I'm inventing a new urban game called Walking Around. I'm sure that someone else has invented it already, but reinvention is part of the process of creativity. Here's how it's played.
First, you play with a pedometer, which tells you how far you've walked during the day. There are a number of systems already for tracking your pedometer usage, including Walker Tracker, Steps, and a bunch of others. Use whatever system that gives you, or just a spreadsheet, to take care of the basic structure of making certain that you count steps daily.
Second – and here is what is novel, at least to me – is that there's a bonus structure in the game designed to award bonuses for when you have accomplished tasks. The first bonus award that I'm awarding myself looks at constructing a walk so that you make an orbit around the biggest possible chunk of territory; that is to say, repeated walks along the same path will get you zero bonus, but going out of your way on a detour will add to your score, and trekking through unfamiliar territory in a big loop is the best.
So far this is a pen and paper game and I haven't fully worked out the point structure. I have a notion that you capture territory every time you orbit it, so that you might win a park by going all the way around it, and you might win a political ward or precinct by capturing a loop around it. To simplify greatly, since I am trying to keep record of this in a small book, I'm just drawing a graph with destinations rather than tracking every street.
Some idea sources:
Riverwalks Ann Arbor is a book of walking loops along the Huron River, written by Brenda E. Bentley.
The AADL Summer Reading Game has points for reading books and badges for doing various other tasks, and the gamers there know how to make a game that will make you read. There should therefore be points in my Walking Around game every time you complete part of a circuit that connects to a library.
All City New York is the work of Moses Gates, whose game board includes the challenge of visiting all of the census tracts of New York City. Thanks to Ruth Kraut for the link.
In Tacoma, Brian Kerr is getting bonus points in his version of the game for elevation.
Now pardon me while I connect some dots in my game map.