I’m a big fan of the Kinect and, to a lesser extent the Wii. Partially that’s because I’m generally a sucker for neat gadgets, and in particular I love me some motion capture. But more generally, it’s because they solve one of the big problems of computer gaming – the fact that, no matter how mentally engaging it is, physically it involved sitting very still for a long period of time. From such things, bad posture, “computer neck”, and spare tires emerge.
Cynwise has been battling the spectre of The WoW Player From South Park too, and he’s hit on a solution that I’ve heard of before, but never seen implemented – a treadmill / computer desk combo. Now, he burns calories whilst he farms herbs, and he’s written an extensive guide to how he did it –
“. I use a manual treadmill (something like this one) that is powered by walking – no electricity. That’s both good – because it’s much, much cheaper than an electric one – and bad, because it’s a bit noisier, and I end up stacking reams of paper underneath the bottom to change the angle to make it easy to maintain a slow walk. (Yes, as I print out documents I have to walk harder while mining.) I got mine for about $175, and I don’t have any major complaints yet.
The treadmill raises you up several inches off the ground, so if your monitor was at eye level while standing, it’ll be slightly below eye level when you get up on the ramp to walk. My trick was to put my monitor slightly higher than eye level while standing to help correct my slouchy posture, which works out well with the treadmill. If you’re mounting it on the wall you’ll want to measure from the treadmill height, not from the floor. “
This is a pretty complete how-to guide. I’ve considered doing something similar myself (albeit probably with a sit-stand desk, because sometimes sitting down is good), and Cynwise takes us through his setup step-by-step, with detailed instructions. He covers the practicality of actually playing whilst walking (apparently harder than it looks), the detailed measurements of his setup, and plenty of good pictures of how it all fits together.
With the number of MMOs coming out in the next six months, I reckon I’m looking at a pretty epic amount of hours in the chair coming up. This post might well energise me into getting my butt into gear and my desk up about a foot and a half. What about you?
Sound tempting? Have you ever tried combining exercise and MMOs? Or do you prefer your gaming strictly sedentry?
Quote taken directly from Cynwise’s post .
Find Cynwise’s Battle Manual at http://cynwise.wordpress.com/ .