Cycling is mostly considered to be an necessary evil; a tiresome, monotonous, time consuming and ultimately dull experience. Generally not worth the effort. This feeling is not entirely unfamiliar to me. I am also a gamer. Sometimes I just don't feel like going out. Why would I go through all the hassle of tiring myself out, for an experience which I could get all the same by sitting on my couch? Why would I go cycling to a different place, while I can do exactly the same by playing games right at my own place, battling dragons, exploring ancient ruins, racing for supremacy, or compete in intense battles? Instead of weighting these options against one another,
I can ask myself this instead: why not combine the two? This is exactly what the Game-Bike does.
What is the Game-Bike?
This home trainer is aimed at making cycling a more engaging, fulfilling but mostly a fun experience as a whole. This is achieved through the combination of physical exercises and playing games into one amalgamated experience, combining the persuasive nature of gaming to enhance the otherwise bland biking. The Game-Bike is an interactive fitness device which can be paired with a common smartphone or tablets through a bluetooth connection, displaying the game on screen during the exercises. The users of this bike can bike for five miles all the while competing in car races, chasing animals, diving in an underwater world and more. By using these story worlds and environments as a palimpsest over the routine of working out, the user is being immersed into exiting situations, making the otherwise repetitive act of fitness a fun experience.
Making Exercising Fun
What makes this project unique is the implementation of the inherently persuasive elements of computer games. No longer does the act of exercising necessarily have to be a dull or a physically discouraging endeavour. Games allow for a more playful attitude. The Game-Bike makes use of this by creating a whole different type of interaction within the game. Every gamer knows that pressing a button can be satisfying, but being able to control your character by using normal bodily movements is something special. By implementing physical input as the primary mode of interaction, the gap between the virtual and the physical is closed by yet another bit, creating an unique gaming experience.
No Time to Exercise Outside?
Although the Game-Bike is originally intended as a way to engage both children and elderly, the Game-Bike can be an ideal tool for anyone who considers normal cycling as being too tedious or boring, but also offers a solution for anyone wanting to stay fit, but find themselves unable or unwilling to go to the gym on a regular basis. The Game-Bike allows the player to autonomously maintain a healthy lifestyle in conjecture with a rich experience, providing a wide range of engaging, immersive and ultimately more fun exercises. The Game-Bike provides the user with the ability to fitness at any time, even from the comfort of one's own living room. This in combination with the immersive environment of the game world allows the Game-Bike to make exercising fun.
Who says exercising needs to be dull?
I cycle for fun. No really. I sometimes want take a break and get some fresh air, taking a short bike ride through the forest, keeping myself fit while also enjoying the beautiful landscape. Unfortunately I seem to be the exception here.