Chances are if you’ve ever played a video game, you’ve secretly wished that you could do some of the things your character does in-game out in the real world. Video games can expose us to new ideas and experiences and can even make us smarter. In a series of experiments by the University of Rochester, participants who played 50 hours of action video games before performing cognitive analysis tests performed up to 25 percent faster than other test participants. If playing video games has exposed you to experiences you want to replicate in the real world, here are just a few ideas for turning fiction into reality.
Games like “Assassin’s Creed” and “Mirror’s Edge” focus heavily on characters who can leap from rooftop to rooftop, scramble up the sides of buildings and perform other acts of seemingly impossible acrobatics. If you want to experience the thrill of free-running through an urban landscape and see a city from a completely new perspective, perhaps it’s time you consider the sport of parkour.
Parkour, derived from classic military obstacle course training, is the art of navigating terrain in the most efficient way possible by climbing, leaping and vaulting. Parkour has exploded in popularity over the last 20 years and there are many programs and schools that teach the methods. If you are interested in learning more, the American Parkour organization is the landing point for those getting started in the sport of parkour. Like any other sport, it is important to train extensively so that you don’t injure yourself, so don’t go running off your roof without first learning from a professional.
If you’ve ever played a racing game, it’s likely you’ve wondered what it would be like to fly down the track outpacing your competitors in real life.
While there may be no blue shells or banana peels on real-world racing tracks, the excitement of real speed is addictive. For those on a budget, American Motorcyclist Association sanctioned motorcycle racing is the most affordable and easy to access motor sport available and AMA racing events happen across America every weekend. The AMA has guides that can link you up with local classes to get started in your motosports hobby, but you’ll need the right motorcycle gear as well as the right training. Once you have everything you need, you can begin to race with people of any skill level through the AMA organized events and even race in national events and compete in the AMA Championship.
The basis of many video games is much less physically challenging than free-running or racing, instead placing players in a position where they must use their wits and intelligence to solve puzzles.
A new form of immersive theatrical experience is evolving, called “Escape Games.” In these games, players agree to be locked in a windowless room for one hour where they must solve puzzles, decode messages and search the room to find a means of escape. Games such as “Real Escape Game” have had thousands of participants attempt them with a very small margin of success, so if you think you are a master puzzle solver looking experience something unique and new, these types of puzzling games might just be for you. While these games are currently only running in a few major cities like New York, it might be worth it to include it in your vacation plans if you want a unique experience you can share with friends or family.