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Tappy Fit Combines Flappy Bird With Exercise

A new app hopes to harness the addictiveness of Flappy Bird and use it to motivate players to exercise.

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By Bryan Le

03/21/14

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For those who have been sitting around playing the now-extinct Flappy Bird a bit too much - and gaining a few pounds in the process - there's a new app aimed at helping shed the unwanted weight. Tappy Fit, a new Flappy Bird-esque game, seeks to harness the addictive power of tapping your way between pipes while motivating players to exercise.

The game is almost identical in terms of gameplay to Flappy Bird with one major caveat: the game records how many steps you've taken in the day and allows you to redeem steps for in-game rewards, such as wider pipe gaps.

“The genre reportedly produced some addictive and negative impacts on lives,” said developer Aaron Coleman. “The idea came after thinking about how we might reframe it as positive for health. [It took] just a few days to develop, started with an open source project and then we adapted it.”

And Coleman doesn't want a game where people play just to play, where rewards are nothing more than a high score.

“Points for points' sake isn’t something we’re interested in,” Coleman said. “Combining things people value with their long-term health habits is very interesting to us. In the case of Tappy Fit, if you enjoy quick gaming moments, then making you more successful in the game because you were more successful meeting your step goal is something we see as an example of a meaningful tie in to your life.”

Coleman freely admits that he's not the first to combine gaming with exercise, citing Wii Fit and XBox Kinect as major examples. His goal is to see what kind of experiences can be combined with fitness data and he believes products like his are only the tip of the iceberg.

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