Thursday, August 28

Flexible Technology for Physical Education

Which is better, Structured or Unstructured PE?

When looking for exergaming to supplement existing physical education there are many choices. It is all too easy to be taken in by a wow factor; but evaluation should be made just as carefully as for traditional activity.

Electronics alone don't make great fitness activities, if they did then calculators could be used in PE! What makes great activities are people - the professional teachers, trainers, instructors who supervise physical education.

It should go without saying that exergames should be tools for the professionals, and be flexible enough to be used as the instructor deems appropriate. If a goal of PE is to raise the fitness of the whole class, and that means engaging everyone, no matter what their current ability.

Unstructured PE has the advantage that individuals can apply varying effort, so all abilities can be engaged. Take team sports as an example. Each player has a part to play but is free to make individual choice and apply effort of varying degrees to match their ability.

Gamercize achieves unstructured PE easily as only physical activity is required to participate, and the level of activity does not relate to in game performance or achievement. Students can take turns to play a popular video game while others participate with the social activity of spectating.

Structured PE can be used to boost individuals performance through bettering achievements of personal bests or finishing position. Running races are a good example, as the time run can be used for recording individual performance and gives everyone the motivation to finish in a higher place than last time.

Gamercize has the ability for instructors themselves to individually raise the minimum effort required to participate to physically challenge some students. Couple this with competition in gaming and the PE becomes structured and effort based.

To use exergaming effectively the most important component is the professional delivering the class. Gamercize shows how flexibility in exergaming can be used in both unstructured physical play and highly structured sports competition.

So which is better, structured or unstructured PE? I can't answer that, neither can an exergame, the only person qualified to decide is the one with the professional qualification - and the role of the exergame, is to be flexible enough to support that decision.

Thursday, August 21

BBC Sport - Olympics on World News

Be Interactive in your Fitness Training!

Watch the coverage of the Gamercize PC-Sport and check out some other fitness advice for interactive Olympic coverage addicts from BBC Sport here!

Don't switch off after the Gamercize segment, or you'll miss the five-ringed Olympic bicycle - or should that be quincycle?

My Games is an interactive TV show, broadcast live on BBC World News throughout the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Monday, August 18

Can Video Games be an Olympic Sport?

If so does it need to involve exercise?

There are many Olympic events that require skill only, and are not based on physical exertion. So there is a fair point that if air pistol shooting can be a recognised event, then why not Rainbow Six? The skills for both are very different but some would say R6 edges out in front for skill. Could there therefore be the chance of London 2012 hosting the first gaming disciplines?

I think that there is very little chance for video games on their own to become recognised as sport, but with Gamercize there is a better chance. Adding physical effort to a skillful game and raising the bar could make the difference. We have seen this getting great coverage and response for our event. But, just for now, let's see how video games get on in their own right.

Vote in the poll on at
that puts the question to the public - Can Video Games be an Olympic Sport?

Sunday, August 17

International Exergame Championship

UK vs USA Video from BBC and NBC TV Coverage


Check back for news on the next tournament with more countries, more players, more games and more fitness. Start training with Beijing 2008 for Xbox 360 and PS3 now and maybe you can make the team and represent your country.

Friday, August 1

The Future of Exergaming

A Reality Check on Active Gaming.

There are more exergaming profiteers than experts and I'm sure you'll get a different view from both camps. I wince every time I see the total at the gas pump, so I'm certainly not in the former group!

As technology improves there is an increase in the application of video game technology, as a replacement of traditional sports and exercise. The virtual jogging, tennis, video game racing bikes and full motion simulators are good examples of these. What do these virtual reality exergames add compared with actually getting outside and experiencing sport and exercise for real?

A few reports have surfaced in the media recently that show I'm not alone in thinking real is best, and a few studies have been completed that even question the exercise benefits of virtual approach. For sure there is a place in nursing homes and rehab for some of this technology, but that is because the patients simply are not able to "Just Do It" for real.

I think there is diminishing future in the approach of taking participation away from sport and exercise to be replaced by exergames. My view has always been the approach that exergaming should add, not take away. This is why Gamercize adds exercise to existing video games and why we create new sports that are impractical to replicate in the real world.

I have estimates that, in the last six years, we have hit a grand total of 1,000,000 hours of sedentary video gaming. Can anyone really argue that real tennis, biking and jogging should be replaced by less healthy electronic alternatives? Can anyone really argue against adding fitness to these million hours of gaming instead?

I think the future of exergaming is to fix that one sedentary issue of gaming, and not in poor copies of real sports and exercise.