Political support is the critical missing element for many bike projects. Grr-Grr-Bike is a smartphone game designed to increase political support for bike projects by connecting players with local bike advocacy groups via a link on the game results screen. Clicking the link takes you to a page with information from your local bike group on local events, projects to support and activities.
Grr-Grr-Bike! is a fun way to learn about urban bike riding and support better biking in your community.
Grr-Grr-Bike is a smartphone game where you guide a bike rider through the city, avoiding on-coming vehicles, car doors and other obstacles. You need to stop at red lights and for pedestrians crossing the street. You’re also being chased by a dog - that’s where the name comes from! The goal is to get as far along the street and pick-up as many coins as possible. Game on YouTube: http://youtu.be/olbHf17vHT0
When you finish, Grr-Grr-Bike's results screen includes a link taking you to a page with information from your local bike group on local events, activities, projects that need support and information on getting involved.
The goal is to broaden political support for bike projects and programs by exposing smartphone game players to local bike advocacy groups. Since many smartphone game players are young this would be a great opportunity for local advocacy groups to increase their membership and energy.
We’ve finished the prototype game. Now we're improving its usability and educational value, and building the link to local bike advocacy groups. You can download the prototype for Android at: www.grr-grr-bike.com. We’re seeking funds to finish the game and place it on the Android and iOS application stores. Please contact me with comments, questions or for more information.
More Detailed Background
Why is political support important?
Adding bike lanes, reducing automobile traffic and improving streets for bikes and pedestrians is a question of politics. We know how to make bicycling safer and more attractive. We know how to create cities where bicycling is the preferred mode of transport. Why aren’t we doing it?
Quite simply, we still don’t have enough political power. Automobiles have taken over our cities even where a majority of people bike, walk or ride public transport.
Grr-Grr-Bike is designed to increase our political power by introducing a new group of people to bicycle advocacy: people who support improved biking but need information about what they can do. Grr-Grr-Bike links players with their local bike groups via a link embedded in the game. The link takes people to a page with information developed by their local bike group on local events, activities, projects to support and membership.
Why a game?
Because that’s where the people are! Consider that almost 60% of the US population has a smartphone, over 100 million Americans use mobile apps and games are the most popular downloads. In many other countries these numbers are even higher! If only a small number of these people get involved in supporting better biking, we’ll be doing great.
Games are also especially good for organizing a community because people who play the same game form strong relationships bonded through shared endeavours, goals, and practices. This increases their willingness to work on supporting improved bicycling.
Finally, games can act as a platform for other web-based and real world advocacy tools such as crowd sourced mapping and problem identification, sharing technical information, GIS applications and other tools.
What are the next steps?
We've finished the prototype. Now we're seeking funds to finish the apps for Android and iOS, and to create the local bike advocacy information template.
In the meantime we’re testing the prototype. We’ll be making the game easier to use and increasing its educational value. For example, we want to discourage people from riding on the sidewalk – but that’s not clear in the prototype!
We are also considering “in-app” purchases (e.g. faster bikes) to help fund game maintenance and to provide funds for local bike groups.
Once the game is established we’ll develop customized versions with street scenes from different cities and different obstacles, perhaps a Viennese coffeehouse waiter crossing the street with a Melange and glass of water delicately balanced on his tray?
Contact - Andy Nash, andynash.com