I hate treadmills and ellipticals with the fire of a thousand burning suns. Both machines are the bane of my existence at the gym, but I use them anyway because cardio training is important (or so I'm told).
But if Blue Goji has its way, my enmity towards cardio in all its forms might be coming to an end.
An interactive fitness game developer, Blue Goji creates titles designed to take your mind off the sweaty, fat-burning task so that you can have fun while burning calories. The company has previously created mobile games, but has recently entered the virtual reality space.
Blue Goji currently has two games on its roster: Dino Fence and GoWings Safari. Both titles are compatible with Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive. However, during my SXSW demo, I was strapped into an Oculus Rift. The company also has two upcoming games in the works, but neither has been announced.
So the question is how exactly do you game on a cardio machine? In addition to the VR helmet, Blue Goji has a pair of controllers called Goji Play that wrap around the bars of your torture device -- I mean the exercise equipment of choice. Once positioned on the underside of your machine, your fingers can easily access the small D-pad and action buttons as you play your way through your workout.
When it came time for me for me to mount the elliptical, the Blue Goji rep had GoWings Safari ready and waiting. From there, it was just me and the wide open spaces of the African safari. My job during the game was to make my way down the wind path of the digital savanna while snapping pictures of animals. And if a poacher dared to show his dastardly face, I was ready and waiting to blast him.
The speed with which I made my way down the path was dependent on my speed on the elliptical. I was able to maintain a moderate speed for about 10 minutes, and I was so engrossed in snapping pics and getting rid of poachers, it took a while before I noticed the burn in my legs. Even then, I was able to zone out for a few seconds more before I tapped out.
The fact that Blue Goji's game got me to forget that I was exercising for a few moments is huge. Adding virtual reality to the mix, helped me take my mind of my cardio hatred by letting me enjoy a relatively fun game instead. I'd love to see Blue Goji add some sort of platforming title to the mix. But until then, anything that can take the monotony of running, walking or climbing in one place is a win in my book.