Rock Climbing: An Interactive Experience

This past weekend we had the opportunity to test out Kinect Sports Rivals game that features an interactive version of Rock Climbing using the Kinect on the Xbox One. Our expectations were.. in check, and let’s just say the experience ended up being a little more rewarding than we had guessed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no where endear as difficult as ACTUALLY Rock Climbing but it did provide a unique way of challenging friends to a quick American Gladiator style ascent in the comfort of your own home.

Actual Gameplay From Kincet Sports Rivals

So after this experience that I never even thought could exists, it got me thinking about some of the other ways that the sport of Rock Climbing could be digitized. I was very interested to find out some of the ways that digital technology has been implemented into the sport of Rock Climbing, and although not all of the results were as fulfilling as the others; the results are definitely fascinating. Thank You Internet.

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DigiWall – The Good

First of all, WOW. I’m literally going to bring this up in the next Vertical Rock staff meeting, because I WANT! DigiWall is essentially climbing holds that are touch sensitive and tap into speaker systems and of course a pretty Bad A computer that will assist you in planning out routes and games that look really fun.

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iOO – The Meh

So this was actually one of the first products we saw and was featured until we saw the DigiWall. It’s not bad, and most likely deserves more than a “Meh” but hey, life’s not fair. iOO is nice because it turns just about any climbing wall into an interactive experience. 

Features

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  • Save routes for your wall
  • Quickly change routes (Great for comps)
  • Remote controllable
  • Front & rear projection setups available

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  • Record your ascent for replay later
  • Works on any wall with any holds
  • Games included for kids
  • Covers an area of 6 x 4.5 meters

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Extreme Rock Climbing – The Ugly

Ok, wow, so this is pretty bad, even for 1995. Kids, please take note because these are the types of games we all had to play in the 90s on our computers. You should at least watch the video because it’ll show you things like CD-ROMS and Floppy Drives (3.5mb portable disks) that we all had to use back then. Although this is one of those wonderfully bad games that hipsters would play ironically, it’s actually REALLY bad and just involves clicking the mouse twice every few seconds. It’s OK 90s .. you tried.

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So I’ve learned that lots of people are trying to add to the experience of Rock Climbing, and that’s really awesome for the sport. The DigiWall and the Projectors are really great ways to train and improve skills of rock climbing while utilizing the logic and problem solving ability that each Rock Climber needs to have available to them to make a successful ascent.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes of all these interactive games, but we hope that it only succeeds in expanding the popularity of the sport and making the basic skillets available to a wider portion of the population. For now, I’ll take the Vertical Rock Gym and the Vertical Rock Outdoor School to satisfy my love of climbing.

Climb On Folks’