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.
CNN found a Fitocracy user who fits the mold 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.