Monday, May 17, 2010

Is Wii Worthy of American Heart Association Accolade? A response to ABC's report

Is Wii Worthy of American Heart Association Accolade?

Dr. Richard Besser Questions American Heart Association Chief About Heart-Healthy Stamp on Video Games.

Here is my post on the ABC News piece on Nintendo getting the American Heart Association (AHA) to endorse the Wii to the tune of $1.5 million, and I doubt that does not include the advertising, marketing, and printing costs involved for the US and Canadian markets. Any ad people know what this might cost across the lifespan of the product cycles? A poor estimate would be several times more than the $1.5 million given to the AHA. The partnership has cumulated in the Active Play Now website.

Nintendo does not shy away from funding and/or endorsing research projects and this current endorsement is really interesting and creates another ethical dilemma. Having used and researched these exergames for almost a decade, I do think they can be used effectively to increase physical activity levels and promote positive social interactions; but, I also know that they are not a "magic pill" to better health. I think this story would be a completely different if in fact no money was exchanged. It brings up an interesting debate on whether all of these "endorsements" should have a "disclaimer" or "full disclosure" so that the public really knows what's occurring behind the scenes. If bloggers and celebrity endorsements (and these two categories couldn't be further apart) are liable for not disclosing relationships - then so should these commercial endorsements. Without Dr. Besser's pushing at least twice for the amount of money Nintendo gave to the AHA.....we might never have known. Thanks Dr. B and ABC.

For all your exergaming needs and information, be sure to visit the unbiased source for all things related to ExerGaming and Active Gaming at The Exergame Network (TEN) and of course here on the ExerGame Lab blog.

Be sure to watch for updates and coverage coming from the 2010 Games for Health Conference - May 25-27th from Boston.

Our biggest and most advance event ever promises to provide great insight to the growing worlds of exergaming/active games, health training games, disease management efforts, and much much more.

Our conference platform provides attendees with great content, important networking opportunities, and a focus on providing opportunities to develop new projects and improve existing efforts.   In 2010 we are adding more defined and community led tracks and concentrating on greatly improving exhibits and non-session oriented content and activity.

Our full schedule will be available later in 2010 but you can see the planned schedule outline now here.

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