A new component of the successful Strong Kids Card program, Y-MVP is an innovative digital game designed to stimulate teens to increase their daily levels of Moderate to Vigorous Physical activity.

Adopting online game design techniques, New York City’s YMCA has created a dynamic badge system that motivates, recognizes and rewards young people’s MVP levels while helping them to create life-long healthy habits.

YMCA MVP Program

The YMCA, a well-known institution that has been promoting health and wellness worldwide for over 150 years, wanted to create a program that encourages children to stay active by promoting friendly competition and rewards. They believe that promoting daily activity in a child’s schedule will encourage a healthy and active lifestyle that will stick with them for life.

WebDevStudios created Y-MVP, a social fitness application powered by WordPress and BuddyPress that was designed specifically for the iPad. By using the new and improved V1.0 version of BadgeOS (created by WDS, Credly, and Studiofluid) for this app, we expanded the use of WordPress as an application framework.

YMCA MVP Program, WordPress, BuddyPress, Badging, Achievements, Gamification, WebDevStudios, WordPress native app, Gamification, Badges, Achievements
YMCA Y-MVP merchandise spread on table

A social fitness network

Y-MVP also capitalizes on the popularity of social media sites to promote healthy lifestyle values, and build a community of young people that values physical activity.

Participants are encouraged to share their won badges and earned rewards on social media sites, while a Timeline and Leaderboard displayed on the kiosk’s login page show users accomplishments and reinforce the importance of daily physical activity.

Y-MVP will soon include the PLAYlist, an additional web-based feature where Y-MVP users will be able to share their favorite workout routines and challenge other teens to try their workouts. The Y-MVP Playlist is being developed in conjunction with the Institute of Play, under the sponsorship of the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in the New York Community Trust.

Get healthy by playing

The game encourages users to engage in a variety of fun physical activities and report their workout. As they log in exercises and increase their training time, they earn virtual badges and accumulate points.  The digital badges “unlock” additional privileges (e.g., access to fitness classes), incentives (e.g., t-shirts, water bottles) and help them set new goals. The badge progression serves to empower kids to develop the knowledge and skills to take responsibility for their own personal fitness and celebrate their accomplishments.Teens participate by scanning their Y membership or Strong Kids card at an eye-catching Y-MVP kiosk located at the entry of their branch.

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