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Using a Treadmill and Wiimotes To Run and Fly in Aion

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-can-see-my-house-from-here dept.

Hardware Hacking 86

MMO fans may recall news from last year when a treadmill was hooked into World of Warcraft so players could run in real life to make their characters run, getting exercise while playing. Now, with the release of Aion, which features characters with wings, the makers of the Robopult decided to take it a step further. Reader wintersynth writes "We hooked a treadmill and Wiimotes through BlueTooth and GlovePIE to Aion so we could take advantage of the run/fly sequences and get fit while we play the game. It's kind of like interval training, which is supposed to burn more fat and be better for cardio. It's too tough to play this way all the time, but for a quest a day, it might be perfect."

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86 comments

Sad (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512477)

First thing that pops into my head is lawsuit. Crazy country.

Re:Sad (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512537)

~At least there is no prior art.~

Re:Sad (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29514205)

Oh I wouldn't be so sure. Most of it was covered here [sussex.ac.uk] although no fear of a lawsuit. Academic works are great for providing prior art to thwart patents as they are time stamped public disseminations. The new version looks a more high tech, and after eight years it just takes a team of two to massively improve on the hundreds of authors on that paper.

Re:Sad (0, Troll)

ACKyushu (1626689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512541)

First thing that pops into my head is lawsuit. Crazy country.

The first thing that pops into my head is "How are people on raids are going to snarfle down their Twinkies, Dual flavor Doritos and "Gamer Fuel" branded High Fructose Corn Syrup laden piss-water with both hands occupied?!?!" Hmmm, Yeah, I am pretty sure this is not going to be a hit down at the Guild Hall. *sigh* Looks like the Wiimote is not the answer to laziness after all.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29515307)

First thing that popped into my head is "Wow, you're a fucking simpleton that can't think past stereotypes".

Re:Sad (1)

Shamenaught (1341295) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516201)

First thing that popped into my head is "Someone's getting defensive!"

Second thing that popped into my head was "Hi, you must be new here"

Seriously, where would /. be without stereotypes? We'd all have attractive girlfriends and be willing to let grammar mistakes slide.

Actually, that doesn't sound so bad... Shame.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29513499)

I've seen characters run in games, but I didn't know people could actually run in real life. This is fantastic news, I am going to go home and try it myself.

Re:Sad (1)

MrBandersnatch (544818) | more than 4 years ago | (#29515113)

Youll be even more amazed when you find you can run there!

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29515755)

While I appreciate the sarcasm and trollish nature of this thread. If we can get "Mr. and Mrs. Couch Potato" up and doing something that they can pretend is NOT excerise but really is I'm all for it. Think of the positive side of things, sarcasm aside of course, if I stop paying your medical bills because your lazy and fat we all win.

Re:Sad (1)

rot26 (240034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29519531)

WARNING: Wings Do Not Enable Wearer To Actually Fly Looked better in ALL CAPS but whatever.

Is a game that important (1)

norpy (1277318) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512491)

That you can't go outside for 20minutes to run outdoors?

Re:Is a game that important (1)

Unending (1164935) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512527)

Actually this sounds like fun to me, I get bored with running pretty quickly and I could see some sort of treadmill game being a good way of helping with that. Especially if it's not just about the running as in this case.

Re:Is a game that important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29513473)

My brain keeps me quite entertained during my running/swimming exercise. The (real) women you see during that are a nice bonus.

Re:Is a game that important (1)

solkimera (1319365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512805)

Well, could be below freezing, Or over 45C, or raining. Or spring just arrived and you've got horrible hay fever. Plenty of reasons why someone wouldn't want to be running around outside. I always thought that's why gyms have treadmills and the like.

Re:Is a game that important (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512835)

Well, could be below freezing, Or over 45C, or raining. Or spring just arrived and you've got horrible hay fever.

As we say here in Australia: "Aww... diddums"

Re:Is a game that important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29512921)

Motivational training - Aussie style.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EY7lYRneHc [youtube.com]

Re:Is a game that important (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512923)

We say that in Scotland too, then go out for a run in what some people call 'rain' but we call 'slightly damp'. There are people walking around with umbrellas up and it's barely even spitting... pansies :P

Re:Is a game that important (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513525)

It's quite refreshing running in the rain, and the cool air means more oxygen per breath.. plus you really appreciate having a nice warm shower afterwards :P

Re:Is a game that important (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#29519439)

It's also useful for biodiversity. We don't want the Pneumonia bugs dying off just because people stopped doing things like running 20 miles in the freezing rain.

