Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Exercise + video games

For a while I’ve wondered why in the world we don’t have better interfaces between video games and exercise equipment. With the exception of the very simple and addictive Dance Dance Revolution, game/exercise devices fall into two categories: expensive exercise machines with sucky games, or games with sucky exercise machines.

This may be starting to change. The most recent weak signal comes from the responDESIGN, will have a special controller, or just work on the honor system. But the fact that a company is basically using the XBox as an exercise platform, rather than just a game platform, is interesting.

14 Comments

  1. I’ve been pondering the exercise/video game connection too. A good aerial combat, armed race vehicle, or even FPS linked to a stationary bike would have me in great shape. I think aerial combat with pedal speed mapped to propeller speed or rate of wing flap might be the most addictive….

    Cheers,
    Lon

  2. PC Workout Partner
    REVIEW DATE: 10.15.02

    Product: Eloton SimCycle
    Price: $160 street
    Company Info: Eloton Inc., http://www.eloton.com

    By Marge Brown
    Connect the Eloton SimCycle fitness device to your PC for multimedia-assisted cycling and gaming. (It also works on its own, with or without the included workout videotapes.) The SimCycle Gamebox accessory ($40) lets you use the SimCycle to control PC games. When we tested the SimCycle with Electronic Arts’ Need for Speed Unleashed, we were motivated to keep pedaling—because pedal speed directly controls the car speed. Make sure you find the right seat type, height, and angle for effective use.

  3. i WOULD LIKE TO SEE SOME SORT OF FLYING OR RACING VIDEO GAME CONNECTED TO A BICYCLE FOR POWER. THE FASTER YOU PEDAL THE HIGHER OR FASTER YOU GO.

  4. I have what I believe are brilliant ideas for games for kids AND adults. Who do I need to contact to help me develop these ideas into something marketable?

  5. The Kilowatt Sport changes the equation a bit. I’ve been playing exercise-oriented videogames for about 6 years as my main way of staying in shape, so I just recently started a videogame workout blog.

    Bill: a game somewhat similar to what you describe currently exists in the arcades. It’s called Propcycle.

    TigerHair: If your ideas involve developing a new game controller, I’d suggest you talk to one of the companies that make 3rd-party controllers for existing games. For instance, Red Octane makes alternate dance pads and taiko drums and publishes custom PS/2 games like In The Groove.

    Note, though, that you are unlikely to make much money on your ideas alone if they don’t /already/ constitute “something marketable”. If you just want the product to exist, tell the world about it on your blog. Or heck, tell me, and I’ll blog about it! 🙂

  6. I’m an MPH student and in class we are trying to find “out of the box”, innovative ways of battling childhood obesity. I thought video games with the premise of activity/exercise would be great, but it seems like it’s been done. Does anyone know how wide this market is….I mean, how successful are they?

  7. Our company in Hawaii has developed a surf simulator that is great for balance, coordination and exercise – children and adults! People get addicted playing with our sytem. Please check out http://www.hawaiisurfsimulators.com and http://www.videosurfnut.

    Mahalo!
    Paul

  8. I also have what I believe is an awesome idea for a game for kids AND adults. Who do I need to contact to help me develop these ideas into something marketable. Also, what should I do to protect my idea?

  9. Very interesting! I am a gamer and video games are my hobby! I thing that they are very nice entertainment and i really like them! Good post!

  10. Here’s one for you. Gamercize does not control the game but pauses it when you are not exercising. Not as good for racing games, but great for playing everything else.

  11. i like more excercise

  12. AmniPata excerise all the time but ..i cant get enough of gaming never will =)
    http://www.amnipata.com

  13. How about a personal trainer installed in your Mobile Phone? check out Heart rate monitor and fitness advisor
    Any comment will be highly appreciated.

  14. Hi,

    Video game playing is often blamed for problems with obesity in children. While playing video games might be mentally stimulating, sitting motionless for hours is simply not good for your body. If you are someone who just can’t bear pull yourself away from fragging aliens for an hour to hit the gym, this new NeXfit exercise bike may be just the thing you need.

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