Exergaming Promoted at International Health Conference

November 6, 2008 -

Games that get kids up and moving are being discussed at the 2008 McGill Health Challenge Think Tank in Montreal this week.

As reported by the Montreal Gazette, conference organizer Laurette Dubé said:

When we talk about obesity, we often talk about the fast-food industry. But that's only one side of the equation - the energy-in side. We also have to look at the energy-out side, and that's why it's very important to look at ways in which we can reduce kids' inactive time and increase their share of time that gets them moving.

West Virginia University professor Linda Carson admitted that not everyone is comfortable with the exergaming concept:

There are some folks who feel that by promoting physical activity through the use of video games, children are being socially isolated or not be encouraged to go outside and play. There are some opponents who say that it takes away from traditional physical-education exercise.

[But] I think exergaming needs to be recognized as an exciting alternative to traditional physical education. There is a lot of value to children having physical activity options in their home and even at school.

Via: Edge Online

5 comments

Kids Burn 4X the Calories When Playing Active Video Games

September 4, 2008 -

A report released this week by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine maintains that kids burn calories four times as fast when engaged in an active video game than a passive one.

According to Medical News Today:

...over 83% of children in the US between the ages of 8 and 18 have video game consoles in their bedrooms. The alarming increase in obesity rates that coincides with this trend may not be a coincidence, as seated video games may contribute to time spent sedentary rather than active. 

While you might expect that the authors looked at the Nintendo Wii or perhaps multi-platform aerobic games like Dance Dance Revolution, the report focuses on the XaviX gaming system (see video), manufactured by Japan's SSD Company, Ltd. Among the XaviX's offering are simulations of bowling, fishing, tennis, and golf. The study authors comment:

In addition to the exercise gaming modalities, the XaviX system includes a gaming mat (XaviX J-Mat) that allows participants to travel the streets of Hong Kong at a walk or a run, avoiding obstacles and stamping out ninjas.


The study was performed at the University of Hong Kong's Institute of Human Performance. Kids who played games while seated burned 39% more calories per minute than when they were at rest. During an active bowling game they burned 98% more calories and during an action/running game they burned 451% more. Of this, the researchers said:

This translates into a more than four-fold increase in energy expenditure for the XaviX J-Mat game. Preventing weight gain requires an energy adjustment of approximately 150 kilocalories [calories] per day. The four-fold increase in energy expenditure when playing on the XaviX J-Mat would fill the proposed energy gap, if this game were played for 35 minutes a day...

 

Our data demonstrate that the two active gaming formats result in meaningful increases in energy expenditure compared with the seated screen environment. The next step is to test whether active gaming interventions can provide sustainable increases in childhood physical activity.

 

13 comments

At DNC, No Child Left Inside Group Blames Video Games

August 30, 2008 -

A friend attended the Democratic National Convention in Denver this week. Among the many items he snagged was a pamphlet from the No Child Left Inside Coalition, a group which seeks to foster environmental awareness and activity among young people.

That's all quite commendable. Less praiseworthy, however, is the fact that the group's brochure (obtained by GP) takes a cheap shot at video games in its opening paragraph:

Young people across America are spending more and more time inside - hooked up to video games, computers, and television, instead of learning, playing and exploring outside. The results are profound: increases in childhood obesity, a lack of understanding of the environment and a disconnection from the natural world.

Why some kids don't go outside or don't get enough exercise or are overweight would seem to be very complex social issues involving a myriad of factors, including available recreational opportunities, socioeconomic status, neighborhood safety, parenting, nonstop marketing of high-calorie food and drinks, etc.

Thumbs-down to No Child Left Inside for pointing the finger at video games...

56 comments

Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

July 24, 2008 -

It’s not always easy to predict which video games are going to upset people. 

One of the games that debuted at last week’s E3 was Sony and Titan Studios’ upcoming PSN title Fat Princess, a cartoony, capture-the-flag game in which the object is to rescue your princess from the enemy’s dungeon.  The hook is that the enemy is plumping up your princess with cake, making her more and more difficult to haul back.

It’s cute.  It’s colorful.  It’s surprisingly bloody. And, from many reports, it’s a lot of fun. But, according to Joystiq, at least two feminist bloggers have taken issue with the fat part of Fat Princess.

