Innovation That Matters

In London, public transport travel gets gamified

Publishing & Media

We’ve already noted the rise of gaming as a way to create engagement among consumers, but we didn’t expect to see it applied so soon to something as seemingly mundane as public transport. Sure enough, though, Chromaroma is a new application from UK-based Mudlark that turns Tube travel in London into a rewarding game. Chromaroma is a game that “shows you your movements and location as you swipe your Oyster Card in and out of the Tube,” in the site’s own words. Users begin by signing up with Chromaroma and then providing their Oyster Card data along with details including any teams they’d like to join and friends they’d like to connect with on the site. From there, Chromaroma will import the user’s Tube, bus and bike journey history, awarding points for each trip. For each user, Chromaroma tracks statistics on the number of swipes, achievements, “missions,” “collections,” places, identities, modes of transport, seasonal highlights and passengers encountered as the user travels around the city, along with the number of stations “captured,” records set and overall rank. By watching their own travel details, users can investigate new ways to travel and new destinations; “multipliers” and bonus points are available by working with a team, building up connections with fellow passengers, and discovering “mysteries” attached to a particular location. Beyond competition and conquest, Chromaroma’s gameplay “opens up the beauty in the city’s transport flows and reveals to its most persistent players some of the mysteries of travel, and even the strange characters travelling through the tunnels in the centre of the system, who may hold the secrets to your city,” the site explains. A video on Vimeo illustrates Chromaroma in action. Chromaroma is currently in development with backing from 4IP and Screen West Midlands. Time to bring some elements of gaming into your own company’s products or services? (Related: Finnish library uses games to crowdsource indexingPlatform adds gaming elements to any website or applicationWeb service uses gaming to motivate salespeople.) Spotted by: Katharina Kieck



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