Sunday, July 12, 2009

Running Around

My parents just bought a Wii a couple of days ago. I've been hinting a little bit that we should buy one for a while now, but I hadn't put much effort into it. So I was completely surprised when I came home from college (yes, I know it's summer, but at least my class is only 3 days a week - I get to use the other two for my internship) and found a Wii in front of the TV. Now, I was very happy, but it turns out that they bought it for themselves, not for me. Oh. Well, at least I get to play it when I'm at home.

Which brings me to the first half of the point I want to make. Wii Tennis is very addicting. I played tennis a bit in middle school, but I didn't keep it up past the first summer of high school. To be honest, I'm not that good (I'm not horrible either, but I'm not good). But it was fun. And Wii Tennis is fun too. I've missed swinging around a remote racket. I know you can just give a little flick with your wrist and easily get the ball to go where you want, but I am trying to use my real tennis swing here, although I have to admit that doing a two-handed backhand is difficult with the remote.

Yet something is missing. Can you guess?


Yep, you guessed it. Actually moving.

There's certainly not enough space in my living room, and more than that, there's absolutely no point in running in the game itself, because the little Miis run for you.

So I propose a solution: a circular treadmill!

No, not the funny-looking thing you get when you google (or youtube) "circular treadmill". What I'm thinking of is something with omni wheels of some sort so that it can detect you running in whatever direction you're moving. Wouldn't that add some real exercise into things like Wii Fit?

In order to describe it, the best thing I can come up with is to say that it would probably look something like a Roomba (but slightly bigger) covered in a treadmill-type cloth that could move easily around the thing in any direction. There would probably have to be some sort of casing around it so that the whole thing wouldn't move when you started running.

Overall, though, it would give you a chance to actually move around. You could even use it as a plain treadmill if you wanted, though maybe with changeable/downloadable scenery, so you could go running wherever you want. Maybe if the scenery came in 3d blocks, so that you could run around and explore (since, after all, you have the freedom to run in any direction you want).

It could also be interesting to play with for first-person shooter games or basketball/soccer/other sports games. The possibilities are endless!

Here, I'm pretending somebody will actually see this and I will be talking to someone other than myself, but...What do you think? Would people actually go for such a thing?

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