In Real Life

Video Games And Rock Climbing, Together At Last

My two favourite things in this world are video games and rock climbing.

Now some goddamn wizard has found a way to merge the two. I will find this man and I will bear his children.

Developer Jon Cheng and the company Randori is behind this insane scheme, which is essentially an augmented reality game that projects points of contact onto a climbing wall. The point of the game is simple: hit these specific points as quickly as possible. It looks pretty crazy.

Jon Cheng explains:

“My first thought was what if I could take an entire bouldering wall and turn it into an interactive video game? That’s the question I asked myself leading up to last week’s Brooklyn Boulders Community night. This was the result.”

As a climber myself, this is super interesting, It skews towards speed climbing, obviously, which is a very niche style of climbing — and one I don’t particularly enjoy that much — but it looks like an insane amount of fun. A huge part of the fun I have with climbing is the social aspect: getting a group of friends together and attempting stupid/fun stuff on the wall. This kind of program could take that to a whole new level.

“When I began this project, I started out with a few criteria,” says Cheng. “I wanted to create a game that made people think about climbing and wall usage in new ways. To make it more accessible, I needed to make sure that the movements players would use were varied enough that climbers of all sizes and skill levels could play. I also needed to be able to mold the game mechanics to the holds that were already on the wall. Last, I wanted an arcade style high score board so that the people who wanted to compete could try to battle for the top score.”

What’s interesting about the video above is the different body movements and techniques the players are using to try and outdo each other. That sort of plays on the creativity of rock climbing, which is a huge part of what makes it so enjoyable.

I love this. I want it in my life immediately.

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