Gaming meets the wellness movement

Ane Howard · September 27, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1f82

Mindbloom new online game helps you define what's important in life and how to get it




Mindbloom, a Seattle-based interactive media company, announced today the launch of its new "Mindbloom Life Game," which promises to improve a gamer's life, not only virtually but in the real world. Mindbloom has so far raised $1.8M from angel funds. 

Using the gaming experience and the popularity of social network sites to inspire people to take real actions, "Mindbloom Life Game" takes a deeper approach to gaming by focusing not on play but on the science behind behavioral change -- integrating technology, art, and human psychology for a holistic approach to life. 

A free version is available and so are premium packages ranging in price from $34 to $89. The game works on all popular Internet browsers, as well as any Android or iPhone. 

The colorful design was created by Seattle-based local award winning web designer Paul Ingram, and the concept developed by co-founders and long-time friends Christopher Hewett,a former executive producer for Monolith Productions who developed blockbuster hits such as No One Lives Forever, Tron 2.0, and F.E.A.R and Brent Poole from Amazon.com.

Just as in Facebook, the gamer must fill in a profile, add pictures, update actions, motivations,music, quotes, but its engagement does not end there. In addition he/she must commit to spending a few minutes a day creating and nurturing a 'Life Tree'. 

Hewett told me, "Social accountability and support has been proven by Weight Watchers to be a key ingredient for sustained engagement and success."

" We provide that in the format of a virtual forest.  A forest of friends, family, and co-workers who can check in on your tree and even give you a boost buy providing your tree with sunlight or rain and a personal message of encouragement."

The process  of nurturing the Life Tree is where behavioral science kicks in. Hewett said to me,

"What games do is tap into the human psychological need to feel effective.  Getting game rewards is the positive feedback a user receives when they are being effective, which re-enforces the building of self-efficacy... a key ingredient to personal growth."

Lofty claims for a social game. So how does it works? 

Using the metaphor of a Life Tree, the gamer decides what matters the most. Priorities are presented with images and the user progresses by interacting with organic inspirational elements such as branches, leaves, a forest, the sun, rain, and even a dragonfly.  

By creating a simple action plan, users keep their tree green and healthy. People select their own activities or choose from Mindbloom's list of 500+ recommended actions such as substitute water for soda, take the stairs at the office, clean one room each day, check in with your parents, thank a friend, smile at a stranger, and more.

To remain motivated, users chooses from Mindbloom's gallery of free inspirational media or  create and share their own personalized media like beautiful photos, inspiring music directly from iTunes, and uplifting quotes.

People thrive in supportive community. Users can play alone or reach out to their network on Facebook, or Twitter to develop a community of supportive friends that can challenge and provide much-needed accountability every step of the way. 

Users complete daily actions to form new habits and can track their progress online or on their mobile phone each day. Similar to popular Facebook games, users earn online achievements such as "seeds" and badges as well as the ability to level up. 

These actions ultimately lead to to real, everyday life victories outside of the virtual to the real physical world. At the end,having established their goals and worked toward them, they may end up with a more tone body, or improved career. It's up to them.

Blame it on Oprah.

When asked where the inspiration for this game came from Hewett said to me,

"It was after going through my own personal experience, and admittingly watching a few Oprah shows while at home with the kids, that I recognized that there are millions of people wanting to improve the quality of their lives, but struggle to do it."

Mindbloom plans to become profitable through enterprise-licensing, selling virtual goods and premium membership packages.

 

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Ane Howard

I am a social journalist covering technology innovations and the founder of RushPRNews.com, an international newswire.

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