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.


    You could do a low tech version of this with a projector. Added touch of complexity, someone click them 'off' the wall with the computer hooked up to it.

    Even lower tech version - stopwatch and chalk on the wall :P

    edit - have you ever played GIRP?

    Last edited 09/02/16 10:26 am

    Something like this that tracked and pointed out/marked off holds as you used them would be great for learners.

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

    So like... who comes in third, the wife or the children?

      Writing, I think.

        Ouch, the family doesn't even get a podium finish

        INCORRECT -

          Good point, very well made.

          1) Video Games
          2) Rock climbing
          3) Porridge (blood optional)
          4) Writing (mainly about the above)

          and I've just remembered this:

          5) UFC

            I also feel like IRN BRU needs a mention.

            Truly, the Serrels is a deep and complicated creature.

              ...ah, the orange fizzyness. Mmmmmm Irn Bru. :)

    That is awesome,
    brisbane has nothing on the gym's at Brooklyn Boulders in NY. damn.

    Pretty awesome. Since it's digital it wouldn't be too hard to add more modes, have some based on skill with difficulty of handholds to be used or ones that award more points for extra height etc rather than speed based.

    This is pretty cool for high-end climbers, but I think I'd prefer to see this tech applied to better training for Rock Climbing, rather than just speed-running. You could imagine a silhouette projected on the wall to explain things like the correct form and positioning for a certain hold, or when and when not to flag.

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