New Device Turns Any Exercise Equipment into a Video Game

Tuesday December 17th, 2013

Though it is officially recognized as a sport and competitive to a fault, gaming is still mostly a couch-and-controller hobby. Still, the growing popularity of handheld and motion gaming is working to bring the medium out of the living room and into public—even if public is just into a subway car or waiting room. Following that trend is Blue Goji, a new and surprisingly active gaming platform from Guitar Hero co-creators Kai and Charles Huang.

Blue Goji is a hybridization of rhythm and fitness gaming based on a dual-reward system—the physical payoff of training and the satisfaction of gaming. The execution is as simple as the concept. Goji boils down to a four-button controller that attaches to virtually any exercise equipment and is then linked to a display or most mobile devices. Gameplay, on the other hand, varies wildly.

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"We'll have a variety of games," Kai Huang told The Guardian. "Some might be very simple puzzle games that can be played over and over, and some are going to be very immersive."

But no matter the game, there will be a focus on the physical side of things: the speed of racing games will align with the user's performance on, say, a treadmill, and puzzles can be paced in such to reward bursts in cardio exercise.

"Gamification" will be seen throughout Goji as well: beyond performance tracking (for calories burnt, reps performed, etc.), achievements and stats will be up for social sharing. What's more, the setup is available for a mere $99.99—a high price for a game, but a paltry sum in relation to typical exercise equipment. So, wait. I'm only 100 bucks away from finding an excuse to exercise, continuing my gaming binge, and bragging to my Facebook friends about how lazy they are in comparison? Sign me up.

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