fitness gamification
June 15, 2012 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Are there any diet/exercise mobile apps or websites that truly embrace gamification - turning daily logging of activity and food, or fitness/diet challenges, etc., into the kind of fun, immersive game that you'd play anyway even if it weren't beneficial?

I'm imagining a fully-fledged RPG - think Kingdom of Loathing, roguelikes - or even just casual but addictive simulators along the lines of FarmVille. Surely someone's thought of this before. There is a lot of 'gamification' of diet/exercise out there, but it's essentially just metrics and graphs with maybe some light 'points' and social elements thrown in. I've used stuff like Health Month, which is cool. I'm not looking for that with this question, though; it doesn't quite go far enough in creating a fun, immersive and engaging experience, in my opinion. We're learning quite a bit about how companies such as Zynga are being very deliberate and clever in creating game mechanisms that people can't help but get addicted to. Isn't someone using this kind of model to make people "can't help but get" healthy?
posted by naju to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
posted by unixrat at 9:18 AM on June 15, 2012

Response by poster: But is Fitocracy a game-game, in the immersive sense of something you'd play from Zynga, PopCap, etc. - or is it similar to Health Month, where it's essentially just logging things into spreadsheets on a website with some kind of points system and social elements thrown in?
posted by naju at 9:25 AM on June 15, 2012

There are a number of cycling apps for the iPhone that let you "race" a stored performance, or your average on a route, or that sort of thing.

Obviously these aren't "immersive," or you'd quickly find yourself immersed in asphalt. The one that I've used the most gives audio updates at regular intervals, and being reminded that you're a minute behind your average really lights a fire under you.
posted by adamrice at 9:43 AM on June 15, 2012

Best answer: Something like Zombies, RUN!?
posted by wearyaswater at 9:50 AM on June 15, 2012 [9 favorites]

Response by poster: Something like Zombies, RUN!?

That looks incredible!
posted by naju at 10:12 AM on June 15, 2012

Though not quite as clearly perfect as Zombies, RUN appears to be, as I mentioned here I was a beta tester for the Striiv pedometer which has a potentially engrossing farmville-like game called MyLand where you earn points by walking, running, using stairs, or racing against avatars to populate a landscape with cute plants, buildings, and animals. As you accumulate steps it also rewards you with trophies (and points for MyLand) for beating your averages, and you also can apply the points to earn a small donation to a real-life charity.
posted by gubenuj at 1:01 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've stumbled upon several health/fitness-related games for Android, so I'll list them here. Caveat: I haven't tried them and have no idea if they're any good.

Real Replay
GPS Fox Hunt
Zombie Run
Fruit Farmer
Healthy Heroes
posted by gakiko at 4:08 AM on June 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

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