Workout In The Park

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/07/business/media/self-magazine-creates-social-game-for-its-annual-workout-in-the-park.html?scp=5&sq=%22words%20with%20friends%22&st=cse

Self magazine hosts an annual event called workout in the park. This is directed towards women to promote health, fitness, beauty, and fashion. The magazine created a social online game to target the same aspects the actual event is promoting. Not only will these areas be addressed but also there will be new interactive elements like avatars, virtual goods, and puzzles. The individuals can customize their own outdoor fitness and activities. The online game will not only be addressing physical health but mental health as well.

Each individual is an avatar. With more activity the avatar will slim up and get a toned body. The benefits of dieting and exercise will be shown through the avatar. The activities can be translated into real life and show the player how beneficial improving ones overall health can be. Also, there will be rewards given to the players for completing certain tasks. They can win prizes from the sponsors. This is a very interesting and innovative idea. Self magazine is creating a virtual world to show the importance of health and fitness while simultaneously allowing the gamer to do the same actions on their own. Laura McEwan the vice president and publisher at self said, “The mechanics of the game are psychologically motivating. Looking at an avatar can impact your real-world behavior. If you don’t come back for a period of time, your avatar loses tone.” The Avatar is mimicking the individual gamer for motivation. They are using an extrinsic system to give rewards to the gamers for their effort and improvements and consequences for lack of working out. Not only is the game extrinsic but it is intrinsic as well; the player has to motivate individually to work out on their own and be healthier.

This kind of game is considered a social game. According to the New York Times article, women tend to be more active in social games. This makes sense since social components tend to be more popular for women. This is why more women play games like Farmville and Words with Friends; they are innately more social. Workout in the park is kind of similar to other games like the Biggest Loser video game or other workout program through Wii. The individual is able to work out, improve their fitness and health through video games. Video games are now not all about a sedentary lifestyle instead they are about keeping active. The video games are keeping up with the times and the increased desire to work out.

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