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Archive for December, 2009

EA Sports Active Uses the term “Gateway”

December 28, 2009 By: Biray Category: Be in the Game 1 Comment →

EA Sports Active

I was watching TV the other night when a commercial for EA Sports Active came on. Now, EA Sports Active launched in early 2009 and continues to build its community and workout options for its consumers. So the commercial was no surprise. However, I noticed something in its marketing that was slightly different than how other exergames or active game products are being promoted. During the commercial, the voice-over actually stated that this game was “a gateway to an active lifestyle” (or something to that effect). In other words, THEY USED THE WORD GATEWAY!

You’re probably wondering why this is a big deal. I’ll tell you.

For the longest time one of the major criticisms of exergaming (especially from the fitness professionals) was that it could never replace ‘real’ or ‘traditional’ exercise. This argument came at a time when researchers were studying the physiological responses of game play (primarily in terms of energy expenditure) and comparing them to traditional cardiovascular exercises. While these comparisons were only meant to validate exergames as a viable form of physical activity, fitness pros were skeptical in promoting these games that were, in essence, doing trying to do their jobs.

Exergame evangelists and researchers knew that exergames were not the same as ‘traditional exercise’, but somehow this idea was diluting, if not, discrediting the exergaming industry. So, in health conferences, game conferences and games for health conferences, people started to emphasize the terms “gateway effect” as one of the effects of exergames – as if to say, these games helped build confidence and self-efficacy with those who may otherwise never try typical fitness activities. Hence, exergames have a gateway effect to an active lifestyle.

I imagine when marketers create a campaign for exergames, they are focused more on selling product than developing a lifestyle. I doubt they’ll ever say “come try our product for a while so you can build the confidence to go do other activities and in turn stop using our product”. Hencewhy the term ‘gateway’ may not be applicable in this arena. Unless… unless the gateway is to other activities or games that the company also provides.

So, when I heard the EA Sports Active’s commercial insert the term ‘gateway’ into their commercial (albeit ever-so subtly and in the middle portion of the commercial), I was caught off-guard. Because by saying that it means two things: 1) Someone on their marketing team certainly has their pulse on the exergaming scene – maybe they are sending people out to various conferences, etc. and 2) EA Sports is expanding their services beyond just their games, to build an active brand and community so people who are ‘gateway’ing into an active lifestyle are doing so with EA Sports Active by their side.

Exergame Experts wish you “healthy holidays” with Video Games

December 21, 2009 By: Biray Category: Be in the Game 1 Comment →

(Re-Blogged with permission by The Exergame Network)

The holiday season is always a health rollercoaster. We eat too much, watch too much TV and exercise too little and then make New Years resolutions that we can’t keep. This year, make a change with Exergaming. The Exergame Network (TEN) reveals five ways of getting fit with video games, perfect for school kids to silver gamers with fun as the focus!

The good news for these holidays is you can over-indulge in fitness and fun by Exergaming. Exergaming is the combination of video games and exercise, ideal for a fun, social way to keep fit during the festive period. The Exergame Network brings you five Exergaming methods to suit everyone regardless of their age, ability or fitness level.

Most health and fitness resolutions revolve around dieting and joining a gym, but this doesn’t work for everyone. So what about the rest of us, those that dislike gyms, dieting, boot camps or just find conventional fitness boring?

idancekidsExergaming succeeds because it makes exercise fun and involving. The exercise seems less difficult and second to the enjoyment of playing. Choosing the right style of Exergaming is vital in making it fun for you! The following CREWS list is a ’something for everyone’ selection from five Exergaming catagories (for an interactive tour visit CREWS ):

1. Camera Exergaming – Your whole body becomes the controller as your movements are motion captured into the game (Eyetoy:Kinetic/Groove/Antigrav, Your Shape, Project Natal & Trazer 2)

2. Rhythm Exergaming – Become the musician or dancer and be guided by the music while the exergame records your dance steps or your musical timing. (Rock Band, Guitar Hero, We Cheer, DDR & iDANCE)

3. Exergaming Machines – Using real fitness equipment, the fun of the games takes your mind of the exercise. (Gamercize, Gamebike, Fitclub, GameCycle, BrainBike & Expresso Bikes)

4. Workout Exergaming – Follow your virtual personal trainer as they guide you through your workout giving feedback on your form and storing your progress. (EA Sports Active, The Biggest Loser, Your Shape and Wii Fit Plus)

5. Sensory Exergaming – These commercial exergames get you jumping and running for your score. (Lightspace Play, Makoto, BodyPad: Tekken 5, SmartUs & TWall)

T.E.N. reminds you to think of ‘CREWS’ as an amazing way to engage, motivate and sustain exercise over your lifetime! To discover more about Exergaming, get practical advice and more information from TEN or connect with us on twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook . Now enjoy what some of the leaders on Exergaming have to say and how Exergaming can truly benefit everyone!

“Exergaming Machines are a time saving way to keep me fit. Last week I clocked up over 9 hours of genuine cardio, just by playing the latest Xbox release! It is important that everyone finds the Exergaming method that works for them, if you enjoy the activity there’s more chance of keeping at it and reaching the fitness benefits. Nothing kept in the back of the cupboard will improve health.” Richard Coshott, Gamercize Founder and CEO.

“People who normally don’t like to be physically active are willing to try Exergaming because it’s FUN. Parents tell me that this is the first time they’ve seen their kids sweat this much…and they don’t want to stop playing the exergames! Exergaming is the best intervention for the “couch potato”, and introduces physical activity that’s fun for the first time in their lives.” Ernie Medina, Jr., DrPH, CHFS, preventive care specialist, Beaver Medical Group; CEO & “Exergaming Evangelist”, MedPlay Technologies.

“In Physical Education, we strive to provide a safe and positive learning environment that supports the needs and abilities of our students. Exergaming, in its many forms, is available in schools (before and after-school), at home, and in the community and thus has the potential to impact students.” Stephen Yang, Ph.D-ABD, M.S., B.S., Co-Director ExerGame Lab, Assistant Professor, State University of New York College at Cortland.

“Exergaming offers an alternative method of increasing heart-rate and building muscle bulk for those with disabilities. Real-world boxing, for example, offers an excellent aerobic workout for many able-bodied individuals, however is impossible for many with disabilities. Video-game based boxing, however, allows for simulated boxing with an avatar that is safe and achievable, while simultaneously being aerobically challenging. ” Sheryl Flynn PT, PhD, Co-Founder Games4Rehab.com.

ABOUT THE EXERGAME NETWORK (T.E.N.)

TEN is a not-for-profit and non-affiliated Games for Health advocacy promoting an active and healthy lifestyle by combining video games technologies and exercise, known as Exergaming. Exergaming is proving to be an excellent way to increase motivation, energy expenditure and overall fitness. TEN is a collaboration of dedicated health and fitness practitioners, exergame developers, researchers and clinicians, health and fitness entrepreneurs and passionate individuals devoted to highlighting the best solutions offered by exergaming.