by Chelsea Chambers, photos by Mark Dyrud
The world opens up before you. Bright sunlight hits your eyes as you hear the crowd roar for the next round. To your left, your teammates prepare themselves for battle. On the far side of the arena lies a large wooden gate. It is the only thing that stands between you and imminent victory. You know not what dwells beyond this gate or to what extent you will be tested, but one thing is absolutely certain: you will not rest until you are crowned champion. A flume of dust rises from behind the gate as whatever man or beast lies beyond grows restless with anticipation. A bell tolls in the background and the gate slowly begins to open, the crowd screams wildly and you steady yourself, ready for anything.
The world of technology is on a constant rise. Every day we are presented with a new phone, a new app, a new game, all of which demand our attention, and for good reason—it’s all so unbelievably captivating. It’s hard to escape the latest game, especially when you’ve finally leveled up your skills so high that you have become virtually indestructible. There is an allure to this experience, to absorb and to learn all that you can about these fictional worlds. Overnight, we transform into the greatest basketball player in the universe, the most revered dragon-slayer, the most talented blacksmith; we become the hero, the beast, the strongest, the fastest, the most sought after, and most desired creatures that have ever lived.
But in reality, we are merely sitting on the couch, often surrounded by junk food and energy drinks, whatever we can grab quickly, sustainable enough that our stomachs are silenced as we plot our next attack on the zombie scourge.
We all know that fitness is a necessity to leading a healthy lifestyle, but oftentimes the choice between going to the gym and staying home with FIFA 16 offers little to no competition. But what if I told you that soon there will be a way to combine the best of both worlds? That in our very near future, you will be able to take that alluring love of video games and combine it with actual physical fitness that is both good for your body and wildly entertaining?
Ryan DeLuca, creator of BodyBuilding.com, is seeking to do just that. Alongside co-founder, Preston Lewis, the two are combining forces with an elite team of graphic designers, engineers, and electronics pros to create a virtual world that will make the dread of going to the gym disappear completely.
A born entrepreneur, DeLuca enjoyed retirement for less than six months before deciding to once again delve back into the world of fitness, but this time with a completely new spin. Lewis and DeLuca have teamed up to create Black Box VR, a virtual reality gym experience unlike anything the fitness industry has seen before.
When asked what inspired this innovative concept, DeLuca responded, “People spend so much time leveling up their character, while they themselves are leveling down. We want to take the best part of video games and the best part of eSports and combine it with resistance training and fitness.”
With Black Box VR, working out will cease to be a dreaded ordeal. No longer will strength training feel tedious; all of the painstaking confusion and monotony of working out will disappear and be replaced with an extraordinary fictional world in which the act of moving your body will be as necessary as reloading in Call of Duty, and a million times more beneficial.
By utilizing the ideals of exercise—strength, agility, balance, and speed—in combination with a larger-than-life virtual world, Black Box VR is able to harness the nature that is brought out in video games—dedication, determination, and longevity—and turn it into a real, physical workout that challenges both mind and body.
The team is currently working on building the prototype, but the idea has already been set into motion. Boise, Idaho will be seeing a great economic boom as the world of virtual reality technology continues to expand. Within the next year, Black Box VR will be establishing a gym in which members will be able to attend their own personalized virtual reality classes. With the VR goggles intact, the days of dragging your feet to the gym will be no more and instead replaced with that excited wonder that lives in the levels of virtual reality.
When looking at how the actual process will take place, fitness results should be secondary to the fun and entertainment with Black Box VR. With the growth in virtual reality, you can now be the hero of your own story, while simultaneously building muscle, burning fat, and gaining strength.
Black Box VR is looking to expand their team in order to streamline the project and get it off the ground. They’re looking to hire multiple positions in marketing, sales, electronic engineering, and game development. For more information about the future of fitness, Black Box VR, and how to be a part of the team, visit their website at www.blackbox-vr.com