Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kinect Rehab Exergame

Just saw this video and grabbed a screenshot of a simulated(?) #exergame of a child doing rehab on leg/knee.  Does anyone know if this program already exists?

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Playing exergames in the classroom: Pre-service teachers’ motivation, passion, effort, and perspectives (study)

Pulse Booth @ LIWImage by BeFitt via FlickrThis study investigated pre-service teachers’ experience, motivation, passion, effort, and perspectives in playing exergames in the classroom using the self-determination theory as the main theoretical framework. One hundred forty pre-service teachers participated in the study. A mixed method was used. Data included pre-survey and post-survey results and classroom observation notes. Findings indicated that most pre-service teachers had little prior experience in exergames. However, they enjoyed playing exergames in the classroom and considered it beneficial to incorporate exergames in teaching. They also raised concerns, challenges, and the need for resources to effectively incorporate exergames in teaching. Findings also suggested that promoting pre-service teachers’ higher levels of self-determined motivation and harmonious passion may motivate them to be more active in exergames. Details are discussed in the paper.

Journal of Technology and Teacher EducationISSN 1059-7069Volume 19, Issue 3, October 2011Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)  Chesapeake, VA

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

VPA in Dance Exer-Game (study)

Festival du jeu vidéo 2008 (video game festiva...Image via WikipediaHere's a new article invloving adults playing from the ADAM lab on Long Island

Vigorous Energy Expenditure with a Dance Exer-game. JEPonline  2011;14(4):13-28. 

Physical inactivity is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Efforts to increase physical activity can include active video games. While many active video games demonstrate exertion levels commensurate with light  to moderate exercise, it is unclear whether these games can meet requirements for vigorous activity. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the active videovgame, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), can provide vigorous exercise vin a wide range of adults. Twelve adults (18 to 53 yrs, BMI 18 to 37) were studied while  playing DDR at an advanced level. Metabolic measures were collected during a 30  min game-play protocol  at the advanced  “Heavy” level of difficulty.  Mean values achieved were the following: 8 METs, heart rate 157 beats·min-1, and energy expenditure 9  kcal·min-1.  DDR is played similarly to that of interval type exercise where  each game-song is followed by a brief rest period. Subjects reported that  DDR  is fun, and that the competitive nature of playing with  others is enjoyable. This  study found that DDR is effective in meeting vigorous physical a requirements  for improving or maintaining physical fitness.

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Exergames in ICU

Feasibility and observed safety of interactive video games for physical rehabilitation in the intensive care unit: a case series

Full-size image (50K) - Opens new windowEarly rehabilitation in the intensive care unit (ICU) improves patients' physical function. Despite reports of using commercially available interactive video game systems for rehabilitation, there are few data evaluating feasibility and safety as part of routine in-patient rehabilitation, particularly in the ICU.

We conducted an observational study from September 1, 2009, to August 31, 2010, of adults admitted to a 16-bed medical ICU receiving video games as part of routine physical therapy (PT), evaluating use and indications and occurrence of 14 prospectively monitored safety events.

Of 410 patients receiving PT in the medical ICU, 22 (5% of all patients; male, 64%; median age, 52 years) had 42 PT treatments with video games (median [interquartile range] per patient, 1.0 [1.0-2.0]). Main indications for video game therapy included balance (52%) and endurance (45%), and the most common activities included boxing (38%), bowling (24%), and balance board (21%). Of 42 treatments, 69% occurred while standing and 45% while mechanically ventilated. During 35 hours of PT treatment, 0 safety events occurred (95% upper confidence limit for safety event rate, 8.4%).

Novel use of interactive video games as part of routine PT in critically ill patients is feasible and appears safe in our case series. Video game therapy may complement existing rehabilitation techniques for ICU patients.

Keywords: Rehabilitation; Critical care; Adults; Mechanical ventilation; Interactive video games

Michelle E. Kho PT, PhD, Abdulla Damluji MBChB, MPH, Jennifer M. Zanni PT, MSPT, ScD, Dale M. Needham MD, PhD

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tetris on DDR Pads (StepTet)

Bravo to another great MIT crew project! I love the 6 foot LED matrix and the mash-up of games but I think a more serious workout would occur if you had to move further like on a Lightspace floor or you had to lift weights while playing like in Tetris Weightlifting.

Tetris Game Controlled with DDR Pads, DDT is Born - Technabob:
'via Blog this'

Monday, August 15, 2011

Scosche myTREK Wireless Pulse monitor

Scosche myTREK Wireless Pulse monitor for iPod and iPhone is one of the newest activity monitors on the market but this one is not relying just on accelerometer data but going back to heart rate monitoring, except this time it is a forearm worn device instead of a chest strap. I am very interested in seeing how the built-in accelerometer filters into total activity energy expenditure. That fact alone is a potential limitation of other arm-worn devices. Price $129.99

WIBC (Wouldn't It Be Cool)- If they could leverage this technology and use a pc driven receiver to monitor more than one device at a time, we might have a killer app/ tech solution for monitoring fitness in schools and gyms (think Suunto, Activio, Polar, Zwphyr, and Ekho's group monitoring solutions).

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving activity monitors.

[Via Kinetic Shift]

Friday, August 12, 2011


NewYu collage

Getting to the state of being the "New You" is often a goal we seek and even the description of this blog is "Where gaming and technology collide for a healthier you!"  This new device (NewYu) is pushing its way onto the busy scene of ubiquitous and pervasive activity-monitors that are user-friendly and intend to impact behavioral outcomes such as physical activity, exercise and nutritional habits.

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving other activity monitors. 

Using industry-first motion detection and advanced pattern recognition technology that detects and identifies specific body movements, the small and lightweight NewYu easily clips anywhere on the torso or to the pocket. The monitor not only tracks basic activities such as walking and running, but also specifically recognizes complex movements like biking, elliptical and step machine, while also capturing data for daily living tasks like cooking, cleaning and shopping. The result – a more accurate view of how many calories are burned based on every movement made throughout the day.
I am interested in seeing how accurate this graphic is in terms of unique features beyond heart rate monitors, armbands and other devices. Considering the app is Android only, they've got to be preparing at least an iOS app in the near future.  Once I get a hold of one, I will let you know how it works and if might be something schools could use.

[Via Kinetic Shift]

Monday, August 8, 2011

Treadmill training (run-simulator) - Outside Interactive

Stay at home and train for the big race on your TV, computer and treadmill [Via Techland]

Whether your pounding the miles for the Boston Marathon or want to hit the Summertime Run in Central Park 10K, the videos intend to give you a feel for the course you'll be on before you're on them.  They even come with "pop-up" style pictures of landmark signs like the one for the Boathouse in Central Park (see screenshot).

Not an exergame but definitely using tech to mediate exercise - in this case using a foot pod to track speed, cadence although if you approach a hill, I don't think the treadmill is tied to the Virtual reality software to increase the incline of your treadmill.  The PC simulator will advise you what setting to adjust your treadmill to approximate the hill.  I know I'd probably adjust for the first few hills, but after that I probably wouldn't.  Woud you keep the suggested pace?
 Check them out -!/OInteractive

If you can't hack a 10 minute mile, the company Outside Interactive suggest you go to the pre-paced DVDs where you can adjust the speed of the footage to match your cadence.

Outside Interactive - Virtual Runner - 90 Second Spot from Gary McNamee on Vimeo.

Outside Interactive - Summertime Run - Central Park - 10K from Gary McNamee on Vimeo.
And for an extra shot of realism, the company is getting set to release its "Virtual Runner" software next month, which consists of a $250 sneaker sensor and computer software that can match the pace of the video to the pace that you're running on the treadmill. The videos will instruct you to adjust the incline on your treadmill to match hilly parts of the courses, too.
Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving simulators.

Virtual Relay Exergame

This concept of a connected and social physical experience mediated by technology certainly has lots of exergame potential especially if they end up building in ARG, leader-boards, and game elements.

Virtual relay - DesignBlizzard

How it works
The V.relay is a baton for virtual relays. By connecting and joining to a community website, you could search for relays of your interest, the time you want to start, the team you want to join.
The baton receives the data from the computer and gives a signal when it's time for your turn to run in the team. The GPS signal lets the relay continue on virtually all around the world. And also gives you feedback of the distance/time/heartbeat rate/runners left during your run.
The main aspect or the V.relay is to give people more motivation for exercise by making them feel connected.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kung Fu High Impact on Kinect for Xbox 360 Transforms You into a True Martial Arts Superstar

Image via Gamepress
The Finnish project formerly known as Kick-Ass Kung Fu has made another big jump in terms of making a real and marketable product from its humbler origins as a concept and project at an academic institution. The last incarnation made it big as a PlayStation Network ( downloadable game but the current version is getting charged for an Xbox 360 Kinect release for Europe and the Americas in time for Christmas.  Now its really time to clear out the furniture!
Kung Fu High Impact is the first of its kind for Kinect for Xbox 360--a side-scrolling brawler that uses the peripheral's incredibly accurate body tracking technology to insert the real image of the player on screen. The gamer will be literally transported into the action, as he or she will be able to see real-life combat movements interacting with the enemies and objects on screen.

[Via Gamasutra Kung Fu High Impact on Kinect for Xbox 360 Transforms You into a True Martial Arts Superstar]
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is Basis the Best Fitness Monitor?

Is this another fitness watch or something more like a wrist-based monitor a la BodyMedia's SenseWear Armband?   Pulse Tracer will soon be releasing their Basis, a watch monitor that packs in a bunch of sensors that monitor not just movement but heart rate, temperature and skin response.The company recently announced the raising of $9 million in funding from Norwest Venture Partners and DCM. Can't wait to get this one in the lab to compare to the Armband.

Announced features and sensors:

  • Price $199
  • Accelerometer (presumably triaxial)
  • Galvanic skin response
  • Skin temperature
  • Optical blood flow 
  • Online tools to manage and analyze (and share) data. Think mini PHR/EHR 

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Exergaming Heart Rate and Perceived Exertion Self-Selected Intensities (study)

Exergames may be useful for promoting physical activity in younger populations. Heart rate (HRs) responses and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) at self-selected intensities were compared in college-age participants during 2 modes of exergame activity vs. traditional exercise. Thirty-seven participants (men: 20, women: 17) completed 3 30-minute self-selected intensity trials: (a) video game interactive bicycle ergometer (GB) (CatEye GB300), (b) interactive video dance game (Dance Dance Revolution [DDR]), and (c) traditional cycle ergometer (CE) while watching television. Mean HR, peak HR (PkHR), and minutes above target HR (THR) were significantly higher for GB (144 ± 22 b·min−1 [57% HR reserve (HRR)], 161 ± 23 b·min−1, and 22.5 ± 11.1 minutes) than for DDR (119 ± 16 b·min−1 [37% HRR], 138 ± 20 b·min−1, and 11.2 ± 11.9 minutes) or for CE (126 ± 20 b·min−1 [42% HRR], 144 ± 24 b·min−1, and 14.2 ± 12.6 minutes). The RPE was significantly higher for GB (4.2 ± 1.5) and CE (3.8 ± 1.2) than for DDR (2.7 ± 1.3). Recovery HR (RecHR) (15 minutes postexercise) was significantly higher for GB (91 ± 14 b·min−1) than for DDR (80 ± 11 b·min−1) and neared significance vs. CE (84 ± 14 b·min−1p = 0.059). No difference in PkHR, RecHR, or minutes above THR was observed between DDR and CE. Session RPE was significantly higher for GB (4.6 ± 1.7) and CE (4.1 ± 1.6) than for DDR (2.8 ± 1.5). All modes elicited extended proportions of time above THR; GB: 75%, DDR: 37%, and CE: 47%. Results support that exergames are capable of eliciting physiological responses necessary for fitness improvements. Practitioners might consider exergames as periodic activity options for clients needing motivation to be regularly active.

Kraft JA, Russell WD, Bowman TA, Selsor CW 3rd, & Foster GD (2011). Heart rate and perceived exertion during self-selected intensities for exergaming compared to traditional exercise in college-age participants. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association, 25 (6), 1736-42 PMID: 21386720

Click here for more studies in the ExerGame Lab archives. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Games For Health 2011 (Cover It Live)

Check out the latest updates from the 2011 Games for Health Conference. I am sitting at the front of the the Ludica Medica I room talking about Games vs. Simulators: The Great Debate.

Click here for more studies involving screen-time in the ExerGame Lab archives. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Re-Step for better balance. Motorized shoes create uncertain footing.

Glasgow's University of Strathclyde in collaboration with Israeli medical products company Step of Mind Ltd. (SoM) are making a product that forces users to be more attentive while walking. This deliberate focus on staying upright and keeping in balance while the motors force imbalance is the key foundation behing Chaos Theory. They remind me of my children's beginner rollerskates, but as a home product this innovation might extend the ability for therapists to prescribe routines and exercises and speed up the rehab process.

Be sure to check out the Rehabilitation track 2011 Games for Health Conference

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This is your brain on exergames! Effects of exergaming on cognitive control (study)

What are the effects of single bouts of aerobic exercise, exergaming, and videogame play on task performance and neuroelectric indices of inhibitory aspects of cognitive control?

  • 36 college students (18 female, 18 male)
  • Wii Fit (6 minutes each game = Aerobic Step, Rhythm Boxing, Hula-Hoop) & and 20 minute bouts on MarioKart, treadmill walking and seated rest.
  • Heart-rate
    • Treadmill (117 bpm) > Wii Fit (115 bmp) > MarioKart (82 bpm)
    • NSD in heart-rate between treadmill and Wii Fit.
  • Response Time
    • Single bout of treadmill exercise might reduce response time interference by 10% suggesting enhanced cognitive control through management of conflict in the stimulus environment."
Exergaming Questions/Potentials
  • Using exergames that require more dynamic game environments and game play (stimulus) might mimic the effects only found in the treadmill condition
  • Perhaps more intense levels of treadmill and exergaming might illicit more favorable changes to response time and inhibitory control.
  • Did the variable nature of the exergames place greater demands on cognitive control thus reducing the chances of see changes in response time and inhibitory control?
O’Leary, K., Pontifex, M., Scudder, M., Brown, M., & Hillman, C. (2011). The effects of single bouts of aerobic exercise, exergaming, and videogame play on cognitive control Clinical Neurophysiology DOI: 10.1016/j.clinph.2011.01.049

Be sure to check out the 2011 Games for Health Conference track on Cognitive Training

Click here for more on cognitive function in the ExerGame Lab archives. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

LocoMatrix Brings Gaming Back Outside (GPS)

Locomatrix's tagline clearly takes a swipe at the stereotypical sedentary gamer, "Jumpers for goalposts, for the Wii generation, Bringing Gaming Back Outside".  I'm not sure what's been happening since this was first announced in 2008 and if they've bothered to port over the games to iPhone or Android but it would make sense since so many newer devices already have GPS built in.

Be sure to check out the 2011 Games for Health Conference track on Mobile Gaming

Exergame Benfits
  • Any number of players.
  • Any size playing field.
  • Customizable games.
  • Create your own games.
Exergame Concerns
  • LocoMatrix is not exactly screen-free as in Swinxs, because you have to use your mobile phone with GPS or with a GPS unit to play the games. I would say it is console-free and free-roaming but not screen-free.
  • Obviously using large areas of play will be a huge concern for supervision/safety reasons.
  • Handset compatibility

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Skynet Tweets Your Workout

Can your tweets from your weights support you in your personal fitness plan?  This prototype from a UK student has two modes, online and offline in case your student needs work on their form.

Tweet_Fit. from Fraser Spowart on Vimeo.

Click here for more studies involving screen-time in the ExerGame Lab archives.

My product is designed to encourage people to exercise at home. Its universal design allows it to be easily attached to any dumbbell.
The device has two main functions, an offline and online mode. The offline mode has been designed to guide the user through the perfect bicep curl. Once this is mastered the online mode can be activated.
To activate the online mode you simply pick up the dumbbell with the device attached, doing this will send a message to your twitter feed indicating you have began to exercise. You will be notified that the message has been sent by green lights flashing. Once you have finished your exercise and put the dumbbell down again another tweet will be sent indicating the end of your exercise. Red lights will flash to indicate a second tweet has been sent.
This product could be used effectively by fitness instructors to keep an eye on their clients when they are at home and could also be used as a fun competition between friends on twitter.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Breath of Fresh Asthmapolis: GPS Inhalers

Dr. Sickle's previous work involved studying asthma and chronic respiratory disease in India but in developing Asthmaoplis he and his team are seeking to better track the environmental factors and triggers to asthma attacks.  His goal is to map where and when environmental exposures trigger asthma symptoms by using inhalers that have a built-in GPS device that signals the central server whenever the puffer is used.  Of course they will also have access to other sets of data including pollutants, pollen, wind direction which will enable them to better track factors impacting lung disease and overall air quality.

[Via Geekosystem - Better Lives for Asthma Sufferers With GPS Inhalers]

What is Asthmapolis? from Asthmapolis on Vimeo.

ExerGame Potential

  1. By having realtime data on potential "red" or "danger" zones, players can use the GPS to find alternate routes to their destination. Although, after writing that, I realize the potential to send people to not-so desirable areas. Wait a minute.... GPS units already do that.
  2. I could easily see an adapted mobile-motion-gaming title similar to Outbreak! Zombie (location-based RPG). 
  3. Maybe the game could tie into the transit system in case the air quality is so poor and then gamers can play the alternate-reality game (ARG) Chromaroma - as featured here earlier.
Via Droid Life

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Game-On Girls: Pro-social Outcomes of Co-playing VG with parents (study)

Can playing video games with your children (co-play) influence behavioral and family outcomes? The authors of this study sought to determine the role co-playing video games had on family connectedness, levels of aggression, and pro-social behavior. By asking questions from numerous other questionnaires like “How often do you play video games with your parent?, and "My parent is responsive to my feelings and needs/ I am responsive to my child’s feelings and needs.” the researchers used structural equation modeling to determine how video game co-playing is a predictor of adolescents’ internalizing problems, aggression, delinquency, prosocial behavior, and connection with parents.

- n=287 adolescents and their parents
- completed questionnaires on video game play and behavioral and family related questions

- Co-playing video games with parents was associated with decreased levels of internalizing and
aggressive behaviors, and heightened prosocial behavior for girls only.
- Co-playing video games was also marginally related to parent–child connectedness for girls

Exergaming Benefits
- Playing regular games together can bring a sense of connectedness between adolescents and parents, but I think sharing a physical exergaming experience heightens that sense even more (relatedness)
- Imagine designing your the look of your avatar with your parents (autonomy)
- Imagine choosing different dance routines that can compliment your and your parents abilities (competency)
- To follow more on the supports and benefits to exergaming as a family, be sure to check out some of the articles listed below - especially Ann Maloney's work from Maine Medical Center Research Institute.

Coyne, S., Padilla-Walker, L., Stockdale, L., & Day, R. (2011). Game On… Girls: Associations Between Co-playing Video Games and Adolescent Behavioral and Family Outcomes Journal of Adolescent Health DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.11.249

Maloney AE, Bethea TC, Kelsey KS, Marks JT, Paez S, Rosenberg AM, Catellier DJ, Hamer RM, & Sikich L (2008). A pilot of a video game (DDR) to promote physical activity and decrease sedentary screen time. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 16 (9), 2074-80 PMID: 19186332

Paez S, Maloney A, Kelsey K, Wiesen C, & Rosenberg A (2009). Parental and environmental factors associated with physical activity among children participating in an active video game. Pediatric physical therapy : the official publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association, 21 (3), 245-53 PMID: 19680066
For the abstract, check after the jump...

Can We Design a Fit City? (study)

Myth or Fact?
My colleagues and I often discuss the importance of coordinated planning for all municipalities and governments to create a healthier city and citizens. In Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory - he posits that we each have multiple environmental systems that influence our development physically, cognitively, and affectively (Three domains of learning). In using physical activity as an explicit outcome (instead of an implicit factor or by-product of policy changes).

Herrick, C. (2009). Designing the fit city: public health, active lives, and the (re)instrumentalization of urban space Environment and Planning A, 41 (10), 2437-2454 DOI: 10.1068/a41309
[Via Environment and Planning]

New York City. Plan for Entrance to Central ParkThe relationship between the built environment, physical activity, and well-being is currently attracting concerted government attention in the UK which has been formalized through new sets of urban planning and design guidelines. In light of this, the author argues that the domains of intersection between the physical environment and governmental health and social agendas need further exploration. Furthermore, she asserts that urban geographers are theoretically and empirically well placed to undertake valuable and much needed research agendas within these domains. To explore these assertions, the author first sets out the recent turn to physical activity as an explicit policy concern. She then critically interrogates two recent sets of design guidelines, Active Design (Sport England) and the 2008 NICE guidance within the context of current UK policy thinking, before exploring the problematic nature of the instrumental readings of space they present. It is argued that this instrumental rationale may sanction the neglect of the intrinsic value and importance of active lives themselves to urban spaces, which, it is asserted, can have marked impacts on well-being. An appreciation of this opens up new geographical research agendas with respect to the built form, public health, and governance.
[Image by Cornell University Library via Flickr]
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kinect Sports sets Guinness Record of 10,000+ Simultaneously ExerGaming

Over the weekend, through Xbox Live and Kinect Sports, 10,539 online pals set the Guinness World Record for 'The Largest Online 100 Metre Sprint'. This is exactly the type of events we need to do to promote healthier and more active lifestyle and is the largest Massively Mulitplayer ExerGaming (MMEG) so far - but it is definitely not the last.

Points 2 Ponder (P2P)
  • What do you do to get people to be more active and have fun?
  • What exergaming event would you like to see attempted next?
Source: Microsoft Kinect shatters hyper-specific Guinness world record

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's in the eyes! Screen-time & PA effects on health (study)

Child's PlayImage by Rishi Menon via FlickrAlInfluence of Physical Activity and Screen Time on the Retinal Microvasculature in Young Children

  • n=1765 (boys), n=2238 (girls)
  • Age ~ 6years old
  • Parent-completed surveys
  • Eye tests (retinal images, retinal vessel meaurements)

  • Children who spent more time outside had better eye health (microvasculuture)
  • Children who spent more time watching TV had poorer eye health
  • Each hour daily of TV viewing, is associated with a 10-mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure.
Lead author Gopinath was quoted saying:
"Replacing one hour a day of screen time with physical activity could be effective in buffering the effects of sedentariness on the retinal microvasculature in children. Free play should be promoted and schools should have a mandatory two hours a week in physical activity for children."

Physical activity enhances endothelial function and increases blood flow resulting in enhanced nitric oxide production, which has a positive effect on the linings of blood vessels (Euekalert).

Click here for more studies involving screen-time in the ExerGame Lab archives. 

Gopinath B, Baur LA, Wang JJ, Hardy LL, Teber E, Kifley A, Wong TY, & Mitchell P (2011). Influence of physical activity and screen time on the retinal microvasculature in young children. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, 31 (5), 1233-9 PMID: 21508347
Abstract after the break...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Energy expended by boys playing Exergames (study)

Wii BoyImage by SeeBeeW via Flickr
This paper was completed several years ago as a report for Sport and Recreation New Zealand but its always good to see the published paper. Energy Expenditure and Enjoyment During Nintendo® Wii Active Video Games (AVG): How do they compare to other sedentary and physical activities?

  • within-subjects design,  n=26 (boys), ~ 11 years old
  • Categorized into ‘non-users’ (NU), ‘non-frequent users’ (NF) or ‘frequent users’ (FU)
  • Played Wii games (bowl, box, tennis, ski, step) for 8 minutes
  • 60-190% EE increase above rest
  • NSD between walking and AVG (Ski, box, step)
  • AVG not intense enough to contribute to 60 minutes of daily MVPA
Points 2 Ponder (P2P)
  • Given the following statement about intensity, it would have been nice to see a table of the differences of the three groups (NU, NF, FU).
    • "EE during all AVGs was significantly less than EE 
    • during self-paced running. This suggests that even the mostactive AVGs are still performed at a relatively low intensity (≤3 METs) compared to traditional weight baring exercise." (pg 133)
    • Although it was noted "The frequency of AVG game play had no effect on metabolic responses during sedentary activities, walking and running or any AVG."
  • If participants played with peers, would that have changed the outcomes?
  • Were they allowed to choose their own level of play?
White K, Schofield G, & Kilding AE (2011). Energy expended by boys playing active video games. Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia, 14 (2), 130-134 PMID: 20810313

Abstract: can be found after the break:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chromaroma: Gamifying London Transport

GLobal view with Station pop up marker
Chromaroma Small
Chromaroma has made a game of the entire London transport system using its Oyster Card (London’s public transport smart card). Playing in this really well connected subway system ARG, it has taken a notoriously poor place for mobile or GPS reception and made it work using existing technology.

Go on missions and get achievement points, capture stations and set records as you conquer (Tube, bus or cycle) London in a whole new way.

[Via Digital Buzz Blog: Chromaroma: Gamifying London Transport; Images via wearemudlark photostream]

Chromaroma from Mudlark on Vimeo.
Related articles
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Novint's Ultimate FPS Motion Gaming Rig

Novint just revealed its yet to be named dream product mash-up "Self contained, Virtual Reality, Gaming and Training System."  Looking at Tom Anderson (tomlucient Novint's CEO) demo the setup, I can't help but think that all of these products have been featured here (ExerGame Lab) over the past 3 years. I can see the comments and discussion boards already lighting up with excitement and anticipation for its commercialization. Get ready to really feel like to "Be in the game!"



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Centrum Getting Fit (Wii)

In a cross promotion that was bound to happen, Centrum and Nintendo has partnered to promote Centrum's Get Fit initiative where people are encouraged to enter to win a Wii Fit Plus package.

We've already seen partnerships in terms of Nintendo and the American Heart Association endorsing Wii Fit and Wii Sports Resort. That partnership cumulated in the “The Power of Play: Innovations in Getting Active”  summit in January. I was lucky enough to have been invited to speak about the potential games have to be a Gateway Game towards a physically active lifestyle. Below is the video I presented as part of my talk. Thanks again to all the organizers and speakers for such an awesome summit and I look forward to the Report Out.

[Via Nintendo & Centrum Centrum Get Fit]

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kinect Sports: Calorie Challenge Food Fights Back (DLC)

In announcing their new nutrition-themed DLC, makers of Kinect Sports (Rare Studios) are taking a different stance on using food to be your opponents. To play the challenges, you need to beat your opponents like Blazing Banana and Mighty Milk over a given time period. You compete against the food as each food mascot represents a calorie goal to burn.

This add-on will cost 320 Microsoft Points, is available on April 29, and comes with a series of food items to take on, such as:

  • Blazing Banana (92 calories)
  • Chocolate Challenger (416 calories)
  • Mighty Milk (198 calories)
  • Peppy Pizza (302 calories)
  • Steady Celery (25 calories)
  • Supersonic Soda (133 calories)

Points 2 Ponder:

  • At first I wasn't a fan of "fighting" and competing against foods - especially the healthy ones. But on second thought, nutrition knowledge is at such an all-time low, if kids who don't know anything about the USDA's Nutrition Guidelines, and they know that a banana is 92 least that's a start.  Gotta check to see if a banana is 92 calories.  That seems close but I'll check.
  • Did the designers use calories from a standard nutrition chart?
  • 302 calories for pepperoni pizza seems a little low considering the size and content of many popular slices of pie.
  • You can play against your friends on Xbox Live but I'm not sure what that will look like. Will your friend be their own avatar or that of the food mascot?
Wouldn't It Be Cool (WIBC)
  • It would be great to have a customizable set of game details to include other nutritional components (fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sodium, etc..)
  • Imagine if you could QR code the food you ate during the day and fight the food you ate.  Now that would be a really cool way to learn about energy balance.
  • If these stats and time working out on Kinect could be exported to another profile aggregator (Raptr) there might be a nice built piece to build on for the National Active Gaming League.

[Via Arstechnica: Kinect Sports: Calorie Challenge makes you fight your food; Photos via Joystiq]
Rare's blog and press release after the break:

Got the Muchchies after gaming? (study)

We don't often think about the foods we eat or the volume we consume.  Researchers from EORI in Canada and Danish collaborators conducted a clinical trial to examine the effects video game playing has on appetite and caloric intake.


  • within-subjects design
  • n=22
  • 15-19 years old
  • excluded regular exercisers


  • When given a meal (ad libitum) to eat after playing for an hour, participants consumed on average 80 kcal more than when in the control setting (sitting in a chair).
    • Although 80 kcals doesn't seem like a lot, "eating only 50 additional calories a day — an apple, for instance — will pack on 28 extra kilograms (62 pounds) over 10 years, said Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput, the lead author." As quoted in the National Post.
  • The increase in caloric intake occurred without a corresponding increase in appetite or sensation of hunger.

Points 2 Ponder (P2P)
  • Do different game genres illicit different responses?
  • Participants only played FIFA 09. Was the study delimited to novive FIFA 09 players or novice game players?
  • How often and for how long did these teens play video games and what types?
  • If they were new to the game, of course there would be more anxiety and increases in cardiovascular responses. 
  • If they were novice game players on that system (Xbox 360), using the game controller is a series of complex motor control tasks, which can certainly cause anxiety and increases to cardiovascular responses,
  • I like this statement on page 5-6 "Future research should include novel brain imaging techniques during video game play in an attempt to identify brain areas that might be linked to increased spontaneous food intake."
Chaput, J., Visby, T., Nyby, S., Klingenberg, L., Gregersen, N., Tremblay, A., Astrup, A., & Sjodin, A. (2011). Video game playing increases food intake in adolescents: a randomized crossover study American Journal of Clinical Nutrition DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.110.008680

Check out after the break for more details:

ExerGamer Hands Looks to "Push-Up" into ExerGaming Market

Stay with me on this newly released product called the ExerGamer. So from what I can gather this device with the hand switches and cables attached to your chest essentially act as a joystick/keyboard arrows to "play" your game on a PC. You can either play your games in the push-up position or standing and moving around the ExerGamer "base". I guess the idea is to reposition your hands and body according to your pre-mapped positions.

*BTW - Don't watch the video if you want to know how to play the ExerGamer (6:30 minutes)

Apparently he is also preparing an Exergamer App Store to distribute any games they accept and share 80% of profits with the developers.

Points 2 Ponder:

  • It reads that "vertical movements...[are] comparable to the pressing and releasing of a joystick trigger or left mouse button". 
    • So does that mean in essence doing a push-up?  
    • To shoot or use your trigger you need to do a push-up? 
    • If you were standing up, would you have to jump to use the trigger, left-mouse?
    • Games would be over pretty quickly for any shooting game.
  • I like the customizability of the JS Mapper software as it allows for multiple user preferences and abilities.
  • Being in the plank position for any amount of time is difficult, but having to also look at your laptop on the floor while playing and moving around in your game, essentially forces your neck into an awkward hyper-extended position....ouch.
  • I think it is also seems a little uncomfortable having to do push-ups, move around then have to pick-up your Exergamer Hands and re-position them without leaving the push-up position.
  • I'd like to try the ExerGamer to see how it works. I know the movements would be a fantastic workout, but I worry about the effect on the games and the enjoyment levels.

Click below to read more from the ExerGamer website.

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