Springlab Forest gets people active in the woods with game technology

Moon Trees, the most sophisticated outdoor game in a natural environment is now a fact

After Pokémon Go!, we finally have another outdoor game. And this time, it’s made in the Netherlands. The makers of the game, Springlab and Klimbos Nederland – represented by Springlab Forest – have taken an important step in getting people outside to exercise. Their joint innovation called Moon Trees was launched in Klimbos Veluwe in Apeldoorn on 6 June. Moon Trees is the first outdoor game based on the most recent game technology and it’s played in the woods. A world first.

Valuable role of game technology

During the official Moon Trees kick-off, we looked at the role and the value of game technology when it comes to physical exercise. Dr. Monique Simons, researcher of Digital (Game) Technology for Healthy Urban Living at Utrecht University, gave a presentation on the meaning of games for healthy exercise. Monique Simons; “By using the power and excitement of technology and games, it’s not only possible for healthy behaviour to become the easier option but also for it to become the more exciting option.” Mark Sandmann, an alderman of the Municipality of Apeldoorn, performed the official opening ceremony. “Moon Trees is a technological feat by various regional entrepreneurs. Something the Municipality of Apeldoorn can be very proud of”, Mark Sandmann said.

Getting people to exercise

Springlab has already proven with previous projects that game technology can play a valuable role in getting people to exercise. Previously, their Active Cues Magic Table got people suffering from dementia active, and they created a green wave in the town centre with Flo bikes. Jan-Paul de Beer, chief at Springlab, has a clear mission: getting people around the world to exercise. He believes we were built to exercise and that exercise is vital for a healthy and happy life. “Moon Trees is based on computer games, but it is played in the physical world. This makes Moon Trees the superlative of a computer game, and it’s healthy too! We’re convinced Moon Trees will encourage children, teenagers and adults to get active.”, says Jan-Paul de Beer.

Appealing to gaming youngsters

Computer games are extremely popular among children and teenagers. So if you want to address them and encourage them to play outside, you can only do so by building a bridge between playing outside and gaming. “Programmers and game designers who usually make computer games have now focused on designing an outdoor game, using the most innovative technologies. For this game, you use an Internet of things network. The tree computers communicate wirelessly with each other. Also, this game is played in one of the most magnificent game décors in the world: the woods”, says Ciaran Barsema, managing director of Springlab forest.

A proper workout

The aim of the game is to earn as many points as possible in 45 minutes by conquering Moon Trees. Moon Trees demands more than sufficient physical effort and social-emotional commitment in order to meet the definition of sport. Ciaran Barsema explains: “Playing Moon Trees is a perfect alternative to the gym; it’s a proper workout. Also, as a team, you need to be smart in order to win.”

Teamwork by innovative regional parties

Moon Trees was developed thanks to the intensive collaboration of various innovative businesses from the Apeldoorn area. One of the parties is Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Oost NL. As a fund manager, Oost NL has granted Springlab Forest a loan from a cultural loan fund in the province of Gelderland. Pieter Rhemrev, manager of the Capital business unit at Oost NL: “This fund is used to encourage innovation through the development of talented people and quality improvements in the cultural and creative sectors. Moon Trees encourages a healthy lifestyle through play. This means we are directly contributing to a healthier society and to local employment at the same time, both at Springlab Forest and Klimbos Veluwe. This enables Springlab Forest to lay solid foundations that will be able to support future growth.”