A question that has always surrounded VR is if it can be used as a virtual exercise experience. Although there are games that include a good amount of movement that can be used a slight cardio exercise, it is hard to find a game that is dedicated to pure exercise. Even if you find a game that is meant for that, your controllers are only so heavy and can’t be used for weightlifting. If you have been wanting an experience that allows you to get your pump on in VR, pack your bags. We are headed to Boise Idaho for the Black Box VR experience. 

Black Box was founded by Ryan DeLuca and Preston Lewis. These two men also helped build bodybuilding.com, one of the biggest fitness websites on the web, and have turned it into the largest online supplement suppliers in the world. They know how to manage a business and make it successful, and they have carried this knowledge over to the Black Box vision. Although the company is not seem as the most conventional idea, they have found ways to make this company thrive in Idaho. 

The workouts aren’t your typical workouts in a crowded sweaty gym. You are wearing a hardest for a reason, and the immersive experience is well worth it. You are going to be playing games for the entirety of your workout and the games are original and fun. To target specific muscle groups and ensure that you are getting a well-rounded workout, the game uses different parts of your body as powers in the game. Your legs are water, your chest and shoulders are the fire, and to bend air your are going to be using your back and biceps. 

Each of these powers have levels that go with them. Your level is determined by your strength, so increasing your level now improves your physical body, not just a virtual avatar. The game revolves around breaking crystals and gates to obtain the most points before your 30 minute workout is finished. Below you can find the exact defining paragraph of what Black Box says about their gameplay. All games and exercises are done on the HTC Vive.

“Using a combination of units and direct damage, you can break through opposing gates and destroy the enemy crystal. A session is comprised of a warmup followed by as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes. Get points for destroying gates and crystals to secure the win. The more wins you rack up, the more trophies you will take home! The Black Box Arena is packed with power-ups, upgrades, and reward boxes. One of the best ways to reap these rewards is to maintain a streak of consecutive workouts. Keep coming back on schedule, don’t miss a day, and you’ll stand out from the crowd and be healthier for it!” 

It is clear that their goal is to let users have fun and be in a virtual world while getting in shape, but how logical is it? If you exercise regularly, you know that you don’t want to be wearing the most minimal things possible. Even wearing eye glasses while working out can be hindering to your self improvement. So the question must be asked, is it distracting to wear a headset while you are trying to get your sweat on?

“Traditional resistance training at a gym is a great idea! The problem is that almost nobody actually does it consistently over time. Even the most disciplined fitness athletes break their gym habit and struggle to maintain their physiques. We all know that the gyms are packed in January and empty by February. Black Box VR aims to make fitness a habit as addictive as your favorite eSports and video games.” That is the response that the company gives when asked about working out in a regular gym. In short, no, wearing a headset can only benefit you. 


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