I know, it sounds absurd, doesn’t it? But after spending hours and hours playing Kinect/xbox with my daughter, there’s no question in my mind that some video games can give you a hell of a workout. But what I’m talking about isn’t so much the games themselves but the mindset that gamers and bodybuilders share: The ability to maintain laser-like focus for long periods of time, to identify problems, and create methodical plans to overcome them. In other words, as the creators of fitocracy.com put it, the addiction that games create is the exact same addiction that can drive fitness efforts every day.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on how betting and financial rewards increased the chances that men would lose weight–and keep it off. Fitocracy.com, run by a handful of pretty nerdy guys (that’s they way they describe themselves), does something similar by making fitness a game. Registered users can earn points for their workouts and  can join with other users to encourage, challenge, and compete with each other.