The first DigiWall climbing attraction to be installed in the UK by Innovative Leisure Ltd. has opened at The Warehouse climbing centre in Gloucester city centre.
Specialising in a range of climbing based attractions, including static and mobile climbing walls and towers, the Coconut Tree Climb, The Rock climbing simulator and modular climbing panels, DigiWall is one of the latest additions to the Innovative Leisure line-up and brings with it a brand new way for participants to enjoy a climbing based experience.
DigiWall is best described as a series of computer games played through a climbing wall interface. The attraction consists of several different sections, each measuring 1m. by 2.8m., with the standard version incorporating six sections. These can be placed against a flat wall, in a corner or can create a free standing unit with a total width of 6.4m. Customised walls are also available.
Each section of the DigiWall features 24 grips for hands and feet, each one incorporating a sensor and light which are linked to a computer. A surround sound system is another feature and a variety of games with different levels can be played by users as they climb over the wall. Each game also uses its own sound design.
Unlike ordinary computer games, DigiWall provides physically challenging, computer based entertainment for a wide age range, in particular youngsters who might otherwise not get involved in physical activity. It brings a variety of new elements into the climbing wall experience, adding to the activity by providing feedback to the user through sound and the illuminated grips.
“We were trying to find something different to add to the centre,” commented Simon Baldwin, a director at The Warehouse. “We’ve been working with Innovative Leisure for a long time and Phil felt it would be good for us to have the first DigiWall in the UK, particularly as we are a climbing centre. I could see a number of extra benefits when I first saw it and all ages are using it, from five years old up to adults. It’s even been used for team building. We are mainly using it for groups and parties at the moment and it brings a new and different experience to the overall experiences we offer.”
Equally impressed with the project is Innovative Leisure’s Phil Pickersgill, who noted: “The Warehouse has done a fantastic job with their DigiWall installation and it’s proving to be very popular with all those who use it. It’s great to see the first one up and running in the UK and enjoying success with different age groups, while it’s also interesting to see who is actually using it. It brings a totally different experience to the centre and gives them the opportunity to expand their offering in a number of ways and to a wider audience. It’s a great complement to what they already provide.”
DigiWall incorporates many different game formats, some for individuals, some being collaborative with groups of up to six people, some being memory based and others being addictive and competitive. Thus it appeals to a very wide age range, in particular from pre-school to teenagers, and is suitable for all kinds of venue such as theme parks, resorts, science centres, kids indoor play centres, gymnasiums (for kids fitness particularly), bowling centres, shopping centres, farm parks, laser game centres and many more.
Additionally it has much commercial appeal to operators as it can run with no staff and in terms of game play can be controlled in various ways from the wall itself, by coin-mechanism and/or from a computer at a reception desk.
“We have noticed a definite increase in the popularity of climbing attractions in different sectors," Pickersgill continued. "A wide range of organisations are now installing them as alternatives to more traditional games and activities. They are finding that climbing provides a number of benefits for youngsters, not least the fact that some who may not get involved in sport generally are trying it and realising they can enjoy such activities after all as part of their suggested five hours a week of physical exercise.”
For more information visit: innovativeleisure.co.uk