Sunday, September 19

Microsoft Kinect and Playstation Move - The Missing Games

Virtual Fun or Real Fun?

It is good to see Microsoft and Sony finally get the hint that active video games are the future with the release of Kinect and Move. But the new toys add nothing new over the Wii - A mix and combination of Eyetoy and Wiimote style controllers comes with the same old casual, dance or fitness game genres.
This is great, if you like that sort of thing, but if you like that sort of thing the new active video games are only likely to take you away from the gym or you traditional workout schedule. These game genres equally have a low utilization, mainly due to the lack of online play or narrative.
What are the best active video games? Sports, racing and first person genres have the focus of the vast majority. Just take a look at the pre-order charts. All of these games can be active by using Gamercize, without degrading the control or fun.
Take a look at what'll be keeping your kids (boyfriend, spouse, etc) indoors this winter and then look again at what makes the best active video game.
2Up3Formula One 2010 (F1) Microsoft Xbox 360Codemasters
3Up4FIFA 11 (2011) Sony Playstation 3EA
4Up6FIFA 11 (2011) Microsoft Xbox 360EA
5Up9PES 2011: Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 Sony Playstation 3Konami
6Up13Formula One 2010 (F1) PCCodemasters
7Up14Call of Duty Black Ops Microsoft Xbox 360Activision
8Up18Dead Rising 2 Microsoft Xbox 360Capcom
9Up17Call of Duty Black Ops- Hardened Edition Microsoft Xbox 360Activision
10Up12Gran Turismo 5 Sony Playstation 3Sony
Don't forget that there is a Gamercize fitness machine to suit all abilities, and compatibility with Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3 and PC. You can get fit playing all these games with Gamercize, solo, online or multiplayer.
It is good to see Sony and Microsoft jump on Nintendo's bandwagon, but ultimately the best games have the longest game time, and sustainability and repetition are the true fitness "must-haves". The games in the list have this, that's what Gamercize is all about!

Wednesday, September 8

Newly Published Article Reviewing Active Video Game Studies

I just received a PDF of this review article entitled, "Active video games to promote physical activity in children and youth", by Elaine Biddis and Jennifer Irwin. It came out in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescence Medicine, 2010; 164(7):664-672.

The objective of this study was to "...systematically review levels of metabolic expenditure and changes in activity pattenrs associated wtih active video game (AVG) play in children and to provide directions for future research efforts." This covered published studies spanning Jan. 1, 1998 to Jan. 1, 2010.

If you'd like a copy of this study via PDF, send me an e-mail at

Tuesday, September 7

BREAKING NEWS! NEW Active Video Games Energy Expenditure Study Released!

"Wii Don't Have the First Clue about Exergaming" say Wiisearchers

I came across this gem of a study that's been published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. The wiisearch, from New Zealand has stumbled across some ground breaking findings...

- Playing Active Video Games (AVGs) uses more energy than doing nothing.

- Playing Nintendo Wii is no more active than aimlessly walking in circles.

Wow guys, this is impressive stuff. Who knew?!

What is the complete waste of time in this study is that researchers, co-authors, peer reviewers and editors have been tied up on the most pointless and over studied "exergame" in history. It would not surprise me if Nintendo have fronted the money for this work, which they do under a number of covert "charities" and "consultancies". If this is the case then I have been too harsh on the academics of New Zealand.

What would NOT have been a waste of time would have been comparing OTHER exergames against Wii. Gamercize is easily four times more energy expenditure than Wii Sports and almost infinitely more sustainable (due to the ability to play any game on Xbox360, PS3, etc etc).

At this point I do wonder - the "no news wii" stories are damaging the reputation of exergaming and undermining the effectiveness in the eyes of the public - is this deliberate by the Journal? Make your own mind up at

Monday, September 6

Experts Rate “Exergames” for Consumers

The Exergame Network has been busy rating exergames (via Gamercize isn't rated in this batch, but I say - bring it on, we've got the "A" game(s)!!!

Exergaming (Active Gaming) combines video games and exercise to provide a physically challenging but enjoyable experience. Traditionally, laboratory tests have been used to determine exertion levels and mainstream journalists review and rate a game’s game-play.

The Exergame Network (TEN) has created a next generation rating system which is ready for world wide release. TEN’s ratings system evaluates the holistic experience of an exergame in it’s Exergaming Experience Rating System (EERS)

TEN is a non-affliated, non-profit games for health exergaming advocacy. Its website portal is TEN represents an international collaboration of dedicated health and fitness practitioners, exergame developers, researchers and clinicians, wellness entrepreneurs, all devoted to promoting an active and healthy lifestyle through exergaming.

The peer-reviewed EERS results have been compiled by a panel of world renowned exergaming experts. The system used to rate the exergame experience has taken a collaboration of over 12 months, driven by the previous lack of real world consumer information into the genre.

Exergames are not only scored on exercise and game play, including the physical interface between the two, but also on the interaction of seven further attributes including sustainability and intervention capacity. Six popular video games with an exercise component have been scored in the first results, including Wii Fit, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), Eyetoy Kinetic, Wii Sports, EA Sports Active and Rockband.

"With so many different games available on the market, a rating system for exergames like the EERS by TEN, is a welcome tool for healthcare practitioners trying to help their patients make the most appropriate choices for their families." says TEN contributor Dr Ernie Medina of MedPlay Technologies LLC.

The highest rated exergame, so far, is Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), which scored 63% with the popular Wii Fit making a mid-table position with 57%. TEN has a resource of over 40 exergames listed that will be peer-reviewed and rated over the next 12 months.

"The EERS results compliment the research work being done in the Exergame Lab at SUNY Cortland. While there is no substitute for scientific research in PE, the thorough rating system is extremely useful to consumers when looking at which product to purchase." says TEN contributor and exergame expert Stephen Yang.

The full Ratings table can be viewed at the TEN Blogsite and the resource of exergames at The Exergame Network can be joined or contacted via LinkedIn, Facebook, Wiki, Twitter or by email at