Considering how far gaming has come and that we know we see games that are becoming more and more realistic to the point cut scenes now resembles scenes from films it is unsurprising that gaming is no longer confined to itself. Games and films have been tied together for a while now as graphics and the hardware on which games run has become that much better. Gaming has now appeared within the fitness industry, one of the last places you may have imagined to find it.
I’ve seen it for a while now at the gym where the screens on the exercise bikes have become big enough and advanced enough so as to not only display heart rate, distance, calories, etc., but also have the capability of allowing the exerciser to play games such as solitaire and Sudoku. I admit these games are not the most advanced, but it seems strange to me that people are able to play these games while exercising. Exercising is not always a pleasurable experience, and if you are working hard, I find it difficult to believe that you would have the decision-making skills and where with all to play these sorts of thinking games as you work out.
I do however, see a positive point coming out of gaming being involved within the fitness industry. It has the ability to take away the fear I guess of having to go and exercise. I’ll be the first to admit that working out does sometimes become tedious and monotonous, and even the most basic of games have the ability to break the monotony. If it helps get someone in the gym and towards a healthier lifestyle then I can’t really say anything overwhelmingly negative about it.
Where I think the notion of gaming within exercise machines works well is in a very simple game on my rower at home called ‘Race’. This is where you are able to wirelessly hook up to other machines and race an opponent over a certain distance. It promotes exercise and to anyone with a hint of competitiveness it is extremely fun.
Of course the Nintendo Wii became wildly popular with the introduction of Wii Fit into the market. It is now possible to fulfil your fitness requirement from the comfort of your own home through nothing more than your TV and a console. I’m not sure it entirely promotes a healthy lifestyle which should encompass going outside and being active, but it’s a start and is interesting to look at moving forward as to how it will continue to develop.
Gaming within the fitness industry is a relatively new idea, but if done correctly is an exciting proposition moving forward, especially with health-related diseases being so common. Fitness through gaming may become the answer to some of the problems in terms of health we are faced with now and in the future.