Imagine doing squats at the Grand Canyon or dancing under a waterfall…in the comfort of your own home. The release of an innovative virtual reality fitness game might come in handy for us longing for our gyms to open again. But Supernatural has a bright future perspectives after lockdown as well; it could be an important building block for the future of VR gaming.
What is it
Supernatural is a Virtual Reality fitness game where you hit virtual objects with motion controllers that are moving towards you in a certain choreography. The game is developed by VR company Within, by founders Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk. While the basic mechanics of the game aren’t very innovatory, Supernatural steps it up a notch with focusing on full-body workouts and the introduction of virtual coaches; all while experiencing beautiful real-world scenery. The virtual coaches will set up a new curated workout for you every day, encourage you during your progress, remind you to breath correctly and even talk you through warming up and cooling down exercises that are often overlooked by other fitness games. Koblin and Milk wanted to combine the fun, gaming elements from popular movement games with the serious and structured fitness routines from online work-out platforms. The founders tested different types of ‘fit-games’ but realized they got caught up in the game and were focused on winning, instead of focusing on exercising and becoming more fit and strong. On the other hand, the online workout programs they tried were more intense but no fun at all which led to distraction and quitting. Koblin and Milk were determined to create a game that users would embed in their daily routines, a game that would stick and keep them engaged. Thus, Supernatural was born.
The game is exciting and interesting, without losing track of staying fit. Losing is not an option in Supernatural, but it will challenge the user accordingly. The game will dynamically change the difficulty of the track to the performance of the user. The game is currently only released on the Oculus Quest for users in North-America.
Why it’s Cool
- Most rhythm games are built to make you move to win, instead of burning calories. Supernatural is all about using your full range motion.
- Supernatural uses stunning real-world scenery like waterfalls and volcanos; imagine working out with the Grand Canyon as part of your surrounding!
- The game is compatible with Apple Watch which will let you check your heart rate, keep track on your progress and follow friends.
- The biggest obstacle for retaining a fitness routine is not physical, but mental strength. When exercising with VR-glasses, your brain is for 80% busy with focusing on visual pathways so there is less mental capacity to concentrate on pain or exhaustion.
Why it has Future Growth Potential
- There is still space for improvement, but this app could be the building block for the future of online fitness: it has the beauty of 360 degree cinema, the wit and fun of a video game and the expertise of a fitness coach: What if real-life coaches could track your in-game progress and inspire you to be a healthier version of yourself?
- Even after lockdown, online fitness will be here to stay. It can be a great solution for people with busy schedules or people dealing with mental health problems that might not find the strength to visit a real gym.
- The Oculus Quest still has to prove itself to the vast majority, but it is constantly pushing its boundaries; for example, it will release a fully controller free gaming experience from May 28
Image retrieved from www.with.in
Martens, T. (2020, April 26). If it weren’t for virtual reality games, I wouldn’t be getting exercise right now.Retrieved from Los Angeles Times: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2020-04-26/coronavirus-virtual-reality-fitness-exercise-work-outs
Byford, S. (2020, May 11). The Verge. Retrieved from SUPERNATURAL FOR OCULUS QUEST IS LIKE BEAT SABER MEETS PELOTON: https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/11/21254483/supernatural-oculus-quest-review-vr-fitness-within-interview