtown. Some of these mini-parks had musicians, Harry Potter puppet shows and advice booths.
This week Tim Vanderpool is writing an update on the proposed (and controversial) Rosemont Copper Mine in the Santa Rita Mountains. Find his story or this column online to see a video tour we took a couple of months back of the proposed site—including the spot where the gigantic open pit is supposed to go.