As we are becoming a nation of health conscious people, digital entertainment manufacturers have increased efforts to help align products with this realization. You see it predominately in the Wii and Xbox systems. It’s using your physical motions in order to increase your activity while playing games. Is this mode of entertainment realistic to becoming fit? Many would say so as they stand in front of their televisions on a daily basis.
Some games are more relaxed than others. However, some games are far more physically intensive. Games such as “Wipe-out” for the Xbox 360 can essentially wipe you out if you’re excessively out of shape. You may be hard pressed just to pass the first level. Considering the amount of physical activity that is rolled into these game consoles, could they be viewed as a legitimate style of exercise to promote a healthier living?
1. Selection – The selection of titles for all game systems utilizing a person’s physical movements is quite extensive. The Wii, for example, has thousands of titles to choose from. However, the Wii can be circumvented for exercise for most of the games can be completed sitting down. The Xbox Kinect games, however, are plentiful and most of these demand you are standing in order to play them.
2. Physical Movement – The games offered by these systems can be used as a great workout. Although you can sit to play most of the Wii games, putting the effort into standing and making the motions you need to play can get your heart racing. Generally speaking, any number of these games can be used to increase your physical movement throughout the day exponentially.
3. Motivation – While some of the game titles may not be appealing to you, there is quite a list of ones that could. The focus is to find entertainment that would motivate you to play. If you enjoy bowling, the Wii sports set could get you on your feet to play frame after frame. Movie to video game adaptations could engross you to continue the storyline as you are panting from a lack of oxygen. There is great possibility to find a game that can motivate you.
4. Family Oriented – A lot of the games that are available for these digital entertainment devices can be fun for the whole family. You can involve the children in a family competition in a variety of sports related or race oriented console games to get everyone moving their bodies. Staying fit isn’t merely for adults as children are faced with obesity on a regular basis developed partially by lack of exercise.
5. Online with Others – Many of the games that are available for these consoles are tailored to include the multiplayer experience by utilizing your Internet access. Essentially, you can subject yourself to some friendly competition with someone in another country. Furthermore, some of these games will allow the whole family to join in the competition against someone in another country simultaneously.
6. Actual Calisthenics – Although the gaming aspect of these consoles is ideal to the younger generation, there is software you can use with them that promotes actual exercising techniques. These programs work as if you were watching an exercise DVD, only the console will help you position yourself correctly during the process. Using the sensors, the Xbox can detect where your hands and feet are based on your profile when you first set it up.
7. At Home – Perhaps you are one of those people who would rather stay home than drive to a public aerobics studio. Perhaps the weather is too cold or rain prevents you from going outside. From the comfort and privacy of your own home, you can involve yourself in any number of physical activities to get your heart pumping.
8. Personal Bests – Specific games will offer a way to keep track of your physical progress. Some of these databases can be quite elaborate by showing you how many calories you’ve burned and what your physical age is estimated to be. This gives you a goal to work for as you try to beat your personal best physical performance within the game or activity.
9. Varying Difficulties – Depending on your physical requirements, these games can be adjusted for difficulty. The more difficult the settings are increased to, the more continuous movement you may experience. In some games such as “Kung Fu Panda 2” for the Xbox 360, increasing the arcade difficulty will increase the number of characters you have to fight each round. This builds stamina as you fight one after another.
10. All Ages – Everyone in the family can find a title that they would like to play. There are games ranging from easy storyline progression for toddlers, to more violent fighting games or sports for Dad. Everyone can put effort into becoming more fit from the game console.
The entertainment industry is working hard in order to provide a “controller-less” experience while playing games. Motion sensing technology is getting more and more efficient and a great deal of fun can be had from these consoles. Was it the intention to reduce the need for extra equipment in order to play a game, or are they realizing that the health revolution is happening and catering to a new demographic could boost sales? Regardless of the developers intentions, working out with your gaming console can promote a healthier lifestyle while providing you with entertainment in order to keep you motivated to keep playing.
Ken holds a master’s in business leadership from Upper Iowa University and multiple bachelor degrees from Grand View College. As president of morningsidenannies.com, Ken’s focus is helping Houston-based parents find the right childcare provider for their family. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his three children and his wife.