Re:Is a game that important (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29526295)

More like 20 minutes than 20 miles in my case! ;)

Re:Is a game that important (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512881)

Didn't that look fun to you? This to me is what slashdot is all about. This story is like a story about setting up a webserver on a gameboy, except instead it's about setting up a way to make the game system more interactive. Looks fun to me.

Re:Is a game that important (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513603)

Definitely, this is the kind of setup I start imagining when I read stories about 3D headsets or new Wii=like control systems. I think the ideal thing would be a sort of bungee harness for your body and some kind of 360 degree treadmill (no idea how such a device would function - perhaps have hundreds of little medium resistance trackballs on it?) below you that can measure the speed and angle of your steps, whether you've just jumped, flipped around etc. :)

Re:Is a game that important (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513989)

You could always try one of these [jog2play.com] - no need for the bulky treadmill. Or you could see if these folks [wired.com] have progressed any further.

Re:Is a game that important (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29514303)

Nah, I'd prefer something with proper leg extension and force, jogging on the spot isn't really my idea of fun, though it does give you a bit of exercise (you can do that already with Wii Fit and the Wiimotes though, no need for a separate pedometer).

As for the other thing, unfortunately I'm in the UK, and it needs to be heavily customised for each game!

I hope someone brings out something similar to my trackball idea, or maybe I should just try building it myself somehow.. one giant trackball would be easier to manufacture than lots of little ones.. :)

Re:Is a game that important (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29514845)

I seem to remember that maybe the Sony Centre (or some such company, I think the shop was in the Trocadero in London so maybe it was in SegaWorld) did something very similar. You got in to a big ball shaped thing, and there was an omnidirectional treadmill for you to run about on while shooting things (don't know if they did anything like tilting it to mimic the landscape you were travelling over though). The inner surface of the ball was, obviously, a full-surround screen.

The main problem with the treadmill would be in how the user gets it to move in a particular direction (maybe it tries to put the midpoint of the pressure points (i.e. footfalls) in the centre?). It would need to be motorised, otherwise the muscle usage would be completely different to real movement, and would detract from the experience.

I wanted to have a go on one, but was nowhere near at the time (and skint).

Re:Is a game that important (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29515253)

That sounds really cool, but also rather pricey compared to just standing on a giant trackball and using a screen or headset! The footwork wouldn't be exactly the same as running since it would be on a spherical surface, but if you were harnessed in place and the ball had suitable resistance, or force feedback I think it would take a similar amount of work as real movement.. perhaps an array of smaller trackballs is a better idea after all - unless you have a *lot* of space to accomodate a really large trackball (obviously the larger it gets, the more it approximates a flat surface). Cynics will no doubt point out that you could just use the earth itself to exercise rather than design elaborate simulations, but I believe you tend to get in trouble if you run around the earth shooting and jumping over things, stealing cars etc!

Re:Is a game that important (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29515375)

Maybe they should just let Hackney or Lambeth (or Toxteth, Moss Side or any number of other areas) devolve into GTA arenas? :-)

Re:Is a game that important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29514137)

Why do people post this sort of crap for the world to see? Are you really so insecure that if other people don't exercise in exactly the way you would that you have to criticize and belittle them? Really?

What practical, freaking difference does it make, except that these guys are less likely to get hit by a truck while they're exercising in their living room?

Exercise AND level grinding? (3, Funny)

MrMage (1240674) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512493)

That's a sure way to kick the MMO addiction quickly.

Re:Exercise AND level grinding? (1)

greenlead (841089) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513067)

Has China discovered this yet?

Re:Exercise AND level grinding? (1)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513681)

They grind away something else.

Re:Exercise AND level grinding? (3, Interesting)

es330td (964170) | more than 4 years ago | (#29514925)

Either that or we'd have a country full of very fit former couch potatoes.

This is nothing... (2, Funny)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512515)

I beat Metal Gear Solid 4 by using nothing but a leaf blower and a rake.

