True Gamer of the Week: Matt Frary

GamerFitNation Presents Matt Frary as True Gamer of the Week

I hope that more gamers discover the site and use it to find some balance in their lives that will keep them healthy. Isn’t everyone tired of gamers being portrayed as Comic Book Guy? Don’t stop buying games – that would be bad for me – but take a minute and get some exercise, everyone. - Matt Frary

Matt tells us about himself. I am co-owner and Partner at Maverick PR, a boutique public relations agency serving the video game industry.  Over the years I’ve had the unbelievable opportunity to work with some of the greatest developers in the world, including ID Software, Bioware, Epic Games and many more, promoting awesome franchises including Quake, Unreal, Neverwinter Nights, Driver, Scarface, Deus Ex, and Matrix, among others.

Maverick PR is a very small PR agency.  There’s only a couple of us here and we don’t take a lot of new business.  In fact, we turn down quite a bit of work so we don’t have to grow.  We focus only on the video game industry to focus our talents on what we enjoy the most.  Video game PR can be amazingly fun and amazingly challenging at the same time.  Our products are complex and expensive and we have some of the most rabid and active fans of any industry in the world.  But we wouldn’t want to work in anything else.  Matt has owned Xbox 360, Xbox, Wii, PS3, PS2, PS1, PC, Dreamcast, SNES, GBA, DS, PSP, Atari 800, PS1. Another True Gamer in my book. I’m old.  Let’s get that out of the way.  Star Raiders on Atari 800 is what kicked it off for me – ya, that’s the Atari with a keyboard.

But really, I didn’t get into gaming until much later.  In college, I got hooked into PC games via Wolfenstein 3D, ID’s seminal first person shooter.  The game totally blew me away and started me on my obsessive path of PC FPS games. I followed the ID titles pretty religiously through DOOM and QUAKE.  This is why I still play Left 4 Dead 2 on PC all the time – it’s a fast action shooter – that’s my bag.

As fate would have it – and I swear this was my pure dumb luck — my very first PR job in the industry involved working with ID Software and Activision on Quake 3 Arena.  It really couldn’t have been any better than that.

Health

I am a P90Xer, six days a week.  I can’t recommend it enough if you’re the kind of person that wants to work hard and get great results.

Current status is W9D5 (Round 2).  I’m on the classic program and the only alteration I make is that I swap Kenpo X for pick-up basketball on Friday nights.  With my sometimes crazy travel schedule, I’ve become really good at doing P90X in hotel gyms, running the videos on my phone with Bluetooth stereo headphones.  Try it sometime.  People think you’re crazy during Plyo X.

As for eating, I try to follow the P90X nutrition guide.  I have to admit; I didn’t follow it strictly through the first two phases; I stayed on a loose interpretation of the plan.  When I started Phase III, however, I got back into being religious about measuring my servings and tracking what I eat.  I simply HAVE to find a way lose this last tiny little bit of spare tire that is driving me frigging nuts.

I also try to eat foods that are grown and raised locally.  If you haven’t watched Food, Inc., the amazing documentary about where your beef, chicken, and other food products come from – go watch it now. It’s available through Netflix streaming right on your console – NO EXCUSES!

Additionally, I’ve started reducing the overall amount of meat products in my diet, tilting the balance a bit more towards vegetables.  I’m no vegetarian – I love steak - but I’m trying to change the percentage of my meals, so vegetables take the primary position rather than meat. It’s good for your arteries and good for your heart.

We asked Matt to give some advice to gamers who are struggling with weight issues. Honestly?  Put. Down. The controller!  I know it isn’t easy to find the time to exercise and stay in shape.  I get it.  I work full time, have a wife and a kid, and need to find between 75 and 90 minutes for P90X six days a week.  It can be a real struggle.  And I have to give up gaming time to make it happen.  If you’re struggling with weight, you need to do the same.

If you’re completely obsessed with getting more Trophies and Achievements and just can’t stop, at the very least change your diet.  Don’t be swilling soda and mowing on chips thinking you’re OK.  Drink water and eat carrots.  What?  You still need caffeine so badly that water won’t cut it?  Fine… try drinking plain unsweetened Iced Tea – Tejava makes an awesome product.  You won’t drink unsweetened Iced Tea?  Well then, at least drink diet soda or the zero sodas.

Still won’t switch it up?  Well, I give up.  Be happy with your weight, whatever it is.

My goal is simple — to be fit enough to play basketball competitively with my son when he is 16.  That’s about 12 years from now and I will be 49 years old.  That’s a tough goal.  That means I need stamina and flexibility and core strength.  I don’t want to be the guy flexing his enormous muscles at the beach but I do want to be lean and trim and as healthy as possible.

I don’t mind dying, but I’ll be damned if I die early and miss out on time with my son simply because I couldn’t stop eating crappy food or because I was too lazy to get my ass off the couch.

 

Gaming and Technology

I think the somewhat new and certainly emerging exercise genre made possible by the motion control systems has an opportunity to impact health for gamers, but let’s face the truth: games are designed primarily to keep you in front of your TV, and frankly, that is counterproductive to your overall well-being.  By all means play for 3 hours every night if that’s what you’re into, but make sure you have 60 minutes of cardio done before you sit and grab your controller.

As gameplay devices, I think they both have great potential that we won’t see uncovered or fully explored for quite a while.  If and when developers do something unique with them, that will be exciting.

I’ll be honest though, when I personally play a video game, I’m looking to unwind and relax, and to do nothing.  I want to sit on the couch and let my thumbs do the playing.  Getting up and waving my arms isn’t what gaming is to me.

For exercise, it seems that the Kinect has a better chance to help people really exercise.  The ability of the system to “see” your body and movements and provide feedback gives the Kinect the best hope of producing a decent exercise program.

That said, IMO, if you’re counting on an Xbox 360 or PS3 to be your primary weight loss activity – you’ve probably already failed.  You’re looking for the easy way out.  And if there is one thing I’ve learned from doing P90X it’s that there is no easy way out.  You only get out of exercising what you put into it.  There are no secrets or shortcuts or magic pills.  You really just have to work damn hard, damn often, and push yourself all the time.

 

GamerFitNation would like to thank Matt for letting us into his world and giving us well thought out response. We appreciate it. Welcome to the Club!

 

 

About Brittanyf