The researchification of games: Adopting a game designer's approach to market research

Peter Harrison
BrainJuicer Labs


In 2010, Nike worked with Wieden and Kennedy to create a game, and something rather special happened. Nike knew that young Londoners found jogging a boring, solitary activity, so they invited a large group of them to play Nike Grid, a running game. They turned London into a game board, divided into zones delineated by post-code. Nike Grid challenged competitors to ‘claim their streets’ by completing as many runs as they could. Additional points and badges were awarded for being the fastest, completing special routes or unlocking ‘secret missions’ like running at night. Players were given a special code that they dialled at designated phone-boxes at the start and finish of their run; this timed them and recorded their scores. Results were published online and shared on Facebook where competitors could gloat and commend each other.