Can Online Games be a Form of Mainstream Physical Exercise?

There is this great debate about whether technology should be the backbone to fuel exercise.

Termed “Gamexercise”, mobile and remote controllers such as Xbox, PS3 and Wii are used in conjunction with visual and audio media to create an entertaining experience where one can sweat it out physically whilst being integrated to a virtual environment. Interactivity is the key word here, regardless of device or the story of the game.

PRO: fight sedentary lifestyles with interactive physical reaction – also, for education: learn while you burn [calories]

CON: global warming via excess carbon/energy burn with electronic devices; manufacturing and adoption issues

In 2002, I was in the lab that created a driving simulator for rehabilitating drivers who were disabled from auto accidents. They could practice their driving skills in this simulator and strengthen their limbs, hone their judgement, refocus their eyesight, or enhance their spatial awareness.

Around 2 years later, we experimented with augmented reality [beyond Jobe of the Lawnmower Man] by attaching Thrustmaster and Logitech control surfaces to Nautilus equipment, with linkages to a PC with Mechwarrior online LAN configuration. Wow. 3 people were really sweating it out as they were mimicking the mechs in battle. The faster you moved, your chances of a kill were better. You had to lift the chassis of the mech to get power [weight lifting], raise those arms for rocket launches [triceps], swing to hit another mech [abs], and use shields [pecs] to defend from blasts. Awesome.

So, now, in the new era of “body gestures as the mouse”, let us move everyone OUT of the house, pull them away from the HDMI LCD screen with the airconditioning at full blast, and ground-rocking audio subs, unhand those handheld controllers, or LCD eyeware, and help Mother Earth a bit…

First, embed waterproof accelerometer and GPS device on a person [a sensor]. you know, those prisoner ankle bracelets are not bad!

Send them into the forest, park or beach with a quest! Audio maps with a digital camera on a PDA wil do fine!

Tag items, activate sensors with wifi, locate virtual treasure, submit findings and pics, comment on art or fix-my-street issues, etc – earn mission points by doing certain profiled exercises – tracked by sensor, interactive with GPS geotags, communicating via UMA [unlicensed mobile access] bandwidth – hey, its free!

The results are interactively seen globally with a GIS game application……there! NOW> everyone can track your exercise regime, and that’s more than the ego reason to get started in your very own reality show!!! You can play this for days, weeks even….we’ll all be watching how you do with weight loss, or cardio, or whatever exercise regime you’ve signup up with the blessing from your qualified  fitness instructor. Divers need certification, then so do fitness instructors!!!

put the exercise into the person, take the tech outside!!!

About felix lee

a change agent and philosopher, I have been in corporate business for about 28 years chiefly in marketing, events, PR and IT. this is a small way of sharing wisdoms in starting and re-inventing your business and running it holistically like you do with your life. i am learning to write ebooks and welcome tips from anyone who is happy to share them. please drop me a line anytime. Kindly forgive the messy housekeeping...
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