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SGS Feature: 'Bringing 'Exertainment' Into The Gym'

In this feature written for Gamasutra sister site Serious Games Source, which deals with games created for training, heal...
In this feature written for Gamasutra sister site Serious Games Source, which deals with games created for training, health, government, military, educational and other uses, we present another write-up from the Games For Health 2006 conference, entitled 'Bringing 'Exertainment' Out of the Home And Into The Gym'. In this Games For Health session, as well as during a follow-up interview, entrepreneur Ernie Medina presented his idea to bring games based on physical activity such as Konami's Dance Dance Revolution to a gym setting. This concept is intended as a way to create a workout place focused on exergaming, play, and new technology, but Medina also comments on the current top exergames for the home: “People who see what we’re doing always ask me what they should get for the home,” commented Medina. “I have to tell them PlayStation 2, because of EyeToy and DDR, in particular. But I'm also excited about Nintendo’s new Wii system.” He added: “I think Microsoft is missing the boat, and I hope they are listening. If they want to broaden their horizons, looking for other areas besides first-person shooters, healthcare could be huge. Everyone knows they need exercise, whether for weight control or diabetes prevention, but the majority of Americans aren’t doing it. But exergaming answers all the obstacles, and we will offer ways to keep people in long-term compliance.” By that, Medina means that they will motivate people to keep exercising, not only by using games and their inherent attractions, but by having people train for prizes and awards, having regular competitions, even an exergaming Olympics. 'People will play these games at home to get good at them so they can compete in the tournaments. This is one of the ways they will stay engaged in the exercise.'" You can now read the full Serious Games Source feature on the subject, including plenty more information on Medina's plans for exergaming (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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