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Submitted By: David R. Adams
2020: The year that videogames transformed mere mortals into Olympians...
It's the year 2020, and advances in videogame graphics, peripherals and business models have converged to create the ultimate in immersive, total-body workout and sports training applications.
A unprecedented consortium of video game companies, commercial fitness companies and the US Olympic Committee have joined forces to create Olympic Revolution 2020™ (OR20X), a transportable version of the state-of-the-art electronic training facilities used for all Olympic Athletes, and deployed them at fitness centers around the country.
Building upon the latest in immersive 3D sports gaming, players literally take their positions, alongside past and present champions, or online players from around the country, competing in the full set of non-aquatic summer Olympic events.
Within the dedicated OR20X facilities, the Gyro-Resistance Body Bands and Traction Control footwear on the Omni Track™ treadmill enable OR20X to simulate the conditions and demands of almost any event in any environment with difficulty ranging from beginner to amateur to Olympian intensity levels.
In the largest national videogame tournament ever created, OR20X Gold Medalists are awarded all-expense paid trips to the 2020 Olympic games and a chance to qualify for the 2020 US National Olympic team.
Olympic Revolution Blog Entries
by Jake Thompson, Amateur Marathoner, February 4, 2020
4:15 PM - I can't recall whether this is the tenth or hundredth time I've tried to beat this level. It's been enough times that strapping on those 14 Gyro bands and getting calibrated is taking me only 5 minutes compared to like 20 when I first started. Then again, maybe I'm just moving faster given the 10 lbs I've lost trying to beat this stupid game. ;)
4:23 PM – Omni Track is available in 15 minutes. Good, they're running on time today. Between all the wannabe Olympians and newbie gamers taking advantage of the beginner mode, with its weight reduction and strength amplification features, the lines have been crazy lately. Good thing the articulation and velocity safety controls are in place, else most of those guys would end up in traction! I still can't get over how powerful these Gyro bands are. I know I'm never trying that virtual discus stunt again…even at intermediate levels the follow-thru damn near tore my shoulder out of its socket.
4:35 PM – Crap, prep's started. They've activated the fatigue simulators on the bands, and my arms and legs are already dragging like I've run 30 km. I haven't even gotten on the Omni Track yet, and the way it pulls on my shoes makes me feel like I'm running through mud. Oh well, focus Jake. I beat this and the next time I run a real marathon I'm going to lap that punk Bill. Bill, if you're reading this let's put some cash down on NY or Boston ;)
4:58 PM – THAT WAS TOTAL BS! Some idiot in the control booth left the game on Olympic difficulty. That was NOT cool. It pisses me off, ‘cause I was in my zone and I didn't even pay attention to the change in weather. That is until I slipped on a wet spot and landed on my ass. Didn't see that coming! Guess the traction controls are more forgiving at the amateur level. Ever try getting up in a mass of angry virtual runners, these stupid bands jerking you around as you're getting virtually stepped on? And I swear that Australian runner elbowed me on purpose. I know he flipped me off when I yelled at him. Anyway, I'm taking this gear off and finding someone in charge to file a complaint.
5:41 PM –Waiting to see the manager at the gym…supposedly he's going to vid' in a customer service rep from OR20X. Good…I'll get to show them the bruise on my ribcage from that stupid Aussie. I know my physical realism was set on high, but I didn't expect to get beat up. It's not like I was virtual boxing. (BTW, anyone doing that must be NUTZ!). At least the articulation safeties prevented me from twisting my ankle.
8:24 PM – OK, all ends well I think. Got an apology, a free massage at the gym and a bunch of credits for additional OR20X play. In hindsight, that Olympic difficulty was bad ass…sometimes you forget how much more difficult competition is at that level. And, allin- all, I did finish the race and didn't come in last. Makes you think…trials are still 4 months away. Stranger things have happened…
(Olympic Revolution 2020's full game design document can be downloaded here.)