Re:This is nothing... (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513491)

You used a rake? What a lightweight.

Rakes are hard and pointy. Real Men(tm) use the leaf blower with a pack of bendy balloons and aim to beat the game using an inflatable giraffe.

Re:This is nothing... (1)

plastick (1607981) | more than 4 years ago | (#29515745)

I beat Metal Gear Solid 4 by using nothing but a leaf blower and a rake.

That is one of the funniest comments I've read on Slashdot in a long time.

Damn you. I shot coffee out of my nose.

Works only when there is no alternative... (1)

tweewo (1618779) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512523)

Those who enjoy running won't need the game. Those who don't like running end up using the mill twenty times and go back to the keyboard.

The death of the PL teams! (2, Informative)

Erick Lionheart (745320) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512547)

Considering how many people were using companies like http://www.gamersloot.net/ [gamersloot.net] to get characters leveled for them as they didn't want to have to click too much, i don't see this becoming too common! =b Then again, maybe that's why those guys dropped the PL thing and just offer keys and such now. Pushed out of a business because gamers became fitness addicts? Who'd have thought!

Re:The death of the PL teams! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29515417)

Pls mod this moron down. This is clearly an ad. We all know there are gold sellers and PL services. Linking to one on slashdot? yeah, its an ad.

Submersion (2, Interesting)

Under_score+1 (1610199) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512551)

What if you could gain status in the game through how much actual work you had put in. Or by how complex or consistant your wii weapon move pattern moves were? Ultimatley we're all striving to be the ultimate gamer, and to acknowledge the gamer who's proven to have put in the most effort. What if our virtual adversaries could actually teach us (inadvertantly) to chanel healing energies through our desires to participate in legendary battles. It's a start at least- getting some movement on.

Re:Submersion (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512891)

Wow, I read your comment, but I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. It looks like it might be kind of interesting. You should try to thresh it out a bit more so your point is easily understandable.

Re:Submersion (1)

Under_score+1 (1610199) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512967)

You could always install MMO's at the gym. I think i'll play WOW to get my daily exercise in. That would be true irony.

awesome news (1)

Odinlake (1057938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512587)

I've allways stayed away from games that don't really end, as an all too alluring waste of time.. But if I could combine my weekly cardio with it... Allthough beeing competitve I think I would find it hard to stop at a few hours per week when others level faster. Still, if they installed something like this at my gym and took care not to make the game too levelling-focused, it might be fun.

Wow the Wii was fun for 2 weeks. (1)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512625)

Now it sits there unused and the effort I had to go through to get one for my wife last xmas. Shit I used to damn thing more than she did and it still only lasted 2 weeks. Nothing more relaxing than coming home from a hard day work (my job is very physically demanding) and flailing around with a controller. Shit I have a hard time using my thumbs after work never mind running.

Do some real exercise if you want to get in shape (3, Insightful)

MrWerewolf (1642759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512649)

This looks like a neat and innovative way to increase player's activity. Which is good, since most mmo players don't get nearly enough exercise and increased activity helps in general. Nintendo even tries to get their players more physically involved with their wii. However, it's not a substitute for real exercise. If you're getting winded after 2 min of activity (the duration stated in the article), you're not in shape; and stopping after you're a little tired won't help you much either. While an increase in activity is good in general, don't think this type of thing is the holy grail to gamer fitness. The formula and methods for getting in better shape haven't really changed much.

Re:Do some real exercise if you want to get in sha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29515565)

most mmo players don't get nearly enough exercise

You know, I don't think that's true. Maybe the people who lock themselves in their rooms for eighty to one hundred hours a week and play, but I wouldn't be surprised if more casual players tend to exercise more than most people.

I, for example, tend to find that when I'm subscribed to and actively playing a game like WoW, I feel more concerned about my decreased physical activity in the evening and am more likely to get up early to walk the dog and to hit the gym for forty-five minutes over lunch each day. For some reason, spending two hours at the computer playing WoW seems to make me feel more worried about my health than spending the same two hours in front of the TV.

Of all the people I know that play MMOs regularly, none of them are obese, and only one is overweight, and only by a few pounds. And he only put those on after he quit playing WoW a few months back. There are three people other than me in my office that played WoW. One is skinny as a rail and probably in pretty bad shape because of the way he eats and the sugary, caffeinated crap he's constantly drinking, but the other two are in pretty good shape. One regularly plays tennis and basketball, and the other is into martial arts.

