Tuesday, July 03, 2012
The Future of Exergaming May be Bright, But The Present is Less Than Dim
I think it's pretty clear now. We should be taking the "Exer" off the word "Gaming".
While I've no doubt there are a few folks out there who can truly work up a sweat gaming, the studies that have been published to date have demonstrated exergaming outcomes that would be generously described as lackluster.
But I have hope. In fact a huge amount of hope in that I think the future of exergaming is not only incredibly bright, but I think it's nearly here.
What I'm expecting we'll see in the next few years is a convergence of technologies. GPS and accelerometry along with augmented reality and powerful peripherals like smartphones, devices such as the as yet unreleased Google glasses and devices specifically built as active gaming platforms. The first generation of this sort of convergence already exist (see my review for the amazing iPhone running app - ZombiesRun!) and truly, as an ex-gamer myself, can't wait for the future where I think these sorts of technological convergences will make exercising incredible fun.
We're all consumers of time, kids too, and if we ever want to see people truly getting a sweat on gaming, the games are going to have to be varied, immersive, and not relegated to a traditional television based console like that photo up above. The fun quotient just isn't high enough to sustain the behaviour. As consumers of time we decide the time spent on those sorts of games just isn't worth the limited pleasure derived from them. Good news is that the technology to make the time more valuable already exists - it just needs a bit more polish.