Virtual Reality Gaming – Another Reason to Stay in Shape

Virtual Reality Gaming

Growing up, videogames were a big part of my life.  Nintendo, Sega, Turbo Graphx, Playstation, and Xbox systems all took up residency in underneath a TV in my home at some point or another.  And let’s not forget about PC games.

In fact, the only point in my life where I’ve gone for a significant amount of time without a console system is NOW.  In our cross country move, after reading and applying the principles of Marie Kondo’s, “Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,“I jettisoned all of my systems and games.

I realized that I didn’t really have time to play them anymore, or rather, I did have time, but just didn’t find them as interesting as training BJJ and Crossfit, writing Blog posts, learning about home ownership, and spending time with the BJJ Cavewife.  This was a bit of a sad realization for me because it made me feel like an actual adult, no longer one of the Lost Boys in Peter Pan’s entourage, but now one of the grownups that doesn’t believe in pixie dust…

I took my games and systems to the nearest Gamestop in 3 boxes and patiently waited as they paid me pennies on the dollar for everything I brought in.  I spent almost $2000 altogether buying everything and received only $145 in store credit in return.  Yeah yeah, depreciating assets and all of that, but it still stung.

Then I started reading about how virtual reality gaming systems are going to be the next big thing.  First Microsoft teased their Project Scorpio followed by Sony leaking details of their Project Neo and Playstation VR.  This is on a back drop of the already available Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and it’s becoming more and more apparent that virtual reality is actually happening.

THEN there’s something like the Virtuix Omni:

And holy cow…

BUT, there are articles illustrating one of the initial hurdles, like this one from Engadget, “I’m too out of shape for virtual reality,” in which the author, a gamer, found that he was getting winded after only a few minutes of playing a VR game:

My knees and thighs ached. If my left shoulder moved more than half a foot out of its neutral position, it lit on fire. Breathing deeply made my back seize with stabbing waves of pain. My pride was hurt most of all. My physical ailments weren’t the result of visiting the gym or training for a marathon — they were the fallout of one afternoon of playing full-body virtual reality video games. Holy crap, am I out of shape.

In virtual reality, you just move. If it’s an action game, you instinctively dodge a barrage of deadly lasers. You kneel down to hide behind a crate, only to leap up in a squat-jump to shoot at an enemy behind cover. You’re not thinking about it, you’re just doing what you have to in order to win. Twenty minutes later, and you’ve put yourself through an intense cardio workout.

At the time, I just thought I was playing a game, but each experience left me gasping for breath. I shamefully realized the truth: I’m too out of shape to play some of the best VR games coming to first-generation headsets. That won’t do.

Once VR systems find their way into everyday households, it looks like the stereotype of the overweight and out of shape gamer will eventually fall by the wayside…

Virtual Gaming 2

… to be replaced by athletes.

It’s interesting to think that in the near future both my BJJ and Crossfit training can serve to augment my gaming, and with systems like the Virtuix Omni, my gaming can augment my BJJ and Crossfit by becoming a legitimate form of active recovery…  hmmmm… I now have an idea as to how to spend the whopping $145 of store credit that’s currently burning a hole in my pocket.

*Images taken from here and here

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