Whether the term is a paradox, contradiction, oxymoron or something else entirely, there is no denying the arrival and indefinite presence of virtual reality (VR). The world is becoming increasingly digital and many traditional lifestyle habits are endangered if not entirely extinct. The ones that are necessary for a long and healthy life must adapt to the modern world.

Paramount among these form-shifting disciplines is exercise. Those who have long lamented the monotonous or otherwise laborious nature of working out can rejoice at the ongoing development of fitness VR video games. One that is making headlines across the country this month is “Beat Saber,” according to a recent article for Forbes. Gaming expert and story author Dave Thier shared his experience playing it, writing:

Beat Saber has become the defining game of modern VR for me and many others, one of the few true success stories coming out of the still-early platform. It’s a premise so simple it really couldn’t have happened anywhere else: you have two lightbeatsabers, one red and one blue. Colored blocks fly towards you with a direction on them: you have to cut the block with the saber of the correct color from the correct direction. … 

A video game hasn’t asked me to learn a new skill like this for a long time, and I’m so glad I did it. And that’s where the fitness starts to come in, particularly as you’re swinging both hands in huge, dramatic gestures to something like Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive: I’ve never been much for fitness games overall because I’d rather just go to the gym or something, but I do happen to love games, full stop. And Beat Saber never really feels like a fitness game so much as a game that happens to be intensely tiring. I’m sweating half of the time I’m working these days because I’m dipping down to the kitchen–the largest open area in my house–to get in a song or two before I go back to the office. My arms and back were killing me the first few days I played, but now I’ve got new muscles in places I didn’t know I needed them. …

I get the feeling that fitness has a big role to play for VR going forward, because this is one of the most compelling arguments I’ve had yet for buying a headset.

While many people may not often associate fantasy gamers and workout warriors together, Beat Saber leaves no apparent distinction between the two during this fascinating competition.

To read Thier’s full writeup, which elaborates on gameplay features, click here.