This post and series will discuss intentional weight loss struggles and may be difficult for anyone with an eating disorder
After two and a half months of following Noom and walking every day, I wanted to add exercise to my new lifestyle. I wasn’t ready to go back to the gym, so I decided to use my blood money to buy an Oculus Quest 2.
My History With Video Games
Initially, I played video games on the computer. Poker Pete taught me to play poker on a TRS-80 Model 1. At a friend’s house, I played Oregon Trail on the Apple IIe. I played Leisure Suit Larry and the computer versions of MTV’s Remote Control and Wheel of Fortune. I used my confirmation money to purchase the original Nintendo, which I still own and it still works. I’ve probably clocked more hours on Tetris than any other game.
For three months, I was a video game tester on Pride FC and Evil Dead: Fistful of Boomstick. Around that same time, I went to an internet cafe on weekends with friends to play Counterstrike as “Bob from Accounting.” I did this because when I killed someone, they would get the message, “You were killed by Bob from Accounting.” Once the players on the other team all changed their names, I was killed by “Judy from Marketing” and “Mark from Shipping.”
After that, I bought an original X-Box primarily playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Halo, and Fable. I haven’t owned a gaming system since I knew how much time I could spend playing games rather than doing anything else. I managed to avoid Angry Birds and Candy Crush on my phone, but I play Matchington Manor.
Despite all of this, I’m terrible, but I enjoy playing. I wouldn’t consider myself a gamer, nor would anyone who has played with or against me.
Oculus Quest 2
I heard about Oculus when it first came out but hadn’t given it a second thought until I saw ads for the Oculus Quest 2 on Facebook. I began my research by reading reviews and watching YouTube videos. I called one of the two people I knew who owned one, and we talked pros and cons. The video below helped me decide as well by showing me the negatives, which weren’t bad enough to deter me.
I always said I would exercise more if I could work out on a holodeck like on Star Trek. The Oculus headset wasn’t quite the same but felt close enough to want to try. It would at least make me stand and move around more than playing a regular video game and offer more variety than Planet Fitness ever could.
In March 2021, I ordered online, and it arrived within a couple of days. I had to lock up the cats so they wouldn’t accidentally kill me or vice versa. They were not pleased, and eventually, I ended up locking myself up in the bedroom instead. Although lately, I’ve played with them in the room, and they actively avoid me, so I don’t worry as much if they are around.
Virtual Reality Games
Once I completed the setup process, I downloaded a bunch of games. The Oculus store offers quite a few free games and demo options, which kept me from spending too much money right away. The majority of the games are one-time purchases that get updates as needed. The games are downloaded through the store and charged to the credit card you add to your profile. There are a few subscription games where you pay a monthly fee, but those seem less commonplace.
I could go into details about everything I tried, but instead I will give you the highlights. The Creed boxing demo doesn’t give you any kind of tutorial and just drops you in the ring where a large boxer comes punches you into oblivion. The gameplay was excellent, but not my cup of tea. After playing the Space Pirate Trainer demo, I immediately dropped the $15 to get the full version. At first, I had a hard time with PokerStarsVR, but now I play regularly. I will probably do an entire post about that later.
My fitness routines began with FitXr and Supernatural. At the time, FitXr was a one-time purchase that has since switched to a monthly subscription. The politest thing I can say about the switchover was that it was ill-conceived, ill-executed, and problematic. They did have some exercise routines I enjoyed and could do if I wanted. However, the dramatic interface change that allows me to get to the workouts I originally paid for is not worth navigating to play. I may give it another try later, but for now, I have been avoiding it.
The following post will go into full detail about the awesomeness of Supernatural.
When you turn the Oculus on, you have a default 360 degree environment of your choosing complete with accompanying background noises. You can pick a classic home, futuristic space station, a ski lodge, Quest dome, the pass-through environment (your actual reality), or a Cyber City apartment (my favorite). From here, you access your main menus and navigate to the games or settings.
Many games allow you to have a customizable avatar which is what other players seen when they look at you. You can set up your avatar which can be imported into other games (i.e. PokerStarsVR) or you may need to set a completely new one (i.e., RecRoom). The customization menu gives a wide range of choices that you can alter at will. In the beginning, I set mine up to look as close to me in real life as I could. However, over time I have changed hair color and styles. I haven’t steered too far off course, and it makes me think of the scene from The Craft (below).
Of all the gaming systems I have owned and gyms I have gone to, this has been by far my best experience in making exercise enjoyable. If you have the means, I recommend picking one up.
Next up: My Health Quest: Working Out In Virtual Reality With Supernatural
Did you miss any of the previous posts in the My Health Quest series?