Supernatural VR Makes Working Out More Accessible Than Ever

Gyms have never done that been my friend. Like, presumably, 99.3 percent of the adult human population, I hate exercising. I look at myself in the gym mirrors, pick up on my form and technique, and imagine that each and every person in any gym secretly laughs at me even for trying to breathe their protein-laden, powdered, smoothie air. I tell myself I’m fat, I’m old, and I’m out of shape, and all of that is at least a little true. In fact, it scares me to go to any kind of gym or engage in any kind of physical activity, but when I don’t, I beg to be a loser. As a result, I’m not alone in any of this.

I know this because I recently found myself lurking quietly in the Facebook community of 58,000 members of Supernatural, a training app available on Meta’s Quest virtual reality device. While most fitness-oriented groups are apparently full of burpee monsters and Weight Watchers warriors, the Supernatural group looks more like an island of unsuitable toys for the gym.

There, I met people like Joanne, who refused to give her last name to protect her privacy and who live in Manitoba, where winters are long, dark, and cold. He found Supernatural after learning that he was going blind. He explains that he is “extremely short-sighted” and uses a 38-inch TV as a computer screen 1.5 feet away. Because Quest’s lenses are so close, he feels he can see everything better, and he says the benefits of Supernatural far outweigh any VR tension that could cause his eyes. She says she could no longer drive herself to the gym and hated relying on others to take her. “Supernatural kept me healthy,” he says, “and I’m in better shape than ever.”

There is also Alex Duffey, who has been overweight all his life and says he weighed a maximum of £ 550. He says that last year he and his wife started taking in a child, and he quickly realized that he wanted to be around his son. “I’ve had coaches before, and when I look sorry for them, that’s the end,” he says. “Do not judge me when I have not lived my life. Supernatural allowed me to feel safe and guided without shame. “

A user named Johnny Rohrbeck told me that he “saw more diversity in the Supernatural Facebook group” than “in the church,” and I believe that. I’ve seen 75-year-old grandmothers post sweaty selfies while trans teens who may not feel at home anywhere thank Supernatural users for accepting them as they are. There are people who use the app in wheelchairs and military veterans with PTSD who like that the app allows them to block the rest of the world. There are people who are recovering from eating disorders who praise Quest headphones because it literally prevents them from looking at their body while they train. Emergency physicians and hard-working single mothers come together to test how hard it is to find time to exercise, while people living tens, if not hundreds of miles away, from the nearest city they register in search of a sense of community.

Supernatural creator Chris Milk says his team always intended to make a fitness app for the widest possible audience, but adds that he is constantly learning more about what users of the program need and want. Although the app was launched with accessibility features such as flexibility calibration, it says that listening to users with, for example, fear of heights has led Supernatural to develop a wider version of the game platform in which users seem to hold. Developers have created a “no squat” mode for people who might not be able to get on and off so easily, and earlier this year they launched a “front” mode for users with limited mobility.

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