When you picture a "gamer," do you picture someone with a sedentary lifestyle, glued to a screen, slightly obsessed with stuff that has little to do with reality?* Or do you picture a muscle-bound bodybuilder with ripped abs? As it turns out, gamers are a "great fit" at the gym.
According to a report on CNN, the website Fitocracy is turning "gaming geeks into fitness geeks."
Fitocracy members can "level up" by earning points for their workouts. New levels unlock special challenges or "quests" that are designed to push users out of their comfort zones. For example, a runner might have to do yoga, or a bodybuilder might have to tackle a 5K.
Dr. Scott Rigby and Dr. Richard Ryan — co-authors of a book called Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound — are experts on human motivation. Dr. Rigby says that the way gamers think in a way that's compatible to working out: "What video game players have is a certain understanding for how these sort of fitness structures are built: goal-setting, progression, etc. It's a world that they know."
Okay, so here's a question: If you are not the type who gets sucked into gaming, are your chances of being a gym rat also low? Some of us have never lost three days of our lives to World of Warcrack. What if you just spend a half-hour or so on Fruit Ninja? What if you had a brief 2-month period where you were addicted to Tetris, but haven't thought about it since? What if you enjoy a little hidden object game before bed (and that is not a euphemism) but could take it or leave it… no intense feelings? Does that mean you're not a great candidate for a fitness program? Maybe. Fitocracy's Dick Talens says: "Guys who play WoW ... are very intense about whatever they do. They can turn that addiction and all its characteristics into fitness." Doesn't seem like the same goes for my House Hunters International marathon habit.
*No? How about when you picture a blogger?