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Feature: 'Virtual Cardio: Respondesign's Jason Leighton on Exercise Game Development

Today's main Gamasutra feature is an interview with Jason Leighton, CTO of Respondesign in which he discusses the formation of the company, the development of personalize...
Today's main Gamasutra feature is an interview with Jason Leighton, CTO of Respondesign in which he discusses the formation of the company, the development of personalized fitness game Yourself!Fitness, and the upcoming sequel - Yourself!Fitness Lifestyle. Here, he reveals that the idea for Yourself!Fitness all started with a wedding: The concept behind Yourself!Fitness began when Respondesign's Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Phin Barnes was with family, getting ready to attend his wedding. "All the women in his family were fretting about getting in shape," said Leighton. "And while they're talking about this, he's playing video games with his cousins, and it just kind of clicked." Barnes envisioned bridging the gap between video games and the female demographic, and he knew that a fitness program might be the key, but he didn't have the industry experience to make it happen. Enter Leighton. "I was actually the first person to come aboard with any industry background," said Leighton. "I was the second employee hired, and I sort of helped them with fleshing out their ideas and turning it into a reality." Pitching the software was never an issue. "Microsoft and Sony loved the idea from the get-go," said Leighton. "They're always looking to expand the people who are interested in video games, and this is one of the ways they could do so. Microsoft loved us particularly, since they're trying to expand their demographic to females with the Xbox 360." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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