Making activity competitive
Gamification is the use of technology to turn walking, running, or cycling around a local community into a game. Active Essex has been working with Intelligent Health (creators of Beat the Street) and Street Tag to test this concept, create an evidence base and understand the range of outcomes that delivering these games can lead to.
In Essex, Sport England Local Delivery Pilot funding has enabled games to be tested in Basildon, Colchester and Tendring in a range of settings including community, workplaces and care homes.
Beat the Street is a six-week game where residents are encouraged to explore their local area by tapping cards and fobs against Beat Boxes distributed across their town. Players are rewarded with points, can create teams and earn prizes depending on how far they run, walk or cycle.
Street Tag uses virtual tags so teams can collect points on the app by moving into a location with a tag. Teams can be formed by schools, workplaces, families, and friendship groups, with a live leaderboard and rewards and prizes.
One of the best examples of the testing of this project can be found at the Loganberry Lodge care home in Colchester, where they used Street Tag’s MOVE IT boxes to help get residents up-and-moving in the comfort of their own home. “MoveBoxes” were placed in specific locations within the care home, which residents then tagged with a lanyard, earning points, winning badges, and climbing the leaderboard. It’s a great example of showing how Gamification can be used no matter who you are.
Allow sufficient time for planning
Identify a local coordinator to lead the games
Schools are key to making these games work
Create a buzz
It is important to create a buzz around the games so more people take part