Exergaming
What is Exergaming?:
Exergaming refers to any game or any gaming platform that is also a form of exercise. The majority of Exergames rely on a motion-tracking system that tracks the users movements while others utilize physical devices such as touch pads and cameras. Unlike traditional games where people would just sit and play they can now enjoy many of the same games they played with a controller with physical exercise. Exergaming isn't just a form of exercise it is a type of virtual reality that offers users a healthy form of entertainment.

Why do we need Exergaming?:
Many studies in the past have showed video games to be a culprit with the growing obesity rate due to more time being spent on the playing games than exercising, Exergaming understands that gaming can be addictive and that the virtual world can be more enjoyable at times than the real world so the solution is simple, Exergaming offers a healthy way to to play countless hours of video games. With Exergaming video games will not be a problem to obesity but rather a solution. Exergames keep the mind engaged while the body is moving and offer a alternative to both traditional video games and boring old traditional exercise. Exergaming proves to be beneficial to all age groups especially children. Many retirement homes are using Exergames to keep the elderly exercising, depending on a persons interests there is a Exergame for everyone from sports games to hobbies.

The Future of Exergaming:
Exergaming is growing in the gaming industry and is becoming more popular and interactive. With the upcoming release of the new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One the current PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect will get an upgrade giving users a more rich interactive experience and a bigger selection of Exergames. Along with the traditional consoles many other devices and platforms are being created that will utilize Exergames, for example the Oculus Rift which is a virtual reality headset that is being developed to be used along with the PC and its games, the headset will replace the mouse on a computer and instead of moving your mouse you will be moving your head to view the in game world. In its current state it doesn't offer much in exercise but it will open many doors for Exergames.

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Another technology that is being developed for Exergaming is the Virtuix Omni, which is basically a treadmill for gaming. The Omni will be used along side the Oculus Rift and will offer users a new way to move around and interact in a virtual world.


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How can we use Exergaming?
Each game may have a different objective, but the goal is the same. Get people up and active. I think it's a genre that will really catch on.


Systems:
There are currently three systems that utilize motion tracking controls: the Nintendo Wii, the Xbox Kinect, and the Playstation Move. Let's discuss each of these systems.

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Nintendo Wii

Nintendo Wii
  • The Nintendo Wii released on November 19, 2006.
  • It was the first current generation console released to include motion controls.
  • It features a controller called a WiiMote that connects wirelessly with the Wii. It detects movement in three dimensions using accelerometer and optical sensor technology.
  • The ability of motion control has paved the way for games such as Wii Sports and Wii Fit.
  • This console was the first of it's generation to get people up off the couch and moving around.

Notable Wii Exergames:



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Xbox Kinect
  • The Xbox Kinect released on November 4, 2010.
  • It is a peripheral that is added on to the Xbox 360 and will be on the Xbox One.
  • It is similar to a webcam and utilizes motion sensing technology to locate the users movement.
  • It allows the user to interact with the console without having to actually touch anything.
  • This ability to track movement without having to hold a controller really opens the door for exergaming.

Notable Kinect Exergames:


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Playstation Move


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Playstation Move
  • The Playstation Move released September 17, 2010.
  • It is a peripheral added on to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
  • The system utilizes a webcam and a handheld motion controller wand. The webcam tracks the position of the illuminated ball on top of the controller.
  • The Move performs similarly to the Wii.

Notable Move Exergames:




Web Resources:

http://www.comm.ucsb.edu/faculty/lieberman/exergames.htm
http://www.exergamefitness.com/
http://www.pediatricsdigest.mobi/content/124/2/763.full


Exergaming Systems:
Xbox Kinect
Nintendo Wii
Playstation Move

Citations/References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exergaming
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinect
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playstation_move
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_Fit
http://www.comm.ucsb.edu/faculty/lieberman/exergames.htm
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28801/Study_Shows_EA_Sports_Active_Effective_Exercise_Program.php
http://www.megatechnews.com/virtuix-omni-makes-virtual-reality-gaming-a-real-reality-video/
http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/exercises/the-benefits-of-exergaming-for-kids.html
http://www.joystiq.com/tag/exergaming/


Images:
Wii
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Wii Fit in use.
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Track your weight loss progress with Wii Fit.
Kinect
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Working out with Kinect.
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Playing volleyball on Kinect.
Move
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People playing with Move.
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Zumba on Playstation Move.
Videos:

UFC Personal Trainer for Kinect in action:
http://youtu.be/c0S_Hjy9QtY