Geek Girls Rule! #110 – This has got to be a joke, right?

THIS has got to be some frat boy console-gamer* doucheface’s idea of a joke, right?  Tell me it is, because seriously, this is one of the biggest pieces of bullshit I’ve seen in ages.

The article claims the Microsoft is planning a way to link your gaming avatar’s appearance and access to facets of certain games to your physical fitness levels.  “To incentivize people to improve their physical well-being, Microsoft’s filing notes that gamers will be locked out of certain components of a game or a chat room until the proper health parameters are met.”

I’m just curious how they’re going to do that without people lying their faces off about their fitness levels.  This is what makes me think this article is full of shit. 

Granted, I wouldn’t object to being able to make my avatar look more like me in the roundness department in any of the Xbox games.  But forcing my avatar to be fat if I, say, wanted to roleplay being someone else, is bullshit.  Not to mention attempting to limit my time playing videogames if they don’t think I’m “fit” enough.  And what scale would they use for this measure of fitness?  I can link you to dozens, if not hundreds of references, articles and websites that discuss how amazingly flawed the BMI is.  Are Microsoft controllers going to measure your blood sugar, cholesterol, body fat ratio and oxygen levels before they let you play?  That’ll be one hell of an expensive game controller. 

Not to mention, that this does not take into consideration people with disabilities who cannot work out, people who have medical conditions or lingering illnesses, or even people who just don’t want any busybody nanny-ing jackhole telling them what to do with their lives.

I can see that there might be some people who might welcome this as a way to remind themselves to put down the controller once in a while and take a walk, or pee or something.  But for most of us, when we’re relaxing, the last thing we need is our mode of relaxation telling us we can’t relax until we’ve done some calisthenics. 

And who wants to bet the standards for women are ludicrous in the extreme, especially compared with standards for guys?  Bueller?  Bueller? 

So, my Geeks who work at the Evil Empire, can some of you do some poking around and either verify this rumor or declare that is full of shit?  Thanks much. 

ETA:  Someone in comments pointed out Microsoft’s tendency to patent the shit out of any idea they come up with so no one else can do it, even if the likelihood of their being able to use it is small.  So, no, there probably aren’t any real plans to do anything like this in the near future.  At least not until I get my damned flying car and Nightcrawler sex-droid.

*Console-gamers are NOT gamers.  Gamers use dice and paper and pencils, they don’t just plug into a machine.  I’m sorry if this hurts any of your feelings, but that’s what it is.  We were here first.  Get over it.

12 thoughts on “Geek Girls Rule! #110 – This has got to be a joke, right?

  1. My wife read about this last week and was pretty incensed as well, but after doing some research it’s not quite as ridiculous as it sounds. Basically, Microsoft applied for a pretty wide ranging intellectual property patent. The idea being to have the ability to make a peripheral that will monitor things like heart rate, blood pressure, maybe even % body fat, and also cover the concept of integrating that information with Live and specific games.

    However from my admittedly limited understanding of this legal area, this kind of patent doesn’t mean it will be used for everything listed in the patent request, it’s more like assuming squatter’s rights to the idea so no one else comes along and develops something you’ve already thought of. You write the thing as broad as you possibly can so people can’t change a little detail or add a little something and call it a new concept.

    Unfortunately they apparently decided to word it in such a way as to be sure to cause waves of “Are you f-ing kidding me?!” all over the internet. Microsoft: Bringing You PR Nightmares for 20+ Years.

  2. Having worked at M$, I can honestly say that they patent every idea they can. Their lawyers come around, find something unpatented and get it in just for the hell of it even if they don’t intend to do anything with it.

    Like a lot of their ideas, they have no basis in reality. Such private health information is never going to be released to a software company so that they can lock you out of areas of a game!

  3. Well, it’s a grand scheme, but when their sales drop off by, oh what, 90% in the first MONTH – they’ll rescind it. Seriously, even if they are totally, 100% committed to this idea – it will DIE when they are left with that 10% (and I think I’m being really generous here) of serious gamers that also work out and eat tofu all day. The other 90% who, ya know – don’t, will bail and give their money to the other guy. Bad business like that in this economy – not happening and they know better.

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