I was studying vocabulary today on Memrise, and I just noticed how much of a game I make it.
Memrise will give you 10 words to review. If you get a word right the first time, you get a certain number of points. How many depends on how you did the last few times you saw that word. You might get as many as 150. If you miss the word, you get zero points, but the same word will pop up again a few times during that review session, for 15 points each time.
You also get bonus points for your percentage correct and how quickly you get through the whole set.
As I was reviewing today, I noticed that I tend to set points for myself. “I win if I get over 1200 points this time…” and I celebrate getting words right the way I might celebrate succeeding in a video game. In fact, I’m sure that anyone watching me would conclude that I was playing a game.
The end result is that I reviewed a ton of words, consolidated my knowledge and had a good time all at once. I call that a win/win/win.
Studying Japanese should be fun. If it isn’t, you won’t continue with it (unless you have some kind of outside pressure such as not getting fired or earning a promotion). Even if you do have some outside pressure, why not find a way to make it fun anyway? After all, fun is more fun than no fun. Right? (I think that sentence made more sense in my head.)
So find ways to make your studying more like a game. Enjoy yourself!