The Ultimate Guide To Using IRLA
When we set out to build the collectible coins that would eventually become IRLA, we had high hopes for the impact they would have.
After all, this was an idea that we’d been playing with for years. Still, since our IRLA: In Real Life Achievements Kickstarter launched in October of 2020, we’ve been blown away by seeing the community that’s come together around them.
In the time since, we’ve all been through quite a lot, including that global pandemic. In times which were often confusing and isolating, getting to work on and share this project with you was a consistent source of inspiration and encouragement for us to work toward.
(Just like we designed these collectible achievements to be! Funny how that works out.)
Where IRLA came from
A few years ago, our world was trending towards all things digital. With the pandemic and more work-from-anywhere opportunities, that trend has only accelerated.
Activity trackers, gaming trophies, health apps, NFTs - you name it, we have digital ways to quantify everything we do.
Some of those digital habits, like that fascination with taking 10,000 steps a day, had real-world implications. Yet, we couldn’t shake the idea that for as much as they might have gotten us moving more, it was invariably leading to spending more time with our devices.
Those moments - the 10,000th step, the finish line crossed - were well worth celebrating, of course. We just wanted to create an alternative way to solidify and celebrate these moments in our real lives, too.
We started by asking ourselves, and then you, what you wanted to experience, achieve, track, and improve. That led to a bunch of questions like:
Do you want to…
Learn a new language? Play more tabletop games? Drink more water each day? Pick up a new instrument? Be more mindful of the time you spend on your devices? Run a 10K? A half-marathon? A marathon? Watch those films/TV series you keep putting off? Get out of your comfort zone? Read more? Make healthier food choices? Better your local community?
Track video game challenges? Explore new places?
From those answers and the support of our community, we have developed 17 (and counting!) IRLA Packs that help us strive toward those goals.
With each IRLA Pack, we got to see how these collectible achievements come together to make our IRL lives even more engaging.
Having now spent over a year and half creating and developing these coins, we wanted to take an opportunity to present our current line-up of IRLA Packs.
By taking a look at all of them, we hope you’ll see you can use them in your everyday life, from health and wellness to hobbies, personal development, and how we interact with the world.
The goal: Being healthy doesn’t happen by accident, so these IRLA Packs are designed to help us develop the healthy exercise habits that we need to keep us active throughout our lives.
How to use them: These health-and-exercise focused IRLA Packs can be used to develop healthy habits. After all, it’s not advisable to run a marathon without first putting in a few miles. Getting to a daily gym workout starts with getting to your first workout. By rewarding yourself with a collectible achievement at regular intervals, you’ll get to where you want to go.
Who they’re for: For the new athlete in your life or the one rediscovering their former glory, these IRLA Packs are presented as building blocks that lead you from those first few steps and reps to a regular exercise routine.
Health & Wellness
The goal: To motivate small, repeatable actions to make sure we wake up each day feeling our best.
How to use them: The journey toward a state of wellness may not be the most exciting one, with eating well and staying hydrated as fundamental parts. Using these IRLA Packs, you can reward yourself for playing by the rules and meeting the goals that will help set your body up for a lifetime of health.
Who they’re for: For anyone who wants a regular reminder of the powerful benefits from sticking to the basics, these packs reward both the short-term efforts and long-term results.
The goal: To celebrate growing up… even when we’re not quite ready.
How to use them: While a lot of IRLA Packs are designed to get us out and into the world, these packs are designed to celebrate life as it happens. From the youngsters in our lives to the young adults, getting older presents us with new opportunities and new obstacles. While the only way forward may be to go through them, these IRLA Packs offer a solid reminder of an important milestone.
Who they’re for: From little ones to adults, these packs celebrate growing up in all its forms. Life is filled with moments that can seem unpleasant, from getting our teeth cleaned to paying taxes.
The goal: To create a new kind of collectible reward that we could use across all of the types of games we love.
How to use them: What we love about games are the built-in motivations and rewards, from creating our own dungeons to beating the final Big Boss. These IRLA Packs are made for gamifying gaming and creating a way to connect all of these sometimes disparate games. With achievements that are more about the gaming itself than any specific game, we give gamers everywhere achievements to play for.
Who they’re for: For video game aficionados and game night pros alike, these packs are for people who love playing to win and then playing again.
The goal: To motivate ourselves to make time for the hobbies that make us who we are.
How to use them: Life gets busy. With work, family and friends, carving out time for the little things that we love can be tricky. These IRLA Packs are for those among us who’ve said, “I wish I did that more often!” From drawing and reading to watching movies, these help to kickstart the hobbies we have and reward us for doing what we care about.
Who they’re for: These are for the aspiring and the ambitious, the creative and the cultured. By being centered less on the specific kinds of production and more on the idea of producing, these packs have unlockable rewards that unlock the person you’d like to be.
The goal: With the rise of social media and a culture that often puts us in comparison with other people, finding ways to celebrate who we are - and to be kind to one another - is valuable. These IRLA Packs are fun and functional ways that let us be ourselves.
How to use them: These IRLA Packs are great as gifts for the people in our lives who don’t take enough time for themselves. For Millennials, it’s a reminder to own who we are and approach our lives with a well-earned sense of humor. And to give a well-earned break to those who have been working diligently, the Treat Yo Self pack encourages a bit of indulgence.
Who they’re for: These IRLA Packs are filled with achievements that reward us for being ourselves. For the millennials among us, we’ve come of age in a culture that likes to gently tease us for the ways we use technology. This pack lets us (or the millennial in your life), embrace their generation. That embrace is a kind of self-care that’s also worth advocating for, especially for those overworked among us.
Exploring The World
The goal: In many ways, this grouping is the most literal being in the real world. With unlockable achievements based on putting down your devices, trying new activities, improving the area where you live, and making long-held dreams come true.
How to use them: If you’ve felt that you’re in a bit of a rut, any of these four packs will help spark your appreciation for the people and places around you. These IRLA Packs include gentle encouragement to step away from the screens, learn something new, and create small positive changes in your neighborhood. Also included are ways of breaking free from our routine with collectible coins that reward us for going after our big dreams and doing what we’ve always dreamed of doing,
Who they’re for: Less about developing repeatable habits like some of the exercise-focused IRLAs, these are about creating memories for yourself and with other people. A rich and varied life is made up of experiences, and each of these packs is about pushing ourselves out of our routine for a positive, warm encounter with other people and with the world.
Where IRLA Goes From Here
As our community continues to grow, so do the available IRLA: In Real Life Achievements.
We’ve enjoyed producing stand-alone coins (like the Fantasy Football League Champ and Chump coins), though we keep coming back to how we can develop additional packs to deliver on that original promise of celebrating achievements in the real world.
After seeing where we’ve come from and what we’re doing now, we’d love to hear from you. Your questions to answers we asked a few years ago led us to this point now, so we’re hoping that this check-in allows us an opportunity to develop even more great packs going forward.
So let us know! What kinds of themes or coins would you be interested in? Who in your life do you buy IRLA packs for? And which packs have you especially enjoyed?