For comparison, the people who are always chatting about TV shows around here tend to be overweight and are more overweight than the overweight gamers.

Maybe it's just my little corner of the world like this, but, as a result, I don't have a hard time believing those studies about gamers being more in shape than most people when they come about.

How can this not be a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29512651)

Our society needs this exercise. All I can think of is the South Park with WOW and how fat they all got. This is what kids need since they just sit in front of a computer all day.

We're still trying? (1)

DarkNinja75 (990459) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512665)

A game the gets you in shape was invented years ago: Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). I ran cross country during the same time frame that I played that game, and running 7 miles didn't wear me out as much as an hour on expert mode.

Re:We're still trying? (1)

Orbijx (1208864) | more than 4 years ago | (#29514291)

Problem with DDR is that the Americanised machines have absolutely abysmal music selections that at least I wouldn't be caught dead dancing to.

I have no problem dancing to It's Raining Men, but some of that current Amero-pop shit they have in the machines? Aw, hell naw, dawg.

Re:We're still trying? (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 4 years ago | (#29515869)

DDR with the Blue Danube?

-You could sell that to nursing homes.

The Future of Gaming (4, Interesting)

sysusr (971503) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512681)

If there is something that humans find inherently addictive about gaming, health companies should tap into that to provide something which humans both need and desire: fitness.

If you ask around, a lot of people *want* to be fit but they have lots of convenient excuses as to why they're not. People want to look good and a lot of people are even willing to put up with the inconvenience of exercise and physical exertion - they just don't have the time.

Being able to introduce a method of exercise that is genuinely fun for all and doesn't require extra time on top of our daily activities, as long as it's done sensibly and cleverly, could be a crucial step towards reducing obesity.

Re:The Future of Gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29513385)

It doesn't work that way. If people are motivated to exercise, then they will. "Just don't have the time" translates to "I want you to think I would, but in fact I won't". The bottom line is that if something is important you make time.
 
In all seriousness, what is it you people are doing with your time? In my experience the people that claim to be too busy are in fact just lazy. They get up 20 minutes before work, they come home and after dinner they just sit around watching TV or playing computer games. Then they claim they don't have any spare time to work out. But if you really want to, it's not hard. I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is go for a run on the beach. Minimum of 2 miles everyday. It takes about 25 minutes. It wasn't finding the time that was hard, it was getting my lazy ass out of bed. However the results are more than worth the effort, once you do it regularly.

Re:The Future of Gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29513581)

You are lying to yourself. Playing WoW just shouldn't be one of your daily activities you can't skip. It should't be a problem to just play 30 minutes less and use that for a run. You really should make a list of your daily activities to find your real problem. My guess is that you are losing at least 2h that should be freely assignable to personal activities every workday without even noticing.

I think you are probably spending more time rationalizing why you don't exercise than this exercise would actually require.

Re:The Future of Gaming (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#29514289)

The Nintendo Wii sells by the mega-truckload.
The Wii Fit and various others, sell in a the standard truckload.

As an overweight Wii-game loving freak, I can tell you that Wii-Fit sits quietly on the floor, gathering dust, just like any other fitness product I've bought over the years.

"Being able to introduce a method of exercise that is genuinely fun for all..."

I don't think you can make getting fit, fun.

Re:The Future of Gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516009)

No, getting fit can be a ton of fun. I think people who have trouble getting fit are those who have trouble finding it fun. And that requires a shift in the mind, not in the method.

Re:The Future of Gaming (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518769)

I don't think you can make getting fit, fun.

Oh, hell yeah you can! Check out the book, Born to Run [amazon.com] . Once you realize that you too can be a super-athlete, and it really doesn't take all that much work, and in fact it is what your body was made to do, and when I say super-athlete I mean the kind that makes marathon running look like a walk in the park, suddenly running does become fun.

Learning to conquer your laziness impulse, especially if you've been giving in to it for so long, is exciting because suddenly the world is open with possibilities. You can do anything, not just run (not just physical stuff, anything).

Not only that, it shouldn't feel like work. As the book says, if it feels like work, you're doing it wrong. Find a different way to do it.

