New iPhone App, Website and Facebook Walking Game—Arookoo—Steps Up Social Gaming Arookoo Turns Walking into a Game, Making it Fun to be Healthy!

NEW YORK and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Reader's Digest Association (RDA), and Vivity Labs, a leading developer of lifestyle gaming experiences, today launched Arookoo™, a one-of-a-kind iPhone App, companion Website and Facebook game that makes walking fun by sending players on challenges to take more steps and move around their city. Arookoo rewards players for increasing the amount of steps walked each day while completing a wide variety of fun activities including walking challenges, GPS based scavenger hunts, team challenges with friends, calorie and distance tracking and more.

"Arookoo turns traditional 'online and social-gaming' into a real-life way to promote healthy living," said Lisa Sharples, executive vice president, RDA. "With Arookoo, you can engage friends and family in fun walking challenges, competing for the most steps. Our goal is to motivate people of all ages to make incremental improvements in the amount of steps they take every day, walking their way to a healthier life."

Arookoo on the iPhone

The free Arookoo app leverages the iPhone's accelerometer to automatically keep track of players' steps and the GPS to offer maps, nearby landmarks and GEO-targeted rewards. Players are encouraged to walk around their city to complete challenges, collect points and earn badges. For added motivation, players can create walking teams, and challenge friends for the most steps. Detailed health tracking such as calories burned, distance walked and more is available by upgrading for $2.99.

Arookoo.com

Arookoo on the Web is an extension of the iPhone app that takes players deeper with lifetime tracking for steps, distance, goals and calories plus fun team activities and more ways to connect with the Arookoo community for added motivation. 

Arookoo on Facebook

Arookoo World Explorers social game on Facebook connects players to a fun travel-themed game that turns local explorers into world explorers as players walk around a virtual world collecting stars and discovering tools and treasures hidden within the game. Players can "power up" by earning water through game play, paying for water in the game or connecting their Arookoo iPhone app to the game and taking steps in real life that equate to virtual power in the game.  With this first of its kind, trans-media platform, players are motivated to get up from the game and take steps in real life to earn points within the Facebook game.

"Walking is one of the easiest ways to exercise, so when we created Arookoo, we set out to make a fun product that would motivate millions of people to take simple steps to be healthier," said Michael Cole, co-founder and CEO of Vivity Labs. "We are extremely excited to partner with Reader's Digest Association on this innovative game as both companies share a similar vision of having a positive impact on people's lives."

According to a study by the New England Journal of Medicine, walking for 20-40 minutes a day can add 5 years to your life. Walking burns calories, strengthens cardio and lowers blood pressure, and though 74 percent of the US population walks regularly, it's not enough to significantly improve their health.  Arookoo's innovative features and game activities make it fun, easy and rewarding to take more steps to a healthier life.

Arookoo is available to download at the iTunes App store at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/arookoo-walk-game. Find more information about Arookoo here: http://arookoo.com. Visit the Facebook page to play the game here: http://apps.facebook.com/worldexplorers. View the video, photo library and media kit here: http://arookoo.com/press.

About Vivity Labs

Vivity Labs is a lifestyle gaming company that develops connected digital products for all ages across multiple platforms, including: PC/Console, Mobile and Web/Social. Vivity Labs' products use the motivational power of gaming to empower positive lifestyle changes. The company strives to create top-quality, broadly-accessible games and lifestyle technologies that push the envelope and make a difference in people's lives. Further information can be found at www.vivitylabs.com.

About Reader's Digest Association

RDA is a global media and direct marketing company that educates, entertains and connects more than 130 million consumers around the world with products and services from trusted brands. With offices in 44 countries, the company reaches customers in 79 countries, publishes 90 magazines, including 50 editions of Reader's Digest, the world's largest-circulation magazine, operates 83 branded websites and sells nearly 40 million books, music and video products across the world each year. www.rda.com.

Press contact:
Stephanie Robinett
Reader's Digest Association
206.708.9271
stephanier@allrecipes.com 

SOURCE Reader's Digest Association



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