With online service integration on the rise, Nike has a unique opportunity to offer in-game benefits to gamers using Nike+.
Once a big-time gamer, I have recently shelved the Dualshock, powered down the Xbox, and commandeered my Wiimote batteries in place of a pair of shoes, an iPhone, and Nike+. While the boost in productivity and exercise may sound pleasant to many, it has made it much harder to enjoy leisure and the small things in life. Now, when I decide to take time out of my day to enjoy the latest AAA game, I cannot make it through 30 minutes without feeling an overwhelming amount of anxiety.
While being productive feels fantastic, the inability to enjoy leisurely activities such as gaming and/or reading does not feel healthy. Likewise, those of us who are slaves to media consumption over production and fitness is equally, if not more, unhealthy. There needs to be an easier way to enjoy both and a bridge to get us there.
In my recent post “Wearable Computing, Real World Gaming,” I delved into the idea that gamifying services such as Nike+ paired with a theoretical statistics tracking feature in your smartphone could be touted as the true next-gen gaming experience. Without waiting on the future, Nike and other fitness device/service developers have an opportunity to start this trend now.
By offering extra in-game experience points (xp) / exclusive in-game items / in-game currency in exchange for miles run / calories burned / faster paces, non-running gamers would be enticed to join the global community of runners to push their gaming and health a little further and non-gaming runners would be enticed to appreciate a new pastime and the gaming community.
Cases of the “gaming x fitness/3rd-party product” collaboration are not undocumented. In the case of Warbiking, one World of Warcraft gamer lost 41 lbs. by gaming on a stationary bike. While not the healthiest of pairings, the “Double XP” collaboration between Microsoft x Pepsico encouraged Halo 4 players to purchase Mountain Dew and Doritos for additional in-game experience points, showcasing the ability for video game developers to pair with 3rd-party products.
This post is not claiming that all gamers are unhealthy or all runners are overly-productive. It is simply stating that innovators can begin an age where integration between services can provide more seamless pairings of our favorite hobbies, required exercise, and enjoyment of the little things in life.