• The Future of Inactivity Gaming Leisure: Virtual Reality MMORPGs & FPS

    Background

    As some of you may or may not know, I have alluded to the fact that I have a history of being a gamer.  A pretty hardcore gamer.  One semester at Penn State, I raided in classic (vanilla) WoW (World of Warcraft) as a human female frost mage against Ragnarok (a fire elemental that takes up your whole screen), and Nefarian, a big mean dragon.  My guild, Ambient Darkness, was stuck on Vael for longer than the even more hardcore guilds.

    I had 5/8 Arcanist, and 3/8 Netherwind sets.  I was pretty decked out for the time.  I got to a 2000 arena rating in 2v2 as rogue and mage team (with a 14-year-old, when I was 20).  No idea what happened to that Canadian kid who was my rogue partner.  I’m still friends with the tank of my guild though, and it is 9 years later.  I’ve even met some of them in real life (irl).

    These bosses took 40 players, which in retrospect, is something you should put on your resume as being something difficult to coordinate, recruit skilled individuals, participate in your role, and agree to split loot up fairly.  My parents did not understand these valuable skills that gaming teaches, nor do most employers who are run by non-gamers.

    It remains off my resume, unfortunately, among other valuable experiences that are not recognized in the workforce as skills being acquired from legit sources.

    Since WoW, I have played Aion Online, Diablo 3 (and I grew up with 1 and 2), and Guild Wars 2.  I always play some sort of mage, sorcerer, or mesmer, not for the nukes but for the crowd control and cool spell effects.  None of them had a pointy hat like Mickey Mouse got.

    My Prediction–Gaming Will Be Less Sedentary

    Part of the criticism of gaming is that it is antisocial, sedentary, and people take energy supplements and eat hot pockets, sammiches (sandwiches), Ramen, and soda instead of eating well balanced meals in the right amounts.

    I can tell you that it is entirely possible to eat balanced meals, exercise, and maintain a healthy work-life balance as a gamer.  It also is only antisocial if you make it that way.  Many gamers are using some form of voice chat with each other.

    I may have struggled with learning that work-play balance at one point, but I got through it.  Sometimes the struggle has nothing to do with the gaming, either.  Rather, gaming is just such a fun diversion that you forget about other things that are supposed to be important that you are avoiding on purpose.

    If you’ve ever seen Pan’s Labyrinth, you will know what I’m talking about.  The girl creates a world of myth to avoid the emotionally unlivable reality of the war.  Perhaps you can relate to gaming being an avenue of escape, in that respect.

    Smilodon Gaming Rig

    Smilodon

    Anyhow, with the way things are going in technology, I predict that gaming will be much more physically active as virtual reality comes to the home.  As the prices come down on this equipment, it will be much more available.  People will be able to enjoy lightning-fast internet speeds with Google Fiber, as well.

    Imagine an MMORPG (massively multiplayer, online role playing game) or FPS (first person shooter) where you actually have to not be sitting down in order to effectively interact with your environment.

    Currently, motivation is a HUGE barrier for physical activity.  Some people are not motivated by sexy abs, selfies, muscles, or their own health or a certain level of health they must maintain in order to be around for loved ones.

    Some people are motivated by phat l00t (spelled with zeros).  If that means that you get up and move around during gaming, swing your arms in order to swing a sword, cast a spell, or shoot arrows from your bow, then people will be MUCH less inactive.  Additionally, they will have to make a choice to eat food mindlessly or actually succeed in the game to achieve their goals.

    Once this type of MMORPG or FPS becomes mainstream, traditional MMORPGs will start to look like classic Mario, Pong, or Sonic the Hedgehog.  The next generation will wonder how we spent so much time in a seated position during our anxiety attacks that we are going to get shot if we round the next corner or that we’re out of mana after our partner dies in 2v2 while our opponent still has some.

    It is up to the current game developers to create this type of environment.  My one suggestion is to not make the motions repetitive.  I would hate to see overuse injuries crop up in people due to casting fireball too many times or swinging their sword the same way.

    If you like this post, please comment, share, and subscribe.  I mostly write on health, fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle.  I also do in-person and online nutrition counseling services.

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