Renata Ciesielska is a student at the University of Lodz in Poland. She’s also a member of the Imagine Cup finalist team, Serious English Name. Her brother is an ambitious and talented young man with a bright future ahead of him. However, like many young people, he finds it challenging to balance a healthy, active lifestyle with his studies and social life. Inspired by his situation, Renata and her team decided to create a game that encourages more young people to get fighting fit – literally!
Using a combination of gaming and wearable technology, the team developed BandBarian – a new way to get a generation of gamers moving. The game offers you the opportunity to transform into a fearless barbarian with a love for battle, traversing through a virtual world of rocky outcrops, defending yourself against terrifying monsters.
A fitness band tracks your physical movements during the game – the more you move, the stronger your warrior avatar becomes. Human beings are psychologically designed to put off things we find tough and challenging. But conversely we’re encouraged by motivation, rewards and positive feedback. Tapping into the same thinking behind wearing a fitness tracker on your wrist, which encourages you to hit the gym, or walk a certain number of steps each day, BandBarian encourages you to meet your fitness goals by enthusiastically slaying virtual fiends.
The solution is timely. Last year more than 1.9 billion people, 39% of all adults globally, were deemed to be overweight. Sadly, 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. Technology that motivates more people to get moving without being a chore has the potential to help slow this trend.
Getting to this point in their journey hasn’t been easy. As the team counts down to the worldwide finals of the Imagine Cup, they have experienced, first hand, the challenges associated with entrepreneurialism in their country. Unfortunately, many have proffered the opinion that the only route to success is to work for a large, established corporation. But this motivated team is committed to changing the older generation’s perception of start-ups. They’re on a mission to inpire more young Poles to think big and jump into the tech start-up world.
Like them, we’re excited to see what the future holds for BandBarian. More information on the team can be found here.