Re:The Future of Gaming (3, Funny)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 4 years ago | (#29515271)

I've got it! We could say replace the virtual paddles in Wii Tennis with real ones, then replace the 2D screen with a realistic stage that recreates the conditions of the game. All we would need is some sort of ball... damn, it's just all too hard. These LARPers are wierd.

Re:The Future of Gaming (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29519519)

Tennis requires at least two people. Bouncing the ball off the wall != tennis. Finding two people with the same schedule to play and having a court in your living room in the AC. A virtual tennis partner is what is needed.
Then there is basketball. You need 9 other people to play with you? And once again you run into the issue of not having a court in your yard/living room.
The same goes for most other sports. Its fun to simulate because the equipment or space needed just doesn't exist.
For me, I built a soccer field in my backyard and spawned 4 players to play with me. Even then the skill isn't adjustable. The AI is still horrible since it ranges from 6-9. Maybe when the AI gets to 16-19 it may be a little better...

Re:The Future of Gaming (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29515419)

Being able to introduce a method of exercise that is genuinely fun for all and doesn't require extra time on top of our daily activities, as long as it's done sensibly and cleverly, could be a crucial step towards reducing obesity.

The problem is though that alot of people who play these kinds of games are either of the Age where they don't care about their physical form - or they just got home from a hard days work and don't have the energy to run while gaming.

Re:The Future of Gaming (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518619)

I'll tell you from experience, although it seems counter-intuitive, nothing gives you energy faster than running. Go for a couple weeks and you will already see drastic improvement in you energy levels.

Re:The Future of Gaming (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29515809)

If there is something that humans find inherently addictive about gaming, health companies should tap into that to provide something which humans both need and desire: fitness.

If you ask around, a lot of people *want* to be fit but they have lots of convenient excuses as to why they're not. People want to look good and a lot of people are even willing to put up with the inconvenience of exercise and physical exertion - they just don't have the time.

Being able to introduce a method of exercise that is genuinely fun for all and doesn't require extra time on top of our daily activities, as long as it's done sensibly and cleverly, could be a crucial step towards reducing obesity.

While the likes of Wii Fit (and the Wii) selling out and such show the demand is there, I believe the whole "exercise gaming" thing dates way back to the beginning of the millennium with games like Dance Dance Revolution. DDR is a great way to get some exercise (as long as you're playing with decent mats and not the controller), and while its popularity has faded the past few years, people were literally addicted to DDR (one of my friends was so good, he could play with this back to the screen, having not only memorized the notes, but also the the left/right/front/back inversion). Later versions of DDR also included an exercise program that had warmup, full exercise, and cool down songs...

And I believe there was a movement by some schools to supplement their PE classes with DDR machines. Or treadmill PCs. Or little half exercise bikes that fit under a desk.

The big problem is, many people deride such things (just see the /. comments about DDR in PE classes, or treadmills/other equipment hooked to computers and consoles so you have to exercise to continue surfing/playing), on the belief you really should "suffer" or set aside time to go to the gym and do a proper workout. Or that if you're playing a game, you're not really exercising. (Yes, they ignore the time-starved as well... the whole point of all these things is to raise the general activity level, not serve as a complete weight-loss/strength-training/etc routine...).

Re:The Future of Gaming (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518835)

Being able to introduce a method of exercise that is genuinely fun for all and doesn't require extra time on top of our daily activities, as long as it's done sensibly and cleverly, could be a crucial step towards reducing obesity.

Maybe, but ask any nutritionist, and you'll see that exercise is by far not the most important factor contributing to obesity, diet is the most important thing. Think about it, you may have known people who exercise a lot, run 5k every day, and are still overweight. I do know such people.

The issue is if you exercise, it makes you hungrier, so people tend to eat more. You need to pay attention to what you eat if you want to lose weight.

Re:The Future of Gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29520573)

obesity has a lot more to do with food intake than exercise

Re:The Future of Gaming (1)

xdor (1218206) | more than 4 years ago | (#29523563)

I agree, exercise can be fun.
I hate running, but if you put a ball or a Frisbee in the mix with a little competition I'll run around a field for hours

Genius idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29512779)

Get exercise while playing an addictive online multiplayer game? Not a bad idea at all. It makes it feel like you are more interacting with the game.

