Foursquare last week announced a new initiative that allows users to earn badges through select partners to encourage positive activities. Their first partner was RunKeeper, who awards badges for running, biking and other physical activities. Today they’ve announced a partnership with HealthMonth that will allow users to earn special badges for developing healthy habits.
HealthMonth allows you to set health goals â€” both mental and physical â€” on a monthly basis (you have until midnight to get into the game for October). They can be for things like reducing caffeine, going on more dates and increasing exercise. Your goals are rated and assigned to a category based on difficulty. Yellow is the easiest, while purple is the most difficult. Each day you’ll fill out a scorecard to help keep track of your activities. At the end of the month, if you’ve stuck to your goals â€” or at least come close â€” you’ll earn a badge that corresponds to each level.
You’ll be assigned to a team and can track your progress against the team leaderboard and your friends. LifePoints measure your progress.
The yellow, or easiest, level is free to participate, but the costs escalate for the more difficult levels. You can choose to pay by the month, $50 for a year membership or you can apply for sponsorship. Users with the year membership receive an allotment of “sponsorship chips” they can use to sponsor other members.
HealthMonth looks like an interesting way to use social game mechanics to encourage healthy habits. Foursquare’s partnership is certainly a good way to help encourage those habits among a larger group of people.