The idea for Sjapper started summer 2010 in sunny Kristiansand. The local newspaper reported that Kvadraturen, the local city centre was down 17% in revenue whilst the major shopping mall was up 25%. Reading this first made me sad, as I love my town, the local stores and places all with it’s nice atmosphere and friendly people. Then it made me think, what can I do to make it more attractive for people to visit and stimulate to growth?
As a developer and systems architect I’ve built and integrated nordic and global business-critical systems and processes for 10 years. I’ve been a passionate gamer since I was eight and in 2009 I followed my childhood dream and started a computer game development company. This is a whole different story but in short, after observing that people spent more an more time online using social media and games, and after getting tired of motivating my own kids to instead go out and play, I had a desire to use all my existing knowledge to instead integrate online games with real life activities to get my kids out to play.
Take football for example, both of my kids play so why not find a way to integrate their real life movements on the pitch with their gaming character in Fifa Online so that the more they play in real life, the better their online player becomes. I’m sure they would love that! The same could apply to skating and other activities: what if we’d already bought the best skateboard produced by our local manufacturer Robins Hood, wouldn’t it be nice for them to use that in a Tony Hawk game? I had all these great ideas but was struggling with how to get started in a manageable way.
Back to the issues in Kvadraturen. What if we combine all these ideas and create a tool that makes it more fun and rewarding to visit the local stores and places in Kvadraturen? What if we start by giving people a chance to build and see a digital version of themselves, based on everyday activities, like shopping for starters?
A few years ago this would be seem like an unbearable process, but with todays new technologies of smartphones, the situation is different. The options for tracking are now limitless, and the possibilities of applying a digital self are endless.
And so the story begin