Running + Interactive Storytelling
As analogous research for our IDEO.org project with MoneyThink, we’re looking at other examples of digital experiences and tools that facilitate positive habits and, gulp, behavior change. Ted at MoneyThink forwarded Zombies, Run! as a cool app that combines story with gaming on top of a running app.
We’re in Chicago for a week doing immersion and user research. And after dragging myself to the hotel treadmill this morning, I turned on the app and started doing something of a zombie shamble myself. After tweaking a few settings and a few inexplicable minutes of “music verification,” Zombies, Run! kicked into a high-intensity opening scenario. mixing between familiar songs from my phone and new plot developments—usually zombies shambling after me, surprisingly fast—and occasionally notifying me of random items I’ve picked up on my run. This, and the auditory cues (zombie grunts and a variable beeping) prompted me to pick up my pace.
After about 35 minutes, I completed my first mission. I usually run 20–25 min.
By the end, I dodged three zombie mobs, made some British voice actors quite happy, and deciphered the unintelligible robotic-voice notifications. Ready for Mission 2… tomorrow morning.