Indoor bike / treadmill = game controller?

I have been reading some articles lately about the various apps for indoor training platforms… Zwift, Rouvy, CVRcade, Peloton, etc, etc.
I think all of them are missing something… they all try in various ways to replicate the experience of actually doing the activity in question outdoors (running outside or riding in a race with people).
The key thing they are missing is that the bike or treadmill really could just be big video game controllers and be applied to almost any form of game. And as a former heavy gamer, I can tell you that there are vastly more fun game experiences available then just replicating what you do outdoors indoors.
For example, World of Warcraft has grossed $9 BILLION in revenue and had 12 million monthly subscribers at it’s peak in 2010 (and still had 10 million in 2014).
That sort of a game would play really well with a training platform… most of what you do in WoW is wander around an open world and occasionally fight monsters (aka “grinding”)… basically you get a quest to achieve a goal like “Gather 15 orc skins”. Then you have to go and kill 15 orcs and gather their skins. Instead of using your computer keyboard to click on the orc a bunch of times to kill it, you could do a series of short sprints on the bike. Your character could earn experience points and level up and gain new powers as it goes as well. You could fight other real players and it would not just be a matter of who the strongest cyclist is, but who has leveled up more over time and who makes better decisions during the battle.
Many World of Warcraft players spend 16 hours a day “grinding” away to build up their character, collect items in the world, and win battles. We could make that much healthier by switching people from hunching over on a keyboard to using their treadmill or bike training platform…
What do you think?

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Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.

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