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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ZippyDSMleeEh still rather subjective… the haters would be better off going after teen and beauty rags and magazines than fiction, fiction follows reality and going after fiction tends to turn into a bullying fest’s… plus its fiction its unrealistic to start with….02/27/2015 - 1:10am
MechaTama31That's a pretty difficult anatomy to break.02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
MechaTama31"the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy" <-- I'm sorry, but we are talking here about the woman who can roll up into a little ball and live to tell the tale, yes? ;)02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
Andrew EisenAs far as examples that could be culled from female game characters though, that one's pretty mild.02/26/2015 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenNot as much the heels or the suit in and of themselves but certainly the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy to show off her lady bits.02/26/2015 - 9:10pm
E. Zachary KnightWell, Samus's heels are certainly impracticable, but I wouldn't really call her Zero suit objectified. I don't really feel that the new Lara Croft is objectified either, but that is my subjective opinion.02/26/2015 - 9:08pm
Andrew EisenTomb Raider: No but we haven't seen much of anything yet. Samus: Yes.02/26/2015 - 9:07pm
ZippyDSMleeWould you call the new tomb raider objectified? WOuld Samus Aran from the new Smash bros be objectified?02/26/2015 - 9:02pm
WonderkarpI'm hoping they put the rest of the comic book ghostbusters in there. Ortiz and Rookie(From GB the game)02/26/2015 - 8:38pm
Wonderkarpghostbusters board game is doing great. getting close too a 3rd extra playable Character. Ron Alexander.02/26/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenSmurfette is not subjective. If there's more than one female character, it's not Smurfette. Anyway, as with everything on the list, Smurfette is, in and of itself, not necessarily a bad thing.02/26/2015 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI think there's 5 women (out of 15, I think) but other than one being a bit more "hippy" than the others, they pretty much all have the same body type. Especially when compaired to the huge variety of male body types.02/26/2015 - 8:31pm
Wonderkarpso I dont see Smurfette as a bad thing. Unless like all your female characters are Smurfette. remember the Smurfs also had Sassette02/26/2015 - 8:29pm
E. Zachary KnightOne good example of the larger issues is one Anita used in the presentation, Blizzard's Overwatch game. There are a dozen men in the game with a dozen body types. But there are only 4 women with 2 body types, but 3 of them have the same one.02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
Wonderkarpthe smurfette thing is subjective to how many female characters you have. Take Sonic for example. You have Amy, who is obvious smurfette, but there's several other female characters now without that. Including the original animated seriescomics with Sally02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
E. Zachary KnightAE. Very true. I think that is where I was going, but it didn't come out right. Jack Harkness is sexy but not objectified. Whereas, a women would have to be objectified in order to be "sexy" in most games.02/26/2015 - 8:26pm
E. Zachary KnightAnd as Andrew pointed out, there is a big difference between a sexualized man, and an idealized man. But for some reason, there is no distinction between women in games. For the most part.02/26/2015 - 8:25pm
Andrew EisenI think one of the issues we run into repeatedly with these conversations is the confusion over "sexy" and "sexually objectified."02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightYet, for some reason, in orde rto have a sexualized women, she must be wearing lingerie or a bikini. Can't women be sexual and still dress for the job at hand?02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightThe problem I have with complaints of "sexualized men" is that men don't have to wear speedos to be sexualized. Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood/Doctor Who, was one sexy man, but he spent 99% of his time in a WW2 soldier's trenchcoat.02/26/2015 - 8:23pm
 

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