Atari Launches the Atari Fit Mobile App, And It Misses the Mark
Atari is moving into very tricky territory with their newest mobile application. It's certainly a noble entry into a category that could probably use a few more quality entries, though is not usually filled with the kinds of apps that Atari is known for making. They've just released their first ever fitness app, Atari Fit. An application designed to motivate you to workout via video games.
Atari Fit is now available on the Android and iOS app stores, ready to help you get fit with video games.
The premise is simple, it provides up to 150 gamified workouts to help you challenge yourself physically either by yourself or in a "multiplayer" mode, as they're calling it, against others. The idea being to beat their specific scores generated by working out. Points can be earned for your actions that can unlock classic Atari games like Pong and Centipede. And of course, what game inspired app wouldn't be complete without a leaderboard.
These routines that they've developed have all been done in collaboration with Michael Porter, who is a certified personal trainer, so they aren't just poorly slapped together routines that have no underlying design. They're good, certainly, if done properly and consistently.
Unfortunately they've missed the mark by quite a bit. By marketing Atari Fit towards gamers is their first blunder. This isn't a gaming app by any means. It's simply another fitness app in a sea of other more interesting fitness apps. The social aspects, statistics and recommended workouts have all been done before in far cleaner packages even with the addition of badges or achievements you can earn. That is gamification, not simply adding in some games that you can unlock. It seems like a cheap trick really.
Gaming fitness can be a challenging and fun thing to participate in, if done properly. True gaming fitness is when a chosen game is used as the platform for doing some sort of fitness routine. Take for example this fine gentlemen working out to Battlefield 3, or even sweating to Star Wars the Old Republic. Those are true examples of what using gaming as a platform for fitness truly is. Using the game as a means is gamifiing it, not working out to earn points.
The Xbox One and the Wii U's take on combining fitness with gaming has been far more interesting than releasing a clone of every other fitness app in the market. But I digress, gaming and fitness are two parts of my life that I sometimes even enjoy together, so seeing Atari claim to have a gaming fitness app that is nothing more than a cheap attempt at further saturating the fitness application market is a little bit absurd.
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