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Press Release

Sonoma Dad Links Video Games with the Outdoors for Healthier Kids

 Sonoma, CA (November 4, 2014) – For Santa Rosa’s own Steve Calhoun, it began as a hobby – an obsession, really – around mobile applications and a desire to create something “different”. Products with strong entertainment appeal and great usability, along with …. here’s the clincher: the outdoors.

Now more than ever, kids are captive to their personal devices and play outside less. GenZPlay is aiming to change that and combat rising childhood obesity by providing a bridge between video games and the outdoors. GenZPlay believes in intrinsic motivation—when an activity is fun and you see immediate results, the feeling of achievement or challenge will likely motivate you to do it again. GenZPlay is the first company to offer apps that combine intrinsic motivation with a real outdoor gaming experience, encouraging generations to get out and play.

GenZPlay is the brainchild of Steve Calhoun, creator, CEO, and a Santa Rosa father of a 4-year-old. When his son was born, Steve became more aware of kids’ activities and saw the strong, early attraction that children had to video games. As a father, he realized that instead of making his kid go outside to Finley park and play seem like a punishment, he wanted to incorporate video games into outdoor games so that his son, his son’s friends and generations would want to play outside.

“We all grew up playing outdoors. But now video games are creating an immobile, house-bound generation. GenZPlay uses Bluetooth activity trackers to record your body’s movements and insert you, as an animated character, into a video game or epic movie. Movement and nature are key components of our games,” says Calhoun, describing GenZPlay.

After three years of working on GenZPlay on the side of his “day job,” Calhoun has developed four apps each with an exercise theme and a ‘choose-your-own-path’ adventure. Bluetooth trackers are used within devices, such as an Augmented Reality Disc Golf game that GenZPlay is partnering with sports toy manufactures to develop, as well as a Decathlon game with kid-friendly versions of javelin, shot-put, discus, and pole vaulting equipment. An easily customizable version of a Treasure Hunt game using iBeacon for the hospitality industry is also in development.

GenZPlay has just started a crowdfunding campaign to help propel Calhoun’s dream to the next level, with the goal of helping children with obesity and other medical issues while encouraging children to make the transition to the outdoors. One of the top contributer gifts for the crowdfunding campaign is a day of skiing with World Cup Champion and Olympic Ski Racer Daron Rahlves.

Funding will help in the creation of 3-6-hour-long movie games that will require at least 1-1/2-2 hours of exercise to complete. GenZPlay will release appisodes every month for $2.99 each. Their goal is to produce a cartoon-like series, where the children anticipate every monthly release.

Calhoun can’t wait to start the next chapter of GenZPlay, Through mobile apps we can combine technology and kinesiology programs with fun, health-conscious games to teach, entertain and coach generations to be the person they want to be,” says Calhoun.

 About: GenZPlay is on the forefront of mobile apps contributing to the ideology of wellness. By pioneering the idea of apps focused on intrinsic motivation and leveraging the recent boom in health-related applications for smartphones and tablets, GenZPlay is bringing the concept of exergaming to the outdoors by creating fun and exciting computer applications to be enjoyed outside for all ages and abilities.

 GenZPlay is supported by an expert team of designers, world-class athletes, and medical professionals. For more information, please visit:


 Provided on the behalf of GenZPlay by Switchback PR + Marketing.

Rahlves’ Banzai Tour Launches Smartphone App

Truckee, Calif.—January 14, 2013

Rahlves’ Banzai Tour presented by Bank of the West launches free interactive smartphone app

Rahlves’ Banzai Tour presented by Bank of the West is excited to announce the launch of its free, interactive smartphone app. The app, created by GenZPlay Interactive Outdoor Apps, based out of Sonoma, California not only keeps tour participants up to speed on starting times and tour results, but keeps the public informed on all things Banzai.

Whether you are a spectator, participant, family member, or friend, the app is your go-to place for the schedule and results of each tour stop. The schedule is constantly updated with registration dates, locations and start times, so that you won’t be late for your chance to compete against Daron Rahlves, or watch your loved one compete against some of the areas best athletes. Rahlves’ Banzai Tour app also provides the results and times from the 2012 tour, and will update with this years results as they come in.

Get psyched on this year’s tour by checking out the app for Banzai videos and teasers, action shots, the Banzai blog, Tahoe weather updates, sponsor information and the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour twitter feed, which is constantly updated with fun and exciting tour info.

To download the free app on your smartphone, visit, or scan the QR code featured on all Rahlves’ Banzai Tour posters and flyers. The app will work on all smartphones and tablets that use an internet browser.

Make plans to catch the high-speed action at each tour stop including:

  • Kirkwood Mountain Resort Feb. 2-3, 2013
    – Red Cliffs Après party Feb. 2
  • Alpine Meadows Feb. 9-10, 2013
    – Last Chair Après party Feb. 9
  • Squaw Valley Mar. 2-3, 2013
    – Le Chamois Après party Mar. 2
  • Sugar Bowl Resort Mar. 9-10, 2013
    – Sierra Vista Bar Après party Mar. 9


GenZplay Moves Children’s Phone Apps Outdoors with Exercise-based Games

Sonoma Valley, California—September 4th, 2012.

GenZplay’s First Activity-Based Fitness App For Both Android and Apple iOS moves the mobile gaming model outdoors

GenZplay, a developer of children’s phone and tablet software, announced the availability of ‘Big Cat Race,’ a new app that changes children’s gaming into an aerobic, outdoors activity.   The Big Cat Race app is the first title focused on moving video gaming out of the home. Big Cat Race allows kids to have the interactive fun of a video game combined with outdoor exercise. Pick a cat and race against 2 other cats, through obstacles, over hills and earn prizes in this animated series of children’s fitness applications. Children age 3 and up run and jump to play as the app’s Big Cat in a cartoon race against other ‘Big Cat’ children around the world, or play against the computer.

“GenZplay is focused on making phone and tablet time a healthy part of the day.  We use psychological principles such as ‘reactance theory’ to make screen time into active time and use technology to both motivate and moderate a healthy lifestyle,” said Stephen Calhoun, Company Founder and CEO. “Our current goal is to release a 99 cent episode every week, much like a children’s cartoon TV series. We are currently working with twoHollywood movie stars and two Olympic athletes to further develop this vision.”

Stephen realized that he wanted his son to grow up playing video games outdoors. His lifelong passion for extreme sports and outdoor adventures prompted this new genre of gaming apps. The Big Cat Race is the first app on Android or Apple iOS platforms to focus on moving video gaming out of the home. “We are excited to create a mobile gaminglifestyle that doesn’t compete with the real world that is going on around us.”

GenZPlay apps, such as Big Cat Race, teach self-motivation and self-moderation skills that extend from helping children be more active to   promoting proper sleeping habits andeating healthier.  Children also have the opportunity to upgrade their character via educational quizzes and parents can set up a simple nutrition and activity-based rewards system.

“GenZplay believes that the computer should not be the main focus of our everyday lives, but purely a device for communication and education. Our drive for healthiness and happiness should come from within, ” Founder Stephen Calhoun continues. “Using these apps will be a motivating and entertaining way to enjoy and explore our world. We can learn about nature and nutrition at the same time.”

Download the PDF version here: Release Final.pdf


About GenZPlay 

Based in Sonoma Valley, California, GenZplay was founded in August 2011 by Stephen Calhoun to make video games a physically active part of his son’s outdoor life. The company is focused on integrating gaming mechanics with everyday activities, especially those that need a mixture of fun and adventure to motivate and inspire.

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