Gamers Make Great Bodybuilders

October 19, 2011 -

Want to look good naked?

Sure, we all do.  But would you believe that gamers might have an easier time of it then most?  It’s true.  The qualities that gamers apply to their hobby can easily be applied to bodybuilding.

When Brian Wang and Dick Talens (pictured.  Yeah, they're both the same guy) met at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, neither one was physically fit but both found that what drove them to play games could also be applied to working out.

“People don't realize that video games are an expression of personality," Talens said. "There's certain qualities that people have. They're obsessed with improving the stat sheets, getting to the next level; they pay a lot of attention to detail. Guys who play ('World of Warcraft') ... are very intense about whatever they do. They can turn that addiction and all its characteristics into fitness."

Dr. Richard Ryan and Dr. Scott Rigby, co-authors of Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound, lay out some of the psychological aspects of weight-lifting that gamers find appealing:

"In video games, you're constantly getting information about your achievements and (learning) how to do things better,” Ryan says.  “There's an opportunity to develop a mastery that's very much a key motivator."

Rigby added, "Games make the goals really clear.  You have to run from point A to point B, deliver a message, kill this bad guy. You have a very clear sense of 'If I just do these steps, I will succeed.' And let's call them quests because it sounds heroic. And who doesn't want to feel like a hero?"

Another important aspect of gaming and bodybuilding is the social component.  “You're relying on each other,” Rigby said.  “You really need the other person to watch your back and vice versa.  (Games) build in a sense of 'I matter to others; others matter to me.' "

Capitalizing on the idea that bodybuilding can appeal to gamers, Wang and Talens have started Fitocracy, a website that turns fitness into a game.  How does it play?  From the website:

“To play, just enter your fitness activities on the Track page every day. As you enter your activities into Fitocracy, you’ll earn points. Over time, you’ll earn enough points to get to the next level. Leveling up means you’ve been keeping up with your fitness. But watch out, every so often leveling up unlocks a special challenge. Beating the challenges and leveling up means you’re making progress :)”

Challenges are optional activities designed to push users out of their comfort zones, such as tasking a bodybuilder with a running a 5K.  Completing challenges awards bonus points.

The site also features achievements and leaderboards.

Source: CNN

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: Gamers Make Great Bodybuilders

I love that blanket statement that everybody who plays World of Warcraft is an addict and obsessed about stats and levels.

Re: Gamers Make Great Bodybuilders

I don't get the sense he means that literally.  Plus, we don't know what his entire quote was.  That "..." may have been some type of qualifier.  Who knows?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Gamers Make Great Bodybuilders

I want my god damn real life search function, already.

Re: Gamers Make Great Bodybuilders

This website sounds quite interesting. Totally going to give it a try once it opens up to the public.

Re: Gamers Make Great Bodybuilders

If this is true, then just about everyone who plays City of Heroes wants a quick solution.

Re: Gamers Make Great Bodybuilders

Too bad you can't hack reality, or someone would have already posted a mod online.

Re: Gamers Make Great Bodybuilders

There is no powerleveling service at L.A. Fitness. :P

 
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Goth_SkunkAnd at long last, I think I'm finally done.06/30/2015 - 3:08am
Goth_SkunkAnd if those progressive games fail to make any headway in the market, don't blame gamer culture for not being cultured enough to appreciate the product. Own up to the fact that the game either sucks, is not interesting, or both.06/30/2015 - 3:06am
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Goth_SkunkGames, for the most part, let you do this! You can be the man or woman you're not. You can escape reality and immerse yourself in the experience. And that's wonderful! I play as female characters all the time in games I play, when the option is available.06/30/2015 - 2:59am
Goth_SkunkA choice that nature denied transgender people at birth! People don't undergo gender reassignment because they want to be transgender; they undergo gender reassignment because they want to be the gender they identify with!06/30/2015 - 2:52am
Goth_SkunkBut I think it gets silly when people start asking for the ability to play as a transgender protagonist. I mean, why would one do that? One usually has the option to create a character that's either a man or a woman, gay or straight. You have the choice!06/30/2015 - 2:50am
Goth_Skunkfirst two games, a move which was ultimately corrected in the 3rd game. By extension, Dragon Age has always had the option, and good on it!06/30/2015 - 2:45am
Goth_SkunkBut it certainly is good to see developers entertain the allowance of allowing the player to develop their protagonist to be homosexual if they want. The Mass Effect series was criticized rightly for not allowing a male homosexual romance plot in the06/30/2015 - 2:44am
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Goth_SkunkThe United States is the largest single customer base for video games in the world, and it only just mandated by rule of its Supreme Court that marriage ought to be just as much an inalienable right for homosexuals as it is for heterosexuals,06/30/2015 - 2:35am
Goth_SkunkFor example, it would be difficult for a developer to produce a AAA quality game where the protagonist is hardcoded to be MtF transgender, and convince enough people to buy it in order to make it worth its production costs.06/30/2015 - 2:31am
Goth_SkunkNo Mecha, not woe unto those who ask for representation. By all means, ask and be represented. I don't have an issue with it, nor would I say anyone in GamerGate does either. But be reasonable about asking too.06/30/2015 - 2:27am
Goth_Skunkthat would've made Benedict Arnold raise a glass in toast.06/30/2015 - 2:25am
MechaCrashGamers are more than straight white men, but woe unto those who actually ask for representation!06/30/2015 - 2:24am
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Goth_SkunkYet the media continues to push that narrative, and they will continue to do so until their medium dies out from obscelesence or when the old guard retires and is replaced by people who were raised by gamers, people who know the score.06/30/2015 - 2:20am
Goth_SkunkGamerGate, by my view, is far more diverse and inclusive that the purveying culture surrounding games journalism right now. The stereotypical gamer is a straight white male, but GamerGate has shown, time and time again, that this is not really the case.06/30/2015 - 2:18am
Goth_SkunkAfter all, you did just call it a "problem."06/30/2015 - 2:15am
Goth_SkunkAs opposed to setting the bar high, creating a culture clique that promotes exclusivity rather than inclusivity. Cronyism rather than diversity. Do you feel that inclusivity and diversity are just buzzwords to be used whenever convenient?06/30/2015 - 2:12am
 

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