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Have You Seen This? Rock climbing for gamers

Posted September 26

THE WALL — A Finnish company has taken rock climbing to new virtual heights.

Augmented Climbing Wall decided exergames don’t need to involve a TV, so they created the “world’s first global gaming platform for climbing walls,” according to its website.

This technical explanation may sound a bit boring, but once you see the games in action, you may wonder why anybody would do regular old nongaming rock climbing again. You know, aside from the adrenaline and endorphins that come from exercise and the thrill of experiencing great views in nature or whatever.

In this video, you’ll see a very Pong-like game called Climball where players hands and feet become the paddles. As the ball moves each player must quickly problem solve on the wall to get to the ball before it heads out of bounds. Not only does it foster a fun competitive spirit, but it becomes a game of endurance — a huge training plus in climbing.

But that’s not the only game available for this now virtually enhanced sport. There’s Splat the Bat, which is a bit like the arcade classic Whack-A-Mole; Sparks, which is all about staying inside an “electric” border; and the more practical Augmented Problems, which helps climbers plan out routes while receiving virtual feedback.

While the company only appears to be operating in Finland, its website states that all you need is a climbing wall to use with its projecting equipment to start playing. This means these games have potential to appear at an indoor climbing wall near you.

Until then, you'll just have to dust off your old Atari and play a rousing game of Pong.

Visit Augmented Climbing Wall’s website or Facebook page to learn more and to watch how all the games are played.

Martha Ostergar is a writer who delights in the ridiculous that internet serves up, which means she's more than grateful that she gets to cruise the web for amazing videos to write about. Follow her on Twitter at @monstergar.

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