Re:Genius idea (3, Interesting)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513451)

We need an MMO-themed gym for geeks.

"Dude, did you check out Russel's stats on the leaderboards? He lost 10 pounds last month. That's +2 to DEX!"

Re:Genius idea (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513729)

Yeah, I had the idea back in 1982 or so. Video games use joystick controllers, why can't they use some sort of controller that requires physical action? Software could monitor you and make sure to rotate the muscles being used. Heavy computer users would develop great physiques.

That was along with my other idea, inject facts into popular culture and music. Heck, people can remember all the lyrics to Jay Z and every special move in Mortal Kombat but they have no idea what acceleration due to gravity is. If Jay Z put a lyric in one of his songs that said "yo beeyotch da speed dat sumtin accelerates is 9.8m/s" everyone'd know it within 6 weeks. Too bad the idea seems to be poorly implemented - you get people creating works that are almost, but not quite, factual. They'll put an extra 5% bullshit or stuff that agrees with their politics and pass it off as the real deal. :(

Re:Genius idea (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513965)

a) do people need to know the rate of accelleration of a falling object?
b) 9.8 m/s/s

Re:Genius idea (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29514397)

a) Do people need to know who represents them in Congress? Do people need to know who Da Vinci was? (no he was not a cryptographer) Why does anyone need to know anything?

b) See? If there was but a single morsel of pop culture that mentioned this, it would be ingrained by now. But no, the only frame of reference is classes back at school where it was mostly algebra anyway.

Re:Genius idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29521183)

what if it paid you for your contribution to the power grid. And if you were having a down day and broke, you could just say, oh, i'm off to contribute to the powergird, i've consumed my fill and it's the only thing left to due! I'll be back with a six pack and... a six pack!

WOW players who want to excercise (1)

Orlando (12257) | more than 4 years ago | (#29512863)

The overlap between people who play WOW and people who are in the least bit interested in doing regular exercise must be so small as to be insignificant, surely?

FPS... (1)

irp (260932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513105)

Maybe slightly off-topic, but it reminds me of the bad Babylon 5 spin-off focusing on the rangers. I saw the pilot (the plot was something with someone had a really anal interpretation of the rangers' slogan "we live for the one, we die for the one" - with emphasis on "die")

They had this space ship, with a holo-deck like weapons-control-system. The combat officer literally had to punch and kick at the opponent (punches fires lasers, kicks fires "missiles" (or their future equivalent)) ... Not only had they actually reduced the capabilities of the weapon systems to the stamina of the officer (why, luckily, were a fit, well trained woman), but the sensors was also reduced to the human field-of-view.

Anyhow, back to reality. For combining training with fun, this sounds like a fantastic idea! As long as the game is "RPG like" and does not depend on your reflexes like a FPS. Because then this equipment will only be used until the first encounter...

(Though it would be really good training with all the running in BF2/CoD etc.)

I can see it now.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29513271)

Running through the forest you come across a cave. Obviously being the curious person you are, you must explore it. You cast invis and run up to the entrance of the cave... ..But wait! Your random duration invis is wearing off! Good luck backpeddling out of the cave on a treadmill..

Nice Ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29513363)

Please buy our overpriced energy drink we are really cool look at this thing we made.

Synners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29513431)

Reminds me of Pat Cadigans 1991 book Synners.
Gabe's tank at the Dive.
Its a stone the crows at home Schrodinger's world.

Obvious fore-runner of Wii Fit / Remote games (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513613)

There's a new WiiWare title, _Overturn_ which allows one the option of controlling it w/ a combination of the Wii Fit (for movement) and the Wii Remote / Nunchuk) weapons aiming, firing, reloading, &c.).

If it required one to hop on and off the balance board (say being on the balance board is movement, off the board is being still) it could be a decent workout.

I'd really like to see a first-person RPG (ideally w/ some sort of persistent on-line interaction) which would use such an interface.

William

A health club of the future (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513705)

This is a neat innovation : tying gaming and exercise together, with rewards in game dependent on how hard you exercise. There's a couple of problems, though : for it to work well, you need good ($$) exercise equipment tied to sensors and properly calibrated for the game ($$$). Second, multiplayer games won't be fair unless all of the players are required to exercise to make things happen in the game. Cheating would be a big problem for home users.

