Technology 5 min read

VR Future Might Mean More Takeout, but it Might Also Mean More VR Workout

Nesterenko Maxym |

Nesterenko Maxym |

VR may be great for gaming, but it can also open up an entirely new world for fitness enthusiasts. Read on to find out how the fitness industry is gaining a new platform.

How do you work off all of the pizza you ordered while playing Farpoint? You bust out a VR workout.

Last week we put out an article about the connection between the gaming culture, the rise of VR, and an emerging takeout culture that would be more comfortable home alone than out on the scene.

I’ll admit, the idea can seem pretty dystopian, but before you go thinking that this will lead to the downfall of humanity’s health a la Wall-e, you should really look at the flip side of that coin.

VR may be the next big platform for entertainment, but that hardly equates to something that keeps people on their couch. In fact, if you’re into room-scale VR, then you have probably already pushed your couch out of the room to make more space.

Room-scale VR is a system that uses two to three sensors to give you a large play area. This essentially turns your forward facing VR setup into a 360-degree playground. As you could imagine, this gives developers the ability to make games designed to make people move.

And last time I checked, making people move counts as exercise.

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Getting fit with VR Workout

The first time I got to play with an HTC Vive with the largest possible play area was the first time I ever suffered bodily fatigue while gaming, and it was awesome.

Or at least, it was awesome for a while before my buddy showed me a game about doing squats and the foam padding in the headset got soaked in sweat.

Before then, I had never thought of the VR as a kind of workout machine, but it certainly can be, and complete with a physical trainer no less.

Granted, most of that time the trainer will be some sort of AI. Who cares–as long as it’s fun, engaging, and active.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed by the fitness industry, either.

Plenty of developers and production companies are jumping on the chance to make entire VR gyms, and you even have celebrities like Terry Crews taking part in the growing field of VR fitness experiences.

And with the showing of big third party titles like Fallout 4 VR during the recent E3 convention, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that we’ll only see more companies willing to invest in producing quality VR content of all kinds, including the VR workout.

So, what kind of fitness experiences do you have out there, aside from the VR gyms and upcoming Terry Crews workout video?

All kinds, really, but let me show you a few of my favorites.

A Wealth of VR Workout Selections

Remember the squat-based game in my story earlier?

Well, it’s called Hot Squat, and for a completely free game, it was worth a few good laughs as well as a tired set of legs.

The idea is pretty basic. You are on a track with large blocks coming toward you. Cut out of the blocks is a small outline that you have to squat to fit into. From there all you have to do is not get knocked off the track–a feat that requires endurance and perhaps a few extra foam inserts if you can get them.

Hot Squat is good for some laughs, but if you really want a giggle my personal favorite is Drunkn Bar Fight.

As the name implies, the game is set in a bar, with a bunch of presumed drunks. Which you then fight with.

It’s perfect in its simplicity; you don’t need a story or any of that useless preamble that other games have. All you have to do is swing and try to dodge incoming attacks, and believe me when I say that doing those two things can be one hell of a VR workout.

As for the actual viability of Drunkn Bar Fight as a workout, VR Fitness Insider gave it a score of 6/10, but reviewer Charles Westerberg did mention that “This is one of those experiences as it relates to fitness where you get out of it what you put into it.”

So, if you want it badly enough you can really tone up swinging wildly at virtual opponents while spouting quotes from Roadhouse.

VR is taking off, and it could be a real goldmine for the fitness industry. For that matter, it may improve the health of gamers worldwide. For the former, I say good for them, and for the latter, well, let’s all cross our fingers that the VR workout becomes a useful, beneficial tool.

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William is an English teacher, a card carrying nerd, And he may run for president in 2020. #truefact #voteforedgy

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