Friday, February 13, 2009

How Harvest Moon Got Me to Exercise

If you talk to anyone who has heard of the Harvest Moon series, they'll immediately know you're referring to a very specific genre called "farm simulation." Every day your character wakes up and you can do things like farm your land, raise livestock, do tasks for the townspeople, or court the village girls. Sounds kinda boring, right? Honestly, the point of the game is time management because you only have a set amount of things you can do each day before it's bedtime.

Now it puzzles even me why a game about chores can be so addicting. Maybe it's because I'm one of those executers who likes to check things off to-do lists. Maybe it's the pleasure of leveling up little by little, so that I can kill bigger and badder monsters to make bigger and badder weapons. (Technically, I've only played the Harvest Moon spin-off called Rune Factory.) Or maybe it's visiting with all my favorite girls every day so that their attraction levels towards me increase. K thinks it's incredibly weird when I talk about how I liked Julia at first because of her pretty French maid costume, but then I found out she was only into superficial things so now I like Yue cuz she's more independent and has a pretty kimono. K also accuses me of being a terrible min-maxer since I like to marry each of the girls to see what it's like and then reboot before saving so I can marry the next one.

Anyway, I eventually got to a point in the game where I had found the most efficient method to do things every day, in a certain order at a certain time. Then I realized that working out at the gym (something I usually find incredibly boring) was much the same way. If I could waste hours in a video game doing a repeated list of tasks, shouldn't I be able to do a list of exercises to "level up" in the real world? In fact, aren't there video games for exercise out there? ZOMG! O_O Hehe, in reality, I found Wii Fit and My Weight Loss Coach to be a little lightweight for my needs. Luckily, my company has a gym, so whenever I start feeling the eye strain, I just pop in for a quick workout, all while recording my improved stats by pen and paper. ^_^

Mmm yes, hours of engaging game play...


Unknown said...

That is a good point. I never thought about going to the gym in that particular light. Granted, I don't know if I will actually go to the gym, but at least I can think about in a new way. :)

thegamerswife said...

Hey! I didn't even realize you linked to my blog last week, and I was so surprised! You're awesome to mention me! :)Us gamer's wives have to stick together - hopefully between the few of us online can start to get more recognition!