With a host of new personal technologies and interactive platforms to help users track and improve their individual health and wellness hitting the market in recent months, entrepreneurs and software designers are jumping on board the ‘Quantified Self’ bandwagon. The movement, which believes in the idea of better living through data-driven insights, has shown growth beyond stat geeks and early adopters and seems poised to break out beyond its niche beginnings.
While existing products like the Fitbit merely capture statistics like hours slept and calories burned, new entrants have been building on this ‘track and report’ model, integrating gaming elements and reward systems into their platforms to encourage continued participation and push positive behaviors. One such product, the Mindbloom Life Game, is accomplishing this by enabling users to grow and care for a digital tree, which represents the overall quality of their physical and emotional lives, through an online platform and an iPhone app.
There are several aspects to the Mindbloom Life Game. The first is the sun, which represents inspiration and asks the question, “Why do I want to improve my life.” The second is rain, which represents action and asks the question, “How do I want to improve my life.” The goal of the game is to generate sunshine and rain by completing various real life actions, which contribute to your digital tree’s growth, in turn creating seeds that can be used to purchase bonus features and content.
Users can increase sunshine and rainfall by accomplishing small tasks that act as benchmarks towards their bigger goals. For example, sunshine increases by completing intellectually and emotionally stimulating activities such as viewing or uploading photos of friends and family, listening to music or reading inspirational quotes. For rain, users must fulfill physical or social activities like scheduling a date, spending time with family or doing pushups.
Mindbloom is also very social. Players are able to create social circles to include friends and family, much like Google+. And with flexible privacy settings, they can choose how much information they want to share. A gifting feature lets users send their friends extra sunshine or rain to motivate them towards fulfilling their own goals.
The Mindbloom Life Game was created by Chris Hewett, who has spent a lot of time in the game industry and Brent Pooles who brings a business background with, among other things, experience as an early executive at Amazon. According to an article published on Mashable Business, the game already claims 50,000 users of which 36,000 are active; they average three visits per week. Moreover, 1.2 million actions were completed in 2011 and the mobile app has been downloaded 200,000 times.
According to their website, Mindbloom is out to make life improvement accessible to everyone. They explain:
By harnessing next-generation engagement techniques and focusing them on personal development, Mindbloom has created a new, powerful way for people to improve the quality of their lives. Utilizing behavioral science, personalized rich media, and fun social gaming techniques in their offerings Mindbloom makes the process of personal growth fun, simple and effective.
Given the crowded space, we’ll be interested to see how the platform evolves beyond its initial roots, as it contemplates adding potential partnerships and new incentive systems.
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