Shakesville’s Melissa McEwan says in an open letter to Sony:

[Fat Princess]  looks and sounds just adorable—but the only thing I can't figure out is why anyone would want to rescue a fat princess in the first place, since everyone knows that fat girls are unlovable human garbage at whom any sensible bloke would sooner hurl invective than cast a longing glance... I'm positively thrilled to see such unyielding dedication to creating a new generation of fat-hating, heteronormative assholes.

Meanwhile, Feminist Gamers’ Mighty Ponygirl offers her take:

Honestly, the “core game mechanics” are brilliant, and if I didn’t care one whit about the objectification of women or fat-bashing, I would think this was the best thing since… well, Team Fortress 2…

 

Instead of running out into the forest to find cake to fatten up the princess with, why not go out and find gold (which is a lot heavier than cake) to stuff into a treasure chest. The more gold in the chest, the heavier it would be, and the harder it would be to carry.

 

Oh, but that’s not as “cute” as cake and fat chicks. Right.

For his part, Titan Studios' art director, James Green, said in an email to Joystiq:

Does it make it better or worse that the concept artist (who designed the look, characters, everything) is a girl?

-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen prefers ice cream...
 

210 comments

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will limiting Steam services to accounts that have spent at least $5 eliminate spammers?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
prh99It's not unusual for community guidelines to conflict with content served to said community. Of course the idea is to try and keep user from using those words as weapons against each other.04/21/2015 - 5:36pm
IronPatriotGTA to players: Do as we say, not as we do. Wait... don't do as we say, either.04/21/2015 - 4:32pm
Daniel LewisBy the big 3 i mean the three console developers,sony,microsoft and nintendo04/21/2015 - 4:30pm
InfophileThe filter also misses a lot of slang from non-American dialects of English. I'd go on to list a bunch here that I've learned since living in Scotland, but... well, let's just say "dogging" has a much different meaning over here.04/21/2015 - 4:11pm
ConsterI know about gash's meaning (I googled it prior to my comment, I just meant I can't really see myself ever using it like that). What do you mean with 'the big three', though?04/21/2015 - 3:52pm
Daniel LewisAnd Gash can be used as slang for the female genitalia04/21/2015 - 3:46pm
Daniel LewisActually all the big three are in that list,pretty common place for games to add a filter for words no matter what is used in the game04/21/2015 - 3:44pm
Consterand do people pretend to be software developers a lot or something?04/21/2015 - 3:29pm
Consterapparently 'gash' is also slang nowadays? I just know it as an injury type. Also, how come 'bisexual' is on the list but 'lesbian' (when properly spelled) isn't?04/21/2015 - 3:28pm
E. Zachary Knighthttp://kotaku.com/nintendo-and-other-banned-words-i-cant-use-in-grand-th-169924759704/21/2015 - 2:59pm
E. Zachary KnightGTA 5, a game that uses a vast array of swears, racist and sexist language in the dialog of the game, bans people from using those sames words along with a vast number of others, including 'Nintendo'. 04/21/2015 - 2:58pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.wired.com/2015/04/dmca-ownership-john-deere/04/21/2015 - 1:58pm
ZippyDSMleeMatthew Wilson: Classic shell ^_~04/21/2015 - 1:56pm
Matthew Wilson@zipp I dont like the star menu taking up the whole dam screen, so just getting the start menu back will be worth it.04/21/2015 - 11:19am
ZippyDSMleeI got a extra HDD I will take win 10 for a spin. see if tis worthwhile heck if I do not have to move colums over in Skyrims creation kit its a keeper!04/21/2015 - 10:53am
ZippyDSMleeMatthew Wilson: Been on win 8.1 a few months the only thing I do not like is compatibility issues with older programs. 10 won't fix that sadly...04/21/2015 - 10:51am
E. Zachary KnightThe US Supreme Court has ruled that the 4th Amendment does offer US citizens some protections. This is a change of pace from other 4th Amendment rulings. http://reason.com/blog/2015/04/21/supreme-court-says-police-violated-4th-a04/21/2015 - 10:35am
E. Zachary KnightNot sure on that specific. But It is slightly annoying, but it can help to clairfy on occasion.04/21/2015 - 10:13am
IvresseCan I just ask out of curiousity why people repeat the title in their shout when it clearly states it in the URL?04/21/2015 - 9:07am
E. Zachary KnightI would say that is true. It drives me nuts when games are patched. The closer the patch is to launch, the worse it is.04/21/2015 - 9:06am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician