Saturday, August 28

Gamercize Pro-Sport - The most Flexible of Exergames

One Product - Many Applications

The Gamercize Pro-Sport is easily the most adaptable and flexible exergame with the bonus of being genuine cardio. The standard Xbox 360 Pro-Sport model (see comes complete with a game controller and Gamercize Power Stepper.

The most obvious way to use this product is plug into the Xbox and burn calories while playing any Xbox game, just keep moving on the Power Stepper to keep the controller active. Stop the steps and Gamercize pauses the game. Simple and effective to use video games to take your mind off the exercise effort.

There are thousands of titles available to use, but add into that Gamercize works online and with Xbox Marketplace applications. There's no end to the engagement of Gamercize and no shortage of choices for any style of gaming from casual arcade games to hardcore online first person gaming.

You want more? You got it! You can also use the same product (Xbox variant) with your laptop or your desktop PC. Plug the supplied controller into the USB port on your computer and play Windows games! Standing stepping while playing is the best for calorie burn, but wait, there's more!

Use a chair and sit while stepping at your computer desk. The calorie burn goes down, but this is a great way to start exercise if you're overweight or out of condition. Want more options? Ok, remove the step stops (see pic) on the Power Stepper for a more advanced workout in the chair or standing. Now the movement of the stepper will extend the range of motion for the legs and calfs.

Need more applications? Unplug the game controller and plug your USB mouse into the Gamercize Pro-Sport. Now you have a motion enabled mouse, keep moving to keep the cursor on the screen. This is great for surfing the web or playing games like World of Warcraft! Lastly, you can workout with work - plug your USB keyboard into the Gamercize Pro-Sport instead, and you step and type your way to a fitter future!

Friday, August 20

Active Gaming: Oh, You Mean the Wii?

Introducing PE Central's new Exergaming blog, by a real life active gaming PhD - Lisa Hansen.
(original post at

I cannot tell you how many conversations I have had with individuals discussing active gaming when they say something similar to, "Oh, you mean like the Nintendo Wii?” While my answer is "yes", it has become more and more frustrating to realize that superb marketing of a popular brand has really conditioned many minds to not properly understand active gaming. Active gaming is more than just the Wii...much more!

Active gaming is an umbrella term with a modern concept of combining technology + games + physical activity. Exergaming is also a popular term associated with active gaming that some refer to as "active" video game play. Yes, Nintendo Wii is an active game; but, so are a variety of virtual bikes, rhythmic dance games (dance dance revolution), martial arts simulators, HopSports, Gamercize, gesture tracking games, other virtual sports games, etc. Simply stated, there are numerous active gaming activities available on the market- commercially and for residential use. Review the "What is active gaming?" section of our website to learn more.

While many physical activity advocates, and maybe I should include traditionalist, view active gaming as a potentially negative tool to be used to promote physical activity; I am not so sure these technology driven physical activities have been given a proper chance to be successful. A large reason for much misconception is due to a lack of knowledge and or negative experiences with the inappropriate implementation of active gaming. Both of which are understandable and will be discussed further on the PEC active gaming website as well as in our blogs.

The question: "What should active gaming really be?" Active gaming should be a "tool" (in physical education) used to get children physically active while accomplishing learning objectives. Active gaming should not replace traditional physical activities; only accentuate them if that makes sense? A popular facet of active gaming is that the children consider the games fun because the technology aligns with the current generation's interests. If they are going to spend time playing video games why not let them choose an active video game? So I ask you, what is wrong with "fun fitness" if a child will choose to be active playing an active game opposed to a more sedentary behavior? Our goal is to educate children about physical activity in hopes they will become voluntarily active for a lifetime. Active gaming is simply one type of physical activity to help accomplish this goal!

This is a very useful and considered overview of exergaming with a P.E. slant, be sure to check out the blog and website!

Tuesday, August 10

Is there a Ninja in your Exergame?

Active Gaming without the Game?

The defining attribute of Exergaming or Active Gaming is..? (did you spot the clue in the question!)

That's right - THE GAME!! It's the bit that takes your mind off exercising and makes the active experience actually enjoyable. The key interaction is to make the exercise disappear - stealth exercise if you like. Maybe even the interaction is so stealthy it could be the Ninja in your exergame!

The great advantage of exergaming, and Gamercize in particular, is the end result of burning calories and being active. How this magic works is not really important - that it does is important!

Over analysing exergame products is not a task for the inexperienced or flippant, so if you really want to see the nuts and bolts, go to The Exergame Network (TEN) and see how they break it down.

The results of a product or service are far more important than the intricate detail. You don't need to understand how an auto mechanic fixes your car, just that it's running again! Physical Education has an opportunity to get out of semantics and roll out results with the new initiative from the US government - Let's Move campaign.

I hope that exergaming is taken seriously as an intervention for PE and the initiative to reclaim activity for the people. There is support in many areas, not just Ninjas, as you can see on the RWJF forum on Physical Activity in School.