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30.05.2012 - Digital fitness has never been more popular. In a world where we are constantly online, and in a world where we are increasingly following all types of sports, it was only going to be a matter of time until we saw these three aspects merge.
An online game and app, which is also a fitness tool, has recently been launched that has the aim of allowing the user to play an online computer game with keeping fit. Zombies, Run! Is a mobile app game that sees a strong story narrative being intertwined with digital fitness goals, and sees the player placed in a virtual world while acting out real world actions; combining the sport of running with the actions of playing a computer game.

Combining the real with the fantasy

The player starts off by leaving the house (or staying in if they prefer) wearing a set of headphones attached to an online mobile device. The player (otherwise known as the runner) receives a series of instructions from the ‘home base’ through headphones that are connected to an online portal. The instructions steer them through a virtual land that is plagued with dangerous, life-threatening zombies. The virtual land mimics a wasteland, but the runner is actually running through a real world environment of their choice. The player will be able to hear when the zombies are close through the headphones as the sound of garbled noises and heavy breath starts to get increasingly loud. The idea is then to simply run away from them to safety.

Throughout the player’s mission, he / she receives updates and reports as to where the zombies are, and what they are up to. The player is notified on where to find vital medicines and supplies that will protect them from the zombies, and can be used as weapons to kill or harm the zombies.

Gaming motivation to keep running

The more medicines that are found, the more missions are unlocked. The more orders and instructions the player follows, the more he or she can build his or her bases in order to reach new levels. Items can be found and collected also by listening to the audio instructions and can be used to advance throughout the game and complete a variety of different missions.

There are many different items that can be collected, each varying in difficulty to achieve, and thus encouraging the player to reach new targets in terms of their actual level of fitness. Items such as medicines, batteries and ammo are automatically added to the player’s pot throughout completing missions of varying degrees of intensity. There then comes the element of theory and gaming – and the continuation of the game once the player is back home and the run is finished.

The player can then work on building up a base by decided who to allocate the collected items to i.e. doctors, soldiers, civilians etc. The player can also decide to install buildings with extra defences and protection. There is also a certain “duty” placed on the player; it is in their interests to protect and build a safe community for civilians and to ultimately defeat the zombie population. The more the player builds upon this infrastructure, the more missions and levels become available, thus encouraging more exercise and incentives to continue playing.

Varying fitness levels

The game Zombies, Run! can literally be played anywhere and in many different scenarios. Players don’t have to be running or sporting experts – or even super fit – as the game can be played at any speed. The player can choose to either jog in a park, run along the road side, run on a treadmill or just simply walk along a path.

The game can be downloaded and played through most smartphones including Android, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Zombies, Run! is an innovative new concept that is taking the sporting, exercising and gaming worlds by storm. The Zombies, Run! The game’s inventors and creators have already seen over four times the donation required to launch the game via their Kickstarter page, before they could even think about business insurance or development plans. Combining the virtual world with the real world is becoming a big business – and we’re about to experience its capabilities for ourselves.