Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

August 17, 2010 -

As the gaming world continues to evolve further into the era of true interactive gaming, one child psychiatrist thinks it’s time for a new ratings system that informs consumers about a game’s ability to contribute to exercise.

Paul Ballas guest-authored a Wired article on the subject following an introduction to, among other things, Sony’s Move and Microsoft’s Kinect technology at this year’s E3 Expo. Ballas thinks that if videogame developers focused their efforts on creating games that also provided a cardiovascular workout, “there is a real chance of striking a blow against childhood obesity.”

To that end Ballas outlined the type of content descriptors he would like to see:

Similar to Food and Drug Administration-mandated labels on food, an exercise rating system could estimate the calories burned by the average person in an hour of gameplay. The label could range from Sedentary for lean-back, button-intensive shooting games to Active for games with a calorie-expenditure rate comparable to playing basketball.

 

Alternatively, an independent organization could estimate the minimum calories required to play a videogame per hour, and that rating could be put on the game’s label


Comments

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

This "exercise rating" would be more of a marketing concept than any good semaritan cause; because there's still a large amount of people who think these exercise games aren't actually exercise games, but more along the lines of Madden, where its a "sports" game but doesnt actually involve exerting yourself.

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

Seems kind of a waste of time and money to me.  The vast majority of games will not burn many more calories than you would just sitting there watching TV or reading a book.  The ones that do should be pretty obvious from the title and box art (ex. Wii Fit, EA Sports Active, Gold's Gym Cardio Workout, etc.).  Then again, there are a few that might not be immediately obvious like Just Dance, We Cheer, or possibly Dance Dance Revolution.

I think an independent organization managing its own website listing and evaluating the more active titles is the most likely thing to happen.  I don't see the ESRB adding such a content descriptor and I don't think the publishers or console manufacturers would be comfortable stamping the game cases with a claim that could easily be brought into question.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

 That could be inferred by the title alone.  Also, ever since MAX DDR has advertised the Workout mode on the back of the box

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

What could be inferred by what title alone?

"Also, ever since MAX DDR has advertised the Workout mode on the back of the box"

Planning on finishing that statement?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

IN BED.

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

Ah ha ha ha!  It works every...

Wait, that doesn't work at all.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

Guess what, 99% of all games ever made are lean-back, button-intensive games!

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

Cause the thing the video game industry obviously needs is another nebulous rating system they have to spend thousands of dollars on per game.

Could the sarcasm be tasted through the internet on that one?

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

Not a bad idea.  Seems like it should be opt-in, and should have some actual basis in scientific fact (estimated calories burned, something like that) rather than be a matter of opinion like ESRB ratings, but I think it's a good way of promoting games that can be physically healthy to play.

 
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Andrew EisenI'm familiar with both Limbaugh and talk radio. What the hell does that have to do with anything?02/27/2015 - 4:19pm
ZippyDSMleeWhat is the reasoning for the criticisms against how fictional characters are portrayed?02/27/2015 - 4:13pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen: Reply to what industries. “The I can make money by A milking a niche base and or B saying crazy things industry.“ You’ve never listened to talk radio or heard of Rush Limbaugh have you?02/27/2015 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenWhat the hell are you talking about?02/27/2015 - 4:05pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen: The I can make money by A milking a niche base and or B saying crazy things industry. Then what is the reasoning for the criticisms?02/27/2015 - 4:04pm
Andrew EisenAgain, nothing you say makes a lick of sense.02/27/2015 - 3:54pm
Andrew EisenNo one is saying the sexual objectification of female characters is causing people to be mean in real life.02/27/2015 - 3:53pm
Andrew EisenIndustries build around what? No one is confusing fiction and reality. No one is claiming fictional characters have feelings or rights or are they themselves speaking against their own objectification.02/27/2015 - 3:52pm
ZippyDSMleeresponsibility kick in to not treat others poorly and have enough self-worth to not be discouraged by the smallest of things?02/27/2015 - 3:42pm
ZippyDSMleeOne could stretch things pretty far and claim that mindsets shaped by fiction shape the real world treatment of real people but my question is which came first the chicken(mistreatment) or the egg(fiction) and where and when dose individual personal respo02/27/2015 - 3:42pm
ZippyDSMleeFrankly it looks more like people are getting fiction and reality confused, fictional characters have no feelings or rights thus to claim they can be objectified and treated poorly make for a somewhat disingenuous argument.02/27/2015 - 3:42pm
ZippyDSMleeIf there were not industries built around it I could agree but the same format that any political talking head uses or Jack Thompson used also supports less excessive critics…02/27/2015 - 3:41pm
Andrew EisenSo once again, nothing you say makes a lick of sense.02/27/2015 - 3:24pm
Andrew EisenCritics who offer suggestions on how their issues might be addressed are not bullies and no one is attempting to police anything let alone anyone's morals.02/27/2015 - 3:24pm
ZippyDSMleeof bad press will keep others in line.02/27/2015 - 3:20pm
ZippyDSMleeIt’s a rather simple concept to do minimal effort to reach a goal. Once a bully has established themselves they have to do little to attain their goal. Same with the moral police once one establish tactics to damage the profits of an IP the vague threat02/27/2015 - 3:20pm
ZippyDSMleeIf you think that is bad you should see the syntax errors I generate in Uscript :P02/27/2015 - 3:18pm
Matthew Wilson@AE im a pc guy, so I am ok if sega only does pc and mobile. on the other hand, the last pc game I bought from them was the valkyria chronicles port.02/27/2015 - 3:12pm
Andrew EisenThat makes no sense. I mean I literally can't parse what you wrote.02/27/2015 - 3:01pm
ZippyDSMleewide and varied and as such is one of the most haphazardly protected forms of free speech there is.02/27/2015 - 2:55pm
 

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