Weight loss through gaming is nothing new, but VR opens the doors to so many more possibilities.
From playing Wii Tennis, DDR, even drumming in Rockband, there have been plenty of games over the years that can work up a sweat, but VR offers a very immersive experience where it adds calorie burning into the types of games you’re more likely to want to play for hours on end.
Not to take anything away from the aforementioned titles, but burning calories playing an intense FPS has a little more staying power than bowling does, for a lot of gamers.
There’s also been plenty of “exercise games“, especially with the Wii U balance board. And then the dancing game fad. And Pokemon Go. But in any case, the best game for losing weight is the one that works for you, and in the case of Job Stauffer, the head of communications for Telltale Games, it was VR and a boxing rhythm game that helped him lose 50 pounds in just 5 months, and he’s still going strong. In an interview with PC Gamer, he says he’s at 55+ and still shedding.
— Job J Stauffer (@jobjstauffer) February 15, 2017
Way to go, Job! Losing that weight is a huge accomplishment, and sharing the story is going to encourage a lot of people to make positive changes in their own lives.
In a subsequent tweet, somebody points out the high price-point for VR, but Job makes a good point – compare it to the cost of a gym membership.
You’re looking at around $1100 for an HTC vive, which is roughly a year or two depending on which gym you join, and you can do it from home at your leisure. It costs as much as a half decent treadmill or elliptical, or a Bowflex, or whatever. Of course, you’ll still need a PC capable of running VR, so that could be another expense if you don’t have a solid rig yet.
In any case, this is going to be a huge aspect of VR. They’ll be able to create games that are a lot more fun and interactive than previous “fitness games”, like Soundboxing for example.
It’s essentially a modern version of Billy Blanks Tae Bo, but having it take place in the VR world can strip away self-consciousness and add a level of interactivity that makes time fly by a lot more quickly. Job started off doing just a song or two, and now he can bang out 90 minute sessions of the game.