Whether video games can really be healthy still seems up for debate, but they’re certainly not going away anytime soon (especially if the recent study showing some women prefer gaming to sex is any indication). Which is probably why Deepak Chopra decided to hop on the Wii bandwagon and create Leela, an interactive meditation game for Xbox Kinect and Wii.
Chopra told the Associated Press he hopes his game will provide an alternative to the less-beneficial games on the market:
I personally believe that you can accelerate neural development and biological evolution through video games. Unfortunately, that’s not what we’re doing right now. What we’re doing is creating addictions to violence, adrenaline and mindlessness, rather than mindfulness. That was my personal motivation to get involved in this medium.
Game developers said it was difficult to translate Chopra’s spiritual teachings into a video game (shocker); what they ended up with is something they say is less a traditional game, more an experience. Leela (which is sanskrit word for “play”) will have seven exercises designed to work the chakras—or heart centers—through activities like tilting your hips to make plants grow, or using chest movement and breath to create fireballs that collect gems from rocks.
He also hopes that, as consoles advance in technology to measure more than just movement (like brain waves and pulse), they can have even further health benefits. He told the AP:
It’s all doable now. We just have to bring it all together. If we can measure what’s happening in your body, your heart, your emotions, your breath and your mind, then there’s no reason why we can’t create a new generation of video games that can help accelerate the personal, psychological, emotional and spiritual development of human beings.
We’re still not convinced that it’s better than sex, but it’s probably better than World of Warcraft.