The advent of motion control has caused the fitness game market to explode (not that I'm complaining, since that's what started me on my weight loss journey), but THQ is introducing a new wrinkle to the genre with Deepak Chopra's Leela. It's not really a game, and it's not really about physical fitness. More like spiritual fitness.
"The medium of interactive video games is enormously rich and filled with creative opportunity that has barely been tapped," says Chopra, who, along with Curious Pictures, spent more than two years conceptualizing Leela. "There are many people who practice yoga and meditation who have video-game systems in their homes, but they rarely use them - but these are powerful devices, capable of creating wonderful experiences. I hope anyone who explores Leela will feel enriched by what we've created."
In Sanskrit, "leela" means "play," and you'll play through the seven stages of the game to focus on the Seven Chakras with experiences that combine full-body movement and meditation and breathing techniques. But there's no winning or losing, or really an end to the game. You can also create a personalized "mandala", which is a visual representation of your inner self. No two can be alike, and shortly after Leela's launch, you'll be able to share your mandala on Facebook.
Leela is set to release on November 11 on the Kinect for Xbox 360 and the Wii. The 360 version will also include "Stillness Meditation" which will use the Kinect sensor to actually monitor your breathing. It can't be any stranger than trying to sit as still as possible on the Balance Board! This is the kind of unique experience that I was hoping we'd see with the introduction of new and different control schemes, and a weird part of me is kind of looking forward to trying it out. It's either going to be so crazy it's a disaster or completely awesome. Can't wait to see which!