Went running at the YMCA last night during Eli’s soccer practice. A monotonous route map formed on my phone.
What about an app that uses GPS and the same kind of route-mapping Endomondo and other fitness apps use, sets up a real-time multi-player game like in Tron, where players’ differently-colored, actual running routes—in a big open field, say, or a forested area, on a playground or blighted urban plane—cannot intersect with each other, where they can box each in and eliminate? Terratron! Or, for the slower-moving set, like frisbee golfers: Orient-tronning!
The technology is obviously already lying around–there are a million GPS fitness apps like this and all kinds of data-sharing options. You just merge the GIS routes from all the players in real-time, notify or beep or shake the phone when a player hits another’s contrail on the display. Out! Captured! Keep score as you go. Kids would maybe love it? PE teachers would love it. There’s useful fitness data burbling out of it for analysis. Leaderboards. Cool creepy graphics. T-shirts.
It’d be aerobic and get players out of the house, mainly. It merges the virtual and the real in an interesting way—a way that favors the physical. Maybe coders could build Minecraft-like extension packs in the on-screen part of the field, like little creeper-like beings or extra walls that also must not be collided with. Something like this must already exist.