189: Exercise

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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I haven't had the patience for RPGs in a long time.
Title text: I haven't had the patience for RPGs in a long time.


Role-playing games (RPGs) are a pastime commonly associated with geeks in which players assume the role of a fictional character in a fantasy world. In many RPGs, character evolution and advancement is represented by "leveling up." Through winning battles and, less frequently, completing tasks or missions, characters are awarded experience points (XP), which can be spent on increasing their ratings in attributes (such as strength or speed) or skills (such as bow-hunting or computer hacking). The number of XP awarded is generally proportional to the difficulty of the task completed.

Cueball is doing chin-ups, a strength-training exercise that targets the latissimus dorsi and biceps. Repeating this exercise over time will improve his ability to do more chin-ups in one go - in other words, he will become stronger. In doing so, he is effectively leveling up his STR (strength) attribute in real life. While doing his chin-ups, he comments that he will soon switch to running - an aerobic exercise that improves endurance - in order to build up his CON (constitution) attribute. Cueball is treating his gym session like an RPG, and observes that, as a self-confessed geek, he would not be as interested in exercising without that link.

The title text implies that since Randall has lost his patience and ability to play RPG games, likely due to the connection to exercise.


Like many geeks, I got a lot more interested in exercise once I made the connection to leveling up.
[Cueball is doing pull-ups on a bar in a doorframe.]
Cueball: One more point to STR, then I'll run to work on CON.

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See: Fitocracy (www.fitocracy.com), for these ideas in action. 15:11, 27 May 2014 (UTC) Rome_Leader

I thought he was saying he didn't have the patience for level grinding. 00:03, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Wait till you try ingress. Location 19:55, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

He isn't doing chin ups, he is doing pull-ups. They are very different. There is no way to do a chin up with your hands that wide on the bar. -- 10:29, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

This one reminds me of Habitica (habitica.com), an app that treats your life like a role-playing game. I have had an account on there since August 31, 2015, which was right before the start of my senior year of high school. Habitica is just like this comic, where you can have tasks set up for exercising, and then you can also level up, which increases your stats, including CON (Constitution) and STR (Strength)! 13:49, 17 September 2019 (UTC)