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...
 

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Goth_Skunk@Cheater: If I were an Australian consumer, there's no way I'd be returning it.01/26/2015 - 10:43pm
Cheater87Ooops http://stevivor.com/2015/01/ps4-copies-saints-row-iv-re-elected-undergoing-product-recall-australia/01/26/2015 - 10:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, well I've passed the request along.01/26/2015 - 9:03pm
ZippyDSMleeI loath itunes..........01/26/2015 - 9:02pm
Goth_SkunkUNLESS you haven't downloaded the most 3 recent episodes. Then it cancels your subscription automatically.01/26/2015 - 8:56pm
Goth_Skunk@AE: No. iTunes instead just downloads it automatically, provided you've set it up to do so in your preferences.01/26/2015 - 8:56pm
Andrew EisenAnyone know if iTunes sends email notifications when there's a new episode of a podcast you're subscribed to?01/26/2015 - 8:30pm
ZippyDSMleeAck!! Sorry lack of spell checker means I more incoherent than ever :P, Sign up for email notification thing for the pod cast. Probly more trouble than its worth, I guess I will have to check the site more often ><01/26/2015 - 8:22pm
Andrew EisenWhat is a "sign u email thing"? We provide a direct download link to the show every week. The video version is on my YouTube channel. You can use our RSS feed to add it to a news reader. You can also subscribe to the show on iTunes.01/26/2015 - 6:48pm
ZippyDSMleeMmm you guys ever thought about doing a sign u email thing for the pod cast? If I can click a direct link to downlaod it to toss in all daily podcast listening I might listen to it more than randomly forgtting its on here 0-o01/26/2015 - 6:37pm
prh99Too much time listening to Faux News and Bill Mahr.01/26/2015 - 5:12pm
james_fudgeit's bad pr for the bus company01/26/2015 - 5:10pm
Andrew EisenI'm sure the ones who purchased the ads are a bit peeved but I find my sympathies lacking. I have to wonder why the bus line would buy such ads in the first place. Hard to imagine it doesn't have policies against that stuff.01/26/2015 - 5:07pm
Wonderkarpthats cute. I Like Ms Marvel(hate her powerset). Whomever is doing this? Good Job01/26/2015 - 4:49pm
E. Zachary KnightHahahahahahaha! http://toybox.io9.com/islamaphobic-bus-ads-in-san-francisco-are-being-defaced-1681857271/+charliejane01/26/2015 - 4:24pm
WonderkarpI saw that. Celebrity wing.01/26/2015 - 3:00pm
BearDogg-XArnold Schwarzenegger is being inducted into WWE Hall of Fame, reports TMZ.01/26/2015 - 11:56am
Wonderkarpyou're weird01/25/2015 - 11:23pm
ConsterWell, I guess it makes sense for your iPad to be capitalist scum.01/25/2015 - 7:10pm
WonderkarpMy Ipad likes to capitalize every word when I'm on game politics.01/25/2015 - 6:29pm
 

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