Sunday, November 28

Public Voting Open For Active Gaming Awards

What are the best ‘exercise-games’ and hardware for 2010? Is it Microsoft Kinect, PlayStation Move or Nintendo Wii? These questions and more are the subject of a public vote in The Exergame Network Awards for 2010. Fifteen categories cover the new generation of Active Video Games (Exergames) with nominations from industry experts.

Public votes are being collected by The Exergame Network (TEN) at and through social networking sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The results will be released in the new year. Fifteen award categories include “Best Children’s Exergame”, “Best Seniors Exergame”, “Best Fitness Avatar” and conclude with the premier award “Best Home Exergame of 2010” that has the nominations PlayStation Move - Start the Party, Microsoft Kinect Sports, Nintendo Motion Plus - Wii Sports Resort, Ubisoft Just Dance for Wii, EA Sports Active 2 for Wii.

Most people have heard of Nintendo Wii but the world of Exergaming is much larger as indicated by the number of categories and the nominations included in the TEN Awards. Exergaming continues to expand its influence being represented on TEN by field specialists such as Sheryl Flynn from Games4Rehab. Mark C Barlet from Able Gamers and Dan Lawler from PE4Life.

"I am excited to be a part of TEN putting together these amazing awards, and I hope that companies see this as a further reason to drive innovation in the Exergaming genre. I hope this increases the awareness of gamers with disabilities and companies look to some of the new technologies emerging and find ways to further include them in the fun." says Mark C Barlet, CEO of the AbleGamers Foundation & Editor-in-Chief of

“For the first time ever, you can nominate and vote for your favorite exergame as a way of saying "Thanks" to the development team that makes staying healthy or enduring arduous rehabilitation more FUN! By acknowledging our appreciation we are encouraging more development, research and application into the health, wellness, leisure and rehabilitation game space! Exercise your right to VOTE” adds Sheryl Flynn PT, PhD, co-founder & CEO Blue Marble Game Co.

To vote for your favorite exergame go to and click on “TEN AWARDS - VOTING” or go to The Exergame Network Facebook page. The results and winners will be announced on the TEN website in the new year. The nominations were assembled by the TEN Awards Committee and represent the best exergaming has to offer in many diverse fields.

Please vote for Gamercize in "Best PE Exergame", "Best Group Exergame", "Best Competition Exergame" and "Best Brain Exergame"!!!

Wednesday, November 24

Active Gaming Video by USF from PECentral

To Be Healthy in Florida You Need More than Just Sunshine!

If you know what active gaming (exergaming) is all about, you need to check out this video. If you have no idea what active gaming is - you need to check out this video!

A very healthy looking Lisa Hansen and Steve Sanders of the University of South Florida's College of Education talk you through the ideas for using exergaming in schools, and the kids pitch in with their opinions.

Great to see Gamercize being used in the classroom and the game rooms in this video and thanks to PECentral for sharing this video via SchoolTube!

Saturday, November 20

The Healthy People of Tomorrow Play Video Games

Let's Move - with Gamercize!

What can Gamercize and active gaming do for health and fitness, after all it's just a game isn't it? There's a serious side to exergaming, even the White House is taking a look to find out what the benefits of "gamer burn" can be.

Reported by WTSP 10 News, executive directors of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Melissa Johnson and Shellie Y. Pfohl (pictured left), had a first hand experience of exergaming at the University of South Florida’s active gaming laboratory in Tampa.

The USF Active Gaming Lab was started by Asst. Prof. Lisa Witherspoon Hansen three years ago with full support of the universities College of Education department. The lab facilites on campus are used to educate PE students in active gaming with another facility "in the field" at a local local elementary school.

The kids in the practical environment get moving. "Why not take what everyone is deeming the enemy [video games], why not let them play the games that they love just make them more active?" says Lisa.

Students are not just playing games, they are having fun, being active and learning too.

Jasmine says, "When you play the game it increases your heart rate, makes your legs stronger." 10 Year old Edgerrin James has taken more than 1,400 steps in 25 minutes. "I feel great. I know I worked hard but I feel very tired," describes Edgerrin. Does he feel energized? "Yes Ma'am," he adds.

It's not just the kids that love the onsite lab, "The more we can push the fact exercise is fun with friends, social type of thing, the more likely they will do it," says Lynda Correia, PE Teacher at Witter Elementary.

Check out the video from Ch10 here, and see Gamercize and exergaming in action improving health, fitness and awareness! Lisa also contributes to PE Central as the editor of the Active Gaming section for PE educators.

Monday, November 8

Kinect: the Wii plug-in for your Xbox

Virtually getting your game on, but not quite.
There's a great deal of hype surrounding the Xbox Kinect buzzing around right now. What is it? Think of Kinect as a next generation 3D EyeToy accessory for your Xbox, that is not so fussy about background and doesn't need aluminium foil mitts to use like the original EyeToy. Sounds good, but there has been a mixed reception to the new entry into the exergaming world; I can see why.
The fitness focused love it right now. Of the 17 odd launch titles only 2 could be described as traditional video games - the rest being virtual sports, interactive workouts, dance and casual games. Have we seen this somewhere before? Oh yes, the titles and genres are all spin offs from Nintendo Wii. However, they are all improvements on the originals, which were never really updated when motion plus came out for the Wii. So Kinect wins on accuracy and realism. True it takes more space than Wii Sports, so expect single player or make sure your health and household insurances are up to date for accidental damage.

The gaming fraternity are not warming to it. Lots of posts on gaming sites exhibit great indifference. Why is that? Of the games only 2 promise some entertainment value that could hold sustainable interest and be worth the outlay - the rest are just not Xbox console games, the are Wii demographic games. Perhaps the business case for Kinect is to take Wii gamers to Xbox, not make Xbox gamers more active.

Of course Xbox gamers (and PS3 gamers!) already have a fitness option that provides genuine non-impact cardio with the benefits of online multiplayer gaming that really puts the game first in exergaming - Gamercize. With a range of exercise options it's the game that powers your workout. If you're unfamiliar with those types of games look at the Xbox 360 and PS3 video game charts and pick 8 or 9 out of the top 10s either in sales or in pre-orders - these are compatible with Gamercize.

For me and Gamercize the new product by Microsoft is very welcome. In 2006, when Nintendo Wii was launched, we saw a massive increase in Gamercize sales and awareness. Now the novelty of Wii is not grabbing the headlines, Microsoft is injecting new enthusiasm into exergaming in the way only multi-million advertising campaigns can. Sony is also putting it's best foot forward with Move, a cross between the Wii's motion and Kinect's camera control.

What I will find most interesting is if what I call "serious games" are developed for the Kinect and Move interfaces, or will the game controller stay king? At the moment I think it's obvious to replicate Wii style games, and a sound business approach. After the hype has died down on the conversions it will be up to the game developers to see what gets developed. For now, Gamercize stays the premier game entertainment exergame!