Monday, February 7, 2011

Get Active with Video Games!

Andrew DiRienzo (left) and Jake Knier (right) teach us how to "Jerk"
Video games have come a LONG way since the days of Atari. As technology and lifestyles changed, so did our video games! So it should be no surprise to see more and more video games incorporating fitness and movement onto their platforms. More and more people these days want to lose weight and become more active but some may find it tough to fit in a work out with busy schedules. Others may not want to pay an expensive gym membership fee and be surrounded by strangers looking at them while they work up a sweat. All gaming companies have some kind of movement branded to their name. Who ever says video games are a bad thing for children... well they're just looking at the wrong types of games!

        Nintendo's Wii was the pioneer you could say to bring about motion in the gaming world. Using the Nunchuk and Wii remote gives players the ability to box, golf, swing a baseball pat, play tennis, and even shoot hoops! With games such as Wii sports and other great titles, users use the controllers to play the games. Depending on the game will determine how much moving you do! I personally have the Wii and with games such as Mario Galaxy and Zelda, you really don't do much moving at all. Other games like Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit, these games really incorporate the whole body. Wii Fit users use a balance board remote and allows them track BMI, work on balance and stability and create work outs based on what you want. Another very popular game on the Wii is Just Dance and Just Dance 2. Both are outstanding and really gets the heart rate up! Users pick different songs and follow the onscreen dancer. Do the dance steps correctly to earn points! It's a great party game and just an over all great fitness game! The Wii is great for anyone of any age, so challenge a friend, become committed and you'll see the results on the scale and in your attitude!
        In addition to the Wii, Nintendo has also incorporated movement with their hand held, the Nintendo DS. Motion gaming is not as popular on the handheld devices but if you're a fan of Pokemon like me then you'll appreciate this next part. Nintendo re-released a remake of Pokemon Gold and Silver. These remakes came bundled with what they like to call a PokeWalker. A PokeWalker is a device that is much like a pedometer. It tracks the users step count and gives them "watts". These "watts" are used to catch different Pokemon, find items and play mini games on all this little device that either goes in your pocket or clips on your waist. This may seem like nothing but it's just another way Nintendo is trying to get more children active and fit obesity. Now let's look at XBOX.

         XBOX recently just released it's KINECT for the BOX 360. The KINECT is a sleek black bar that does a full body scan. It has no controllers because YOU become the controller. With swipes and various movements you can access just about anything. It also has a great feature that allows the user to set his or her face as a sign in for XBOX Live. The KINECT scans your face and if it isn't you then it won't allow you to continue. The KINECT works with all new sleek style XBOX 360's. My brother and myself purchased an XBOX 360 and Kinect bundle package for about 300 which included a new game. We also purchased a game Dance Central. Little did I know the work out I was in store for! It's a steep price but it's well worth it. My brother and I have spent countless, sweaty hours on this game just trying to mimic the dances. My dear mother who does not like games let alone moving in front of people plays this game with us! My GRANDMOTHER even plays this game! The only down side to this system is that not all the games are as fun, some games I feel lack a bit of excitement but besides this minor complaint I love the KINECT! The other game that came in the bundle was also a lot of fun to play with our friends and got us jumping, hitting, smacking, covering holes and a whole bunch more! Click below to watch how the KINECT works and see just how involved the user is!

This is a video from MightyMeCreative on YouTube

        Last but not least brings us to SONY and the PlayStation Move! What SONY offers is very similar to Nintendo's Wii. The Playstation Move has a primary motion controller which has a bulb at the end of it with various colors such as blue, red, green, etc. which runs about $50. In addition to this controller you'll need the secondary controller which runs about $40 and an eye camera.You can get all of these devices in a bundle for around $100. The camera reads the bulb and mimics your movements on the screen. I can honestly say this is the only motion gaming system I have not tried but to be honest I've never been a huge SONY fan! It's a great system for the whole family and there's many packages you can purchase for this but on the flip side there is a lot to set when it comes to this system. Also many other features take much longer to access then say something on a Wii or XBOX. I'd have to at least try it before I say anything negative about the actual games.  

        But there you have it folks! All the new motion gaming systems and what they can offer you! Which system do you feel would best fit you? Leave a comment and let me! Do you feel like Wii is better than all the systems out on the market leave a comment and let me know why! Don't stop learning after reading this post! Ask questions and keep learning! 

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