Saturday, August 29, 2009

Presenting Active Gaming at 2009 Korean Serious Games Festival

Korea Gets Serious About Games: Active Gaming Included!

I am fortunate to be headed to Korea to speak at the 2009 Korean Serious Games Festival on September 25th-27th at the Seongnam Korea Design Center near Bundang. The Gyeonggi Digital Contents Agency (organizer of the festival) posted some promotional videos (in Korean) for 2009 KSGF on their YouTube channel.

Some of the exergaming / active gaming products going will be the iDance multiplayer system and a LightSpace Floor and Wall system. I will be traveling with Ed Kasanders and Tommy Seilheimer of Motion Fitness / Exergame Fitness and I just heard that Ole and Bas of Positive Gaming AB will also be presenting iDance at the festival. This will be a great opportunity to see how Korea is embracing Games For Health and what their goals will be for the next few years in terms of the Serious Games movement.

Rising star in the industry sees Serious Games as ‘an emerging blue ocean’

The South Korean government has pledged to invest 80 billion Won ($63m) into the nation’s growing serious games market.

The government expects these investments will catalyse the nation’s Serious Games sector growth to reach a market value of $400 million by 2012. The initial 80 billion Won investment will fund the development of general educational games, military simulations, as well as medical training titles.

The initiative was sparked from a joint effort between the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and national newspaper Etnews. Those two forces together sponsored the nation’s Serious Games Forum, a national network where professionals and interested parties could network and exchange ideas.

Yu In-chon, ex-film star and now South Korea’s minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said: “The functional game market is at an early stage, but the market is an emerging blue ocean. The government is going to give support to prompt private investment in that field.”

Last year the South Korean government had invested 350 billion Won in the recreational games industry. (Via )

And here is the rest of it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Are you GameFit? The GameFit Cross Trainer Exercise Device (#G4H09 Wrap-up)

Meeting VisionQuest International CEO Brent Meldeau at the 2009 Games for Health Conference in Boston was great as he was able to explain to me how their upcoming GameFit Cross Trainer will be a disruptive technology in the exercise and gaming world. As previously mentioned, the company is looking to have working prototypes at next year's 2010 Games for Health conference in Boston and hopefully into the hands of some early beta-testers.

Essentially the GameFit Cross Trainer is two aerobic steps attached to a concave slide board which will first interface with its own games then hopefully get ported over to the Wii platform to start. The sensors in the GameFit can be used in one of three ways; 1) steps sensors alone, 2) slide sensors alone, or 3) step and slide sensors together. Besides the obvious low-impact nature of sliding, the cardiovascular benefits can be quite substantial if done for the correct Frequency-Intensity-Time-and Type (FITT). The GameFit Cross Trainer will weigh in around 30 lbs and be over 8 feet long, but will fold easily and have handles. I have no idea what the game-play will be or look like but once I find out I will update the blog.

Can the GameFit Cross Trainer capture the elusive market of whole-body gaming controllers that are fun to play and provide awesome health benefits?

Listen to Brent's response to "What is the GameFit Cross Trainer?"

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Listen to Brent's response to "When will GameFit Cross Trainer be seen in public?"

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Listen to Brent's response to "What platforms are you planning to build for or will it be a stand-alone device (plug and play)?"

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Fore more information, be sure to check the GameFit link in this blog archive. If you need more information on the research and partnerships being created in the Exergame Lab, please contact Stephen Yang at the

Sensi Karate Bears: Kata Your Way To Health (#G4H09 Wrap-up)

Big John Games attended the 2009 Games for Health Conference in Boston, MA this past June. Ken Patterson, CEO demonstrated their early prototype for their new WiiWare game "Karate Bears" a game designed to actually teach you correct karate moves using the WiiMote and Nunchuk. Check back soon for the videos of an early version of the software.

BJG also showcased their 2007 release "Soccer Blast" which I believe was a PS2 release that incorporated a DDR pad to play an an oversized-ball game sort of like soccer but also very reminiscent of Omnikin Ball.
And here is the rest of it.

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