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Running with the undead

September 9, 2011

Every now and then something comes up in my Twitter stream that crosses my love of slightly geeky things with my love of running. I think this is the only time that these two loves have been crossed with my fetish for B-movie chic. 

Essentially, this is a Kickstarter project to gamify running. (Gamification, for the uninitiated, is the awarding of virtual prizes for the completion of tasks. So, say you have to do some boring work, doesn’t that become more fun if you get a picture of a cherry and 100 points at the end of it? Perhaps not, but if the reward was compelling – in this case, extra levels and extending the storyline – it incentivises participation.) While many runners use tracking tools like Garmin Connect, Nike Plus, RunKeeper, etc., to log their runs and share routes, distances and times with a community, this may appeal to runners less enthused by distance and speed.

Looking into the detail of what’s proposed (as a KickStarter project, this is an app seeking funding from public donors) the app has two fairly simple sides. On the one hand, you run for about half an hour with no particular pressure on pace or distance, and on the other hand after your run you play a Sim City-style game mending buildings and equipping troops.

I can’t help but wonder whether an immersive horror-based audio adventure (essentially what this is) would be a really good opportunity to make speedwork a bit more fun. For example, part-way through a run a zombie attack could mean you need to up the pace. Of course, running with headphones on and navigating through pedestrian traffic and crossing roads doesn’t necessarily mean a pace-based game would be safe.

It’s an interesting idea, and coming from Six To Start I expect it will be well executed with a clear focus on storytelling. I hope it raises enough money to get off the ground, and if you fancy seeing a zombie-based fitness app you can give it your backing here.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 20, 2011 5:39 pm

    I love the idea of this. I want to test it out but fear it will bring nightmares! 🙂

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