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Randori: The Gamification of Climbing

Climbing at BKB Somerville, local tech developer Jon Cheng was inspired to integrate his knowledge of coding with his knack for climbing, resulting in an invention unlike anything that exists in either realm.

the gamification of climbing randori brooklyn boulders somerville
Photo from Randori

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On Randori, his coding company’s blog, Cheng outlines his process in transforming a climbing wall into a video game.

“I wanted to create a game that made people think about climbing and wall usage in new ways,” says Cheng, “to make it more accessible, I needed to make sure that the movements players would use were varied enough that climbers of all sizes and skill levels could play. I also needed to be able to mold the game mechanics to the holds that were already on the wall. Last, I wanted an arcade style high score board so that the people who wanted to compete could try to battle for the top score.”

The game is a timed race to touch all of the projected white dots on the wall, and eliminates specific routes, allowing players to use whichever holds enable them to achieve the fastest time. We love the game here at Brooklyn Boulders — this is just the sort of innovation we get excited about.  Cheng’s game also managed to get the attention of Climbing Business Journal.

Cheng encourages others to harness the power of coding in their own lives, “to get creative and think about learning to code as a means to improve the things you already enjoy.”

Join us for our next Community Night at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville, held on Thursday, October 15, to get a crack at Cheng’s invention.


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