Geeky moms and dads need to leave the house too, right? While I love seeing you here on the blog, I want you to get fresh air and sunshine. If you need someone to give you some points for your effort, try one of these apps to gamify your outings. Geo-location apps turn walks with baby into a scavenger hunt. Nerdy parents will love to use foursquare, ingress, or geocaching apps to take their love of video games into the great outdoors.
- foursquare. For adults with or without kids, wherever you go.
Use your phone to “check in” to various real-world places whenever you arrive. If you visit one place often enough, you will become the mayor. You can also earn badges of honor for achieving different milestones in the game such as checking in 10 times in a day or going to 5 different movie theaters. Using the social features, you can find out which of your friends is nearby, share tips with each other, and leave photographs of your experience. I don’t know why I’m soooo very into it; there’s no practical application (aside from my documented obsession of data for its own sake!). As of this writing, I have more than 3,000 check-ins and a dozen mayorships.
Get foursquare in the iTunes app store or Google play store.
- Geocaching. For parents and kids alike, exploring for treasure.
Use your phone (or an old fashioned website) to find hidden caches of miniature bits and bobs. I’ll admit that I’ve never done this, but I think it sounds really fun for just the right sort of geeky family. Shiloh tells us all about geocaching with her big pregnant belly and little infant sidekick and Whitney describes her family’s experience with geocaching including some smartphone apps.
This Groundspeak Geocaching app is about $10 in either the iTunes app store or the Google play store but comes highly recommended.
- Ingress. For parents and big kids, capturing specific locations.
For Android phone users only, Ingress is an “augmented reality” game where you have to walk to different “portals” in your area/town. These portals are actually real landmarks, sculptures, and other public, historic or artistic sites, that you may never have noticed before. The goal is to capture these portals for your team, and link them together. The game requires you to be physically near these locations, so it gets you out walking and seeing new and unique landmarks in your local area. The game theme is pretty nerdy though: the two teams are the Enlightenment, who are welcoming new alien technology to the earth, and the Resistance, who are against the aliens. You choose either side to begin, and then your allegiance doesn’t change. My husband and eight year-old go walking for hours each weekend to play this game.
Request an invite at http://www.ingress.com.
These are the geo apps we’re using. Do you have a geeky guilty pleasure that gets you out into the real world? Do tell!