I’ve just got back from my final training run before the Great Manchester Run on Sunday, which inspired me to write this post. Never a great fan of exercise, I started running in the New Year and am amazed to have finally found an activity that I not only enjoy but actually look forward to. However, when I consider running in relation to its gaming attributes it’s perhaps not all that surprising:
- There’s a clear goal (the 10k race) that is achievable but not too easy;
- There are measurable outcomes so that steady and ongoing improvement can be seen in a number of dimensions (speed, stamina, knackeredness);
- It takes place in an immersive environment – ‘actual reality’ with real Manchester rain;
- I’m in control of where, when, how often and how far I run;
- I’ve several friends who are also taking part in the race and offer advice and support;
- Perhaps most crucially, thanks to a foolish bet I made last year (after one too many shandies) there is a serious competitive element that my innate dislike of losing won’t let me forget.
I’m a bit concerned that all my enthusiam will disappear once the race is over, but I suppose I’ll just have to sign up for another one quickly. A marathon perhaps. How hard can it be?