A multi-player game for a smartphone that is controlled by the player’s heart rate as they walk.

As the player takes a walk, their journey is mapped by GPS and a heart rate monitor. The goal is to maintain optimum heart rate and explore as far as they can, in order to score points. The player creates a landscape that appears on the mobile phone screen as they walk. If the player’s heart rate goes too low or too high the landscape on the mobile phone becomes arid desert or turns to wild forest, in optimum range the landscape blossoms.

The networked game lets players view the journey’s other players have made, on their mobile phone screen, when they cross paths. They score bonus points by following these paths, stealing territories from each other and collecting objects and messages left for them in the game. The game connects to an online map where players can review, replay and download journeys.

Heartlands was funded as part of an art/science initiative with the Wellcome Trust.

Winner of:
UK and Ireland Satellite Navigation Competition
Nokia Ubimedia Mindtrek Award in 2007.

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Promotional Video for the Project


Wellcome Trust & Arts Council of England