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Could you run as far as your WoW character?

“My character was running all over the place,” I wrote in 2005, “and I freaked out because I was like, ‘If I were running this much and this often, I would weigh 90 pounds.’ And then I quit playing because I felt like I should have been investing more time in, uh, moving.”

I’d just sworn off playing Final Fantasy XI for PS2. That version of the MMORPG had come bundled with a proprietary hard drive; consequently, I’d felt obligated to play the game for months. I had tired of levelgrinding, and of fetch quests, but above all I was tired of running.

Over at Hack a Day, there’s a blurb about two guys who wanted to “see what it would be like to run as much as their World of Warcraft characters”—I guess the existential weirdness of watching your avatar live more healthily than you do had gotten to them, too.

These WoW fans rigged two treadmills up to their computers and, in full WoW regalia, commenced on what they’ve christened the RL Race Across Azeroth. The whole write-up (edit: since removed) is hilarious, the rig itself is extremely clever, and the corresponding video (edit: since removed?!) is adorable.

10 responses to “Could you run as far as your WoW character?” »

  1. pauljeremiah says:

    oh sorry to hear you’ve left FFXI, i’m just after buying it for the PC :(

  2. theLorax says:

    FYI, the youtube vid and corresponding page have been removed

    And can you IMAGINE trying this in FFXI? You’d be in marathon shape in NO time.
    actually it would be a LOT of time, because your spend MOST of your time traveling, especially if you’re on foot.
    if WoW and FFXI had some sort of mutant child, it would be a force to be reckoned with. i’d play the hell out of it anyway.

  3. Jenn Frank says:

    Oh, weird. Thanks for the heads-up—I’ve updated the video link, which someone must’ve dutifully nicked before the original YouTube stuff was pulled.

  4. catarine says:

    I think that this is where videogames should go. The Wii has already kind of introduced it; if the players have to run as much as the characters, then gamers and geeks might be the fit, buff, cool guys and girls in the future.
    Geeks rule the world.

    • danawhitaker says:

      I’m already fit – I weigh about 120 pounds and am 5’10”. Not all people who play video games and/or who are geeks are ridiculously overweight, or even overweight at all in many cases. It’s a neat experiment, but not something I’d personally want to do. Running isn’t very good for your knees, more than one doctor has told me that, and there are other ways to exercise and stay fit, including dietary changes.

      There are plenty of overweight people in the world, I’m sick and tired of the gamer group being picked on for it more than others. It’s an often untrue stereotype. Most of the people I know who have weight problems are above the age of 40-50 and have never even played games, and aren’t geeks.

      • Jenn Frank says:

        While I get where you’re coming from—and yes, I’ve been told walking is healthier for you than running or jogging—I do like the shift toward ‘real movement’ that Catarine is talking about. Besides the health benefits, controlling games with your body is potentially more immersive: think VR, think drumming games, think arcade motorcycle games where you have to sway your entire body to steer.

  5. tab says:

    if blizzard made something like this i would buy it.

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