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Only a few years ago there were two well known stereotypes, the fitness fanatic and the lazy gamer. These two worlds seemed mutually exclusive - joining the two appeared impossible. That all changed when the Nintendo Wii appeared. The concept of fitness gaming was born, and proved to be extreamly popular.
I have been into fitness and gaming all my life, but until recently hadn't thought about joining the two. My exercise story is like many others. It started with trying to bulk up muscle, shortly after my seventeenth birthday. Soon after I was unboxing my first multi-gym, a basic model but with a proper weight stack. It took a whole day to assemble it without power tools, ending with every muscle aching.
From then I spent any free time in the week working different muscle groups on the home gym, and weekends relaxing with my PlayStation. I kept a track of the time, reps and weights pressed on paper, while a small plastic memory card kept track of my crystals gained, scores achieved and levels completed.
My PlayStation gave way to a PS2, then the Xbox and finally a Xbox 360. My multi-gym grew as well - turning into a whole fitness room of free weights, benches, a cycle and a rower. Although I didn't know it at the time this set me on my career as a fitness instructor. Since then I have worked for independent clubs, public gyms and large chains. All the time taking advantage of the latest tech equipment that arrives. This is where the story could have ended, happily expanding my freelance clientele while paying the bills with my day job.
About a year ago I spotted a small advert in a trade magazine: 'PT required, must love video games and have internet access'. It turned out to be for the Gamercize company, who make cardio fitness machine for games consoles. Before long I realised the potential of fitness gaming and bought some Gamercize machines, DDR dance mats, an EyeToy and a Wii to become the worlds first personal video game fitness trainer!
Now it is time to share those experiences, give an insight into the people, the equipment and the emerging industry as Game People's very own Fit Gamer. Check out my writing schedule to see the topics I am planning to tackle. If there's something you'd like me to discuss, why not let me know. Like the other writers on the Game People network, I want to interact with you in some new ways. The writing itself may be primary for some, but just as telling is my twitter feed and facebook profile. I want to hear from you with comments, ideas even contributions. However big or small every contribution makes a difference.
Here are my game reviews.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: