Saturday, July 10, 2010

Swinxs Gets Gamers Away From Screens and Moving With Friends (Hands-on part1)

Swinxs is calling itself the first screen-free, family-friendly (and award winning) game console that uses technology to add a fresh twist to traditional play encouraging social interaction, creativity and physical game play suitable for in-and-outdoor settings.

I was lucky enough to have received a testing unit from Arnout Asjes - Managing Director for Swinxs with 40 FRID bands to test with my classes (Thanks Arnout!).  I will be giving the unit to my students to develop standard driven lesson plans that cover the 3 domains of learning (psychomotor, cognitive, and affective) but I wanted to try it out before the fall.  After charging the wireless base for at least 8 hours via the included USB cord, each unit is pre-loaded with 10 games but of course you can go online and download (for free) many other games or even develop your own games with the free SDK kit.  I will be playing with this unit for a while with my kids and others and will update this blog with my reflections and reactions.  Check back here for all the news on Swinxs via the ExerGame Lab.

Other Features
  • FREE downloadable games. (Most DLC's cost money)

Exergaming Benefits
  • Large groups of students can be active at the same time. 
  • Simple games that will be easy to play for kids of all ages.
  • Highly customizable games for the teacher to emphasize any domain or learning objective
  • The FRID XS-wristbands encased in silicone / rubber will be easy to clean.
  • For its size, the volume is surprisingly loud given that is the main method of communicating with the players. 
Exergaming Concerns
  • Included speaker might not be loud enough for noisy gyms or fields.  It would be good to have an external speaker output to be able to plug in a louder speaker. Our department has a couple of these wireless rechargeable speakers with iPod charging docks and hooking into one of those would be perfect outdoors.
  • XS-wristbands made of silicone or rubber

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