So I'm envisioning a combo video arcade/health club. There would be lots of exercises you could do, on equipment that is tied to games. From hitting up the machine bench press to bikes and treadmills. Hypersonic speakers and big flat panel displays would be used, and players would be issued their own personal (brand new from a box) controller for the games. (Hypersonic speakers create cones of sound that are completely inaudible outside the cone, so you could have a separate sound over each one. The health clubs would be a franchise, and you would be playing on servers that are restricted to club players. The system would somehow measure your level of exertion (by heart rate perhaps? Or a profile created by a trainer) and would properly scale the required minimum effort to make certain things happen in game.

Making it work would be tough, of course. The chief problem is that a club like this would be pretty expensive and complicated to operate, and would have to charge fairly high fees as a result. That in turn would limit the market. Furthermore, there's a network effect : the more clubs that existed, the bigger the playerbase, and so it would be very difficult to get started.

Re:A health club of the future (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29514113)

It's also a fairly old idea - my local gym has bikes with games consoles on them and has done for years. Go faster and you get more power ups. There's also rather a lot of communities of networked exercise games - rowing, running & cycling are probably the more popular, but I wouldn't be surprised to find a lot of other sports making the leap into the internet. They're not even confined to gyms - there is PC software out there to support the home user.

The key problem to adding more movement beyond the thumbs and fingers is making it fun, and even augmenting the gaming experience. Adding large, coarse movements risks the loss of any fine control due to the user having to counter these forces when making those fine controls. You could argue that this makes it more "real" (e.g. running and firing a gun is highly unlikely to achieve much beyond scaring your opponents), but if your opponent doesn't need to use the device, they then have the advantage (as you point out) which detracts from the fun.

Yo dawg (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29513745)

Heard you like to fly, so we put wiimotes in your MMO so you can fly while you fly!

Worrying as my meme habit may be to you, it really scares me.

Seems dangerous to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29513817)

It's hard enough to watch TV or whatever while running. I tend to watch old action TV shows (eg. Buffy the Vampire Slayer) while running and even with all my experience running on a treadmill I sometimes still get woozy during some high motion scenes. "Woozy" in the sense that I need to at least touch one side rail of the treadmill so I can maintain my balance.

I can't imagine playing a 3D game and not only that but using a hand controller too. Sounds like a recipe for a faceplant on the treadmill.

YouTube this please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29514111)

It sounds like Star Wars Kid on crack.

Must be some treadmill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29514481)

Dunno about your treadmill, but mine does not change speed when you stop running. In fact, if you stopped running you would very quickly shoot off the end of it and probably land on your ass. It also doesn't go sideways, so you can only run in a straight line. What kind of treadmill were these WOW guys using?

Re:Must be some treadmill (1)

wcbarksdale (621327) | more than 4 years ago | (#29521777)

A non-motorized one maybe?

But only if you can login in the first place (1)

LRayZor (872596) | more than 4 years ago | (#29515777)

Well I'd love to try this, but with up to 7 hour queues on the European servers (and this is the week before the full release), you've got more chance of your monitor flying out the window.

Install that at a gym.. (2, Interesting)

formfeed (703859) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516033)

.. and you at least get a less boring gym.

Gyms could run their own servers, making sure every player is on a machine: runners, bicyclists, and maybe people on elliptical trainers operating a Da Vinci-style flying machine with flapping wings.

World of Workout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517373)

It's not hard at all.

I've been playing WoW on an exercise bike for the past two months now and have lost almost ten pounds. I also add in 5 pushups for each quest turn-in and 5 kettlebell swings for each skill-up.

A great step in the right direction (1)

genkipie (1645393) | more than 4 years ago | (#29557767)

I think this is a great move! While there are some doubts about how much gamers will use this I think it's important to remember that little changes can make a big difference. While it's true an obese person isn't going to become a conditioned athlete by using the treadmill for 20min-30min a day, that's enough to make some changes in the lifestyle of dedicated couch potato gamers. It's more than the nothing many of them are probably doing now. Maybe once they realize they can jog for 20 min while playing the game they'll give it a shot outside. Further, people do get fitter; it's very possible over time that 20min could turn into an hour.
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