Fitocracy: Video Game Elements, Real Life Results

by on November 15th, 2014
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Video games and exercise – two things that, until recently, generally didn’t go hand-in-hand. With the advent of Nintendo Wii, physical movement and exercise became integrated into the world of gaming. Then came the outpour of exercise games to saturate the market, as usual – some bad, some good. Microsoft came out with Kinect, and so on and so forth.

But a new competitor (or ally, depending on how you look at it) has joined the scene – Fitocracy. Fitocracy is a website that basically tracks members’ progress and exercise regiment over time. The unique part of Fitocracy is that it integrates role-playing game (also known as “RPGs”) elements such as quests, achievements, experience points and more.

So how does this fancy website work? Users plug in their exercise information by utilizing an integrated exercise bank designed by the Fitocracy team. While not every exercise is contained within the bank, many are – including some exercises you may have never even heard or thought of. When plugging in these numbers you will enter some information including repetitions, sets, weight amount, etc. Also, cardio can be plugged in (Ex: running, bicycling, etc.) by putting in time/distance.

I stated before that users put in their exercise information. So, how is this done? Each exercise has a point value – some have more than others, depending on their intensity and type (this is pre-selected by the Fitocracy team). When users put their exercise information into Fitocracy they enter the weight of the dumbbells/barbells used, the repetitions, the number of sets, etc. When users are done adding a specific exercise to their list, Fitocracy then calculates the points, adds it to your experience points meter and, if you’re lucky, you may even level up!

While Fitocracy seems truly great and innovative, there are some minor issues and other ideas that should be implemented. One thing, for instance, is that there seems to be some bugs – a couple of days ago I input a small workout and I kept getting errors. I backtracked and put it in the next day, but still, the work I had done was wasted initially. Another issue is that there are some exercises that aren’t in the exercise bank – something that can easily be updated, and I hope it will. I mean, it still is in the early stages, so I am sure exercises will be added over time. Plus, for a free service, there is a vast amount of exercises.

Now those are some of the problems, but what are other ideas that should be implemented? Calorie counters, so users can track their caloric intake over the course of the day. There are many applications that can already do this, so implementing this wouldn’t be too difficult over time.

Stats, in Fitocracy, is displayed rather weakly. Implementing stats in graphs and other data tables would be a nice. It’s been proven that people love statistics; while there are some, there could be more in-depth stats that could be shown. Example: Show how many times someone has done a specific exercise over time.

The profile is, right now, kind of bland. Spice up the customization for profiles. Give people the ability to add more pictures – this is especially important so people, as well as others, can see their physical progression.

Add more gaming elements – this is the foundation of innovation in this website. Quests, experience points and so on is a nice touch, but possibly add the possibility of “parties”, so small, dedicated groups of people can pit against others. Right now there are groups, but there’s no “battling” of any sorts. Other role-playing game elements that would be nice would be the use of items, abilities, skills, etc. in some sort of innovative manner.

But, overall, Fitocracy is a fresh new take on tracking progression. I wish that it had come out earlier, but now I am on the road of Fitocracy. Although I am a mere level 5 (almost level 6!), I look forward to tracking my progression in such a manner that is not only informative, but fun.

The last aspect that I’d like to mention is the community – it, from what I’ve seen so far, is superb. In the Forum section you’ll meet people that are supportive and informative. There are subsections if you’re looking to get into certain exercises – Endurance, Bodybuilding, and so on. There is also sections for Supplements, Nutrition, general talking and much, much more.

Get started now by going to www.fitocracy.com.


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