Physical fitness, meet virtual fitness: Is This The Metaverse? Podcast, episode 2

This article is part of a special Digiday Podcast series that breaks down how people are translating their physical lives into virtual worlds — and how brands and platforms are looking to make money from all this activity. More from the series →

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The metaverse is all about movement — for some of its users, anyway.

To those unfamiliar with the concept of the metaverse, the idea of an immersive virtual world might come off as more scary than exciting. It evokes a future not unlike that of the movie “Wall-E” — in which humans transform into sedentary creatures, satisfied more by their virtual entertainments than the physical world around them.

But for some users of the metaverse, merging the physical with the virtual is more or less the entire point. In growing numbers, athletes from the physical world are taking to platforms such as Zwift and VRChat to exercise with each other inside virtual spaces, bringing the human co-experience of the metaverse into the fitness world.

In the second episode of Is This The Metaverse?, hosts Alexander Lee and Sara Patterson speak to the creators of virtual fitness platforms such as Zwift — who say that their product is certainly part of the metaverse — and sit in on a VR gym class populated by fantasy-inspired dragons and life-sized otters. The takeaway: when the metaverse happens, physical movement and exercise will definitely be part of it.

In six episodes, Is This The Metaverse? elevates the perspective of both the companies converting physical experiences into virtual entertainment — via fitness, concerts, fashion, advertising and coworking — and the individuals who are actually hanging out inside these virtual spaces. It will explore why people are motivated to spend time inside the metaverse, and how their motivations can mesh, or clash, with the platforms’ desire to make a profit.

Is This The Metaverse? is co-hosted by Alexander Lee, Digiday’s senior gaming and esports reporter, and Digiday audio producer Sara Patterson, with Glossy international fashion reporter Zofia Zwieglinska guest-hosting an episode on virtual fashion. Subscribe to Is This The Metaverse? now on Apple Podcasts — or wherever you get your podcasts.

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