Gamers rejoice! A Chicago-based startup is planning to launch a video game controller that will make playing video games just as healthy as going to the gym. SymGym, which looks just like a workout machine you'd see in any fitness club, can function as both a Playstation or Xbox controller, all the while giving you a full-body workout.

With all the recent scientific studies that warn against the ill-effects of sitting down too long, this new device may just be what the doctor ordered for gamers around the world. SymGym, which is the name of the machine and also of the startup that came up with it, is a “a resistance-based game controller and gaming platform," which self-adjusts its resistance according to what's going on in the game. For example, if you have to run up a mountain in the game, the pedals will resist, making you exert more energy than if you had to simply walk around a flat surface. Have to run in the game? You better start pedaling! The levers are the same; motions in the game that require more strength will require you to push and pull that much harder than simply opening a door or picking something up off the ground.

Despite it's capability to work with all Playstation and Xbox games, SymGym is better suited for games with basic movement, like Pac-Man, for example. But, as we speak, the startup is in talks with independent game developers to create titles specifically made for the fitness controller, along with an online platform where SymGym users can play against each other and compete. The big difference with SymGym and devices like Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect, which also require physical activity on part of the gamer, is the resistance it provides. And not only that, SymGym tracks the player's calories burned, level of difficulty, power output, duration, and resistance, so it's really like a full-on workout machine/game controller. So if you really want to get fit, all you have to do is play Donkey Kong!

I say let's all cancel our gym memberships, and start playing some video games. Who's ordering the pizza?


Cinderella Man

Starring Kwon Sang Woo and Im Yoon Ah

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