Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 20, 2009

Email: Exercise Gaming

Malstrom,

Have you seen this article
(http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/experienced-points/6229-Experienced-Points-Fitness-Gaming)?
In it, the author details the problems with the Wii Fit, namely it
becomes hard to play it for long stretches of time. The author had
previously suggested something
(http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=917) that I feel would
be a superior workout option, but it uses an exercycle. A two hour low
impact exercise is certainly better for you than a 20-minute
sweat-a-thon, but would the Expanded Audience play it for that long?
What are your thoughts on the matter?

An imaginary game is always superior to any game in reality. Anyway, what he is asking for is Balance Board (or exercise game) with substantial content (not mini-game fiesta). I can understand this desire. However, his view of content is the escapism type.

The Expanded Audience does not respond to well with escapism gaming. Escapism gaming is gaming that replaces your life (World of Warcraft, FPS games, RPGs, etc.). Games like Wii Sports, Brain Age, Nintendogs, Wii Fit, and all are more geared towards connecting to your life. The aim isn”t to envelop the player in a fictional realm. So no, I don’t think combining exercise with an escapist type game would work. After all, people exercise because of the real world. They don’t want to be seperated from it.

If Miyamoto walked in front of a bus today, his biggest contribution to gaming will be remembered as Wii Fit and jumpstarting the exercise gaming. I believe exercise gaming will create a little sub-industry within the games industry. Within time, this little sub-industry will declare independence and become an industry in itself (it won’t need a console). People will be buying various exercise games for their home. In the gyms, new ‘machines’ will appear and be similar to the old arcade machines but they are exercise games. There is massive potential behind this.

Exercise is boring and gaming can help remove that boredom. The two are made for one another!


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