The Nintendo Wii fad may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still lose weight playing video games.
Job J Stauffer, a community manager for Telltale Games (developers of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones games, among others) recently tweeted that he lost 50 pounds playing the VR game Soundboxing:
— Job J Stauffer @ PAX East (@jobjstauffer) February 15, 2017
Soundboxing is a rhythm game for the HTC Vive virtuality platform (and, soon, the similar Oculus Rift) in which players box, Rocky Balboa-style, to the beat of whatever YouTube video you want. Check out the game trailer:
In an interview with UploadVR, Stauffer explained that a fateful trip to his doctor made him take action: “I was unhealthy. At my worst, I was over 300 pounds. It came to the point where my doctor finally said, ‘You need to get the heck in shape.’ I was at that lowest low point, where he was basically saying, ‘You need to do something or you’re gonna die.'”
Due to his weight, starting an intense weight-loss workout wasn’t so simple for Stauffer. As a result, he found the immersion and immediacy of playing a game in VR to be the perfect motivation for exercise. Soon, 20 minutes a day turned to 45, then 90—and before he knew it, he had lost 50 pounds in 5 months.
As VR is still in its early consumer phase, we’re bound to hear more success stories from people who have implemented it into their workouts. A similar (albeit brief) phenomenon occurred when Pokémon Go took thousands of gamers by storm in the summer of 2016, converting legions of couch potatoes into pedometer crushers.