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.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments: