How Making Fitness Into An Role-Playing Game Makes Us All Look And Feel Great

About four months ago I profiled Fitocracy, the social networking/fitness site that seeks to motivate gamers to hit the gym by incorporating role-playing game aspects into their workout plan. Today, Fitocracy and its founding duo received a huge profile courtesy of CNN, and it's making all gamers look better as a result.

Brian Wang and Dick Talens shared their tales of going from flabby and scrawny teenagers to buff bodybuilders, while still retaining their gamer cred. CNN then found two psychology experts — normally these are the guys who TV turns to when they want to talk about how soul-suckingly addictive video games are. Instead, they identify games' ability to make their players feel competent and the freedom and autonomy they offer, and then the social component supporting all of it.

They found a Fitocracy user who fits the mould of going from schlumpy shut-in to ripped gym rat. Michael Perry (pictured) a dedicated World of Warcraft gamer, said he had no idea what exercise was for the first 26 years of his life. He's become a healthier, fitter person because his regimen mirrors his path to success in the MMO.

"When I was playing WoW all the time, I had to make sure everything I was doing was right. I researched it down to the T. I made sure I was hitting spells right at the right time. I wouldn't miss a raid," Perry told CNN. "I think that translates really well to exercise and bodybuilding because you have to have that level of knowledge (and) you have to have that commitment."

It's a nice story that puts gaming and gamers in a good light, and is some well deserved publicity for two gamers, Talens and Wang, who are making a positive contribution to the community.

Image: Michael Perry/CNN

Why Gamers Are a Great Fit at the Gym [CNN]


    Dick and Wang.

      Get out of my head, Charles!

      That's the first thing I noticed as well!

      this was the first thing I saw

    Anyone have invites for it?

      Might be some left here:

      Otherwise just search "Fitocracy" on and you're highly likely to find one.

        There was some on a Lifehacker Thread a while ago. Check there.

    A role playing game not "an role playing game"

      I think the mistake comes from an RPG, which doesn't apply when R becomes Role.

    But we'll never evolve into sticklike green aliens with massive heads if we pursue body building like this! :(

    I just signed up. I've recently been getting acute gall bladder flareups. The last one put me in hospital, so I think this is definitely a good thing for me to get into.

    I signed up ages ago, but the site wouldn't load on IE [at work] and wouldn't work on my phone [while I'm at the gym] so I never got around to doing anything with it. I think they've just updated the site to be more mobile-friendly, so I'm keen to give it another go. As soon as I motivate myself to get back to the gym again...

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