When Nintendo launched the Wii in 2006, it took the world by storm. Bundled together with Wii Sports, it didn’t take long to realize that you could get your heart rate going in a heated game of Tennis, or give your arms a good workout while Boxing. Casual and hardcore gamers soon found out it was quite possible to get a decent workout from this console. Motion controls pioneered by the Wii started a trend called “Exergaming”
Defined in the Collins English Dictionary as playing video games that require a lot of exercise, exergaming has skyrocketed within the last decade. Thanks largely to the success of such titles as Wii Fit (over 21 million sold worldwide) and the Dance Dance Revolution series, the idea of working out while playing video games seemed like a match made in heaven for many people. After all, who wouldn’t want to improve their overall health and fitness AND have fun doing it? Even though many will argue that nothing can replace a membership at the gym, exergaming is proof that more and more people are searching for an alternative, and more cost effective way to burn those calories.
Looking at what is available today, titles such as EA Sports Active and Ubisoft’s Your Shape Fitness Evolved are some great examples of quality exergaming. Here are 4 ideas I believe will help this genre of gaming with future titles.
I believe everyone will agree that music is a great motivator. Being able to choose what music you want to hear while getting your sweat on not only makes the experience more unique, but it can even make the difference between a good workout and a great one! I personnally will run harder and faster when the right song starts playing.
Nothing like having a buddy along to keep the workout going! Even though we see a lot of 2 player alternating and simultaneous action with exergaming today, I believe it can be expanded on somehow. If up to 7 people can play Rock Band at once, there must be a way to get 7 people all dancing at once. The more the merrier!
Competition can also be a great motivator. This feature seems to be included with nearly every other genre in gaming except exergaming. I want to know if I can burn more calories than my friends in New York or do more push ups than my cousin in Greece. While some titles have actual online communities for support and progress tracking, being able to see where how you stand up against other players worldwide would be interesting.
GET THE BRANDS IN THE GAME
Even though this is strictly a marketing tool, brand awareness is simply too effective to ignore. Companies such as Nike, Adidas & Under Armour are commonly found in many sports games. Doesn’t it make sense to have the same sort of mainstream integration here as well? UFC Personal Trainer is a great example of this idea at work.
Do you agree with any of these ideas? Have some ideas of your own? Please leave some comments below!