Saturday, December 20

Most Popular Blog Posts of 2008

The top ten best posts of 2008, as voted by you!

Over 2008 I have put some content on this blog and, through the magic of FeedBurner, I can reveal the most popular feed items. With the help of SnapShots you can preview each post or click straight through.

10 - What is Exergaming? (February 2008)

"The term exergame is being used by some as an advertising gimmick."

9 - Exergaming Adventure for Parents and Children (June 2008)
"When you have stood side by side with your child facing the dark forces together you will walk away with a stronger bond."

8 - Exergaming Values (June 2008)
"Many exergames did not balance fun and fitness so have come
and gone."

7 - Forced Gaming for Health Officials (July 2008)
" sharp witted delegate pointed out the irony of a
health conference sponsored by a chocolate company."

6 - Gamercize on 3sat TV (April 2008)
"See Yve Fehring playing Rockstar's Table Tennis on the Xbox
360 with the Gamercize Pro-Sport Power Stepper"

5 - Workout with the Wii Virtual Console (March 2008)
"So how do you get a workout from the Virtual Console? They
key is the compatibility with the Nintendo GameCube Controller."

4 - Home Fitness and the Credit Crunch (September 2008)
"Heading out to the gym or even a long drive to the country
is becoming less affordable."

3 - Brain Training by Physical Exercise (July 2008)
"Increased productivity, less sick days and long term health.
That's not a bad deal."

2 - UK vs USA Pro Evo Fitness Tournament (June 2008)
"While they are not working out they have no control over the
on screen players, making this contest a true test of skill and fitness."

No. 1 for 2008 - Office Desk Exercise in Practice (March 2008)
"The thought of getting exercise at work appealed to some as
a great time saver but for others it looked like it would be too hard to

Thanks to all the 12,500 "votes" that made this insight possible. Happy holidays all, and don't forget to keep your fitness levels up to give yourself a flying start to 2009.

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Sunday, December 14

GZ Family Fit from Gamercize :: Preview

Traditional fitness rower/cycle with added Gamercize fun!

GZ Family Fit is a rowing machine and a recumbent exercise cycle that works with Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Nintendo Wii.

Use either rowing and cycling as traditional home fitness equipment or plug in for the patented Gamercize experience of fitness for free while playing video games.

Saturday, December 13

Physical Education by Active Gaming for Girls

Gamercize makes PE fun for girls as well as boys!

Demo days are the best part of working for Gamercize by far. It gives us a chance to test out the reactions to different types of games on brand new audiences. I'll put together the results of this analysis next week for another site, more on that later.

The most recent school demo day we did was in Nottingham, and we brought up a good mix of games. The fun part about this day was we were asked to bring all the last-gen consoles, PS2, Xbox and GameCube.

All of these consoles easily support 4 players, as do the current (PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii) consoles. The difference is that there are more games designed for four players at a time, while the newer consoles focus on online play. Gamercize supports all these 6 consoles plus PC leaving the choice, as ever, wide open.

The first class came into the gym bringing a surprise; it was the girls PE class. The easiest games to engage boys with are sports games, would the same be true for girls? Sports worked well, but it was clear the girls wanted more variety, so to engage the whole class we had to do more.

After changing games on the consoles a couple of times we settled into three different genres on all three consoles. Sports was still popular, fantasy racing won out over racing simulation and the last genre turned out best to be a fantasy adventure. This kept the whole class active and happy, and pleasantly surprised as they were expecting traditional gym work for the lesson, not active gaming!

A couple of girls from the 11 year olds class turned up without kit and sat out. This is normal, but what surprised me was about half the 16 year olds class that was next had arrived not intending to take part in the expected gym class. I wonder how many would have skipped PE had they known Gamercize would be there? I think there is an excellent research project idea here - to measure the attendance rates for both traditional PE and active gaming PE lessons.

One group that knew active gaming was coming to school was the teachers. After running an after school club it was time to pack up and get on the road, but the competitive nature of these types of individuals was too much temptation!

Of course rematches we the order of the day as we battled it out with Super Monkey Ball Grand Prix on the GameCube! Video games are not normally associated with the Physical Education department but the competition was awesome! I wonder how the mathematics department would have fared in this mini tournament? Maybe next time.

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Sunday, December 7


Reach the Next Level™ with Gamercize® (or Gamercise®)

I was reading an excellent blog post this morning that gave a comprehensive synopsis of the Wii, through it's marketing, sponsored research and implementation. Sadly the item was flawed in referring to the underlying concept as "gamercise". That's a registered trademark, along with "gamercize", and guess what - it's nothing to do with the Wii!

I've seen the use of our trademark a couple of times recently, and it got me thinking as to why people are gravitating to "gamercise" and away from "exergaming" - which is the popular and non-commercial US term for video game exercise.

The principle behind Gamercize (or Gamercise, if you prefer) is to put activity into existing games, taking none of the fun or control out of the game. This is our unique approach, which is different to all other exergaming implementations as they use exercise for control or as the purpose of the video game itself.

Fitness games are getting a little old, and there appears to be a general wave of realisation (or realization, if you prefer) that video games should be put first in video game exercise. Putting the game first means that the activity never gets old, it will keep you motivated with stealth fitness and you'll have a lot more fun, regardless of your physical condition.

Maybe this is why exergaming has lost a few mentions to gamercise, as people put the games first and not the exercise? I'll leave you with the views of the Times, published earlier this year, on the real Gamercize products:

"Most fitness-themed games quickly become boring. What gamers really want is to plug into their favourite franchise, with Gamercize" The Times.

For more information on the real deal, with the official Gamercize website.

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Friday, December 5

How to Make Mario Kart Wii Fit

Nintendo Wii can be fitness and fun at the same time!

The benefits of the boxing game with Wii Sports and the jogging from Wii Fit would appear to represent the best of the fitness workouts for the console.

What makes the console work particularly well as an active gaming platform is the intentions of the purchaser. People associate Wii with exercise, because the first two major titles Wii Sports and Wii Fit. There are good intentions for health from the majority of purchasers.

In common with all active gaming the health benefits are backed up with sustainable fun. Despite reports that these two aforementioned titles are destined to be played infrequently there is still enough fun factor to get motivated people more active.

What is Wii doing on my blog you may be wondering at this point. I've been training on the various aspects of the Wii system this week, putting the various strengths of each option forward in order to get the most effective use in getting kids moving, and keeping them moving. This is something that I have had experience of first hand with my own once lazy gamers, and have collected over the last four years from our school customer's feedback.
I have already mentioned the more apparent fitness titles for Nintendo's console, but here is one you would not expect - Mario Kart Wii. This title is all about fun and nothing to do with exercise, until Gamercize jumps in and lends a hand. This is the title I choose to demonstrate in my training.
As you can see these teachers are enjoying a head to head battle using Gamercize to keep themselves in the game, on Mario Kart Wii. Gamercize extends the capabilities of the Wii in the class environment.
Gamercize means up to four simultaneous players can play in teams, individual competition or cooperatively. With Gamercize the energy expenditure is increased to four times that of wand games. Using Gamercize allows the kids to change from Mario Kart to Smash Bros Brawl, to Mario Football, making sustaining the extra activity much easier than a fitness only title. Gamercize also works with non-Mario games, in case your kids are Sonic fans!
If you are getting disappointed with the results from your Wii in school, then maybe take this extra dimension and get more active utilisation. If you haven't noticed fitness levels increase then this extra dimension will kick start your fitness technology program, and keep it running with the popularity of the finest Wii games.

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