Monday, June 30, 2008

"Exergaming's enjoyable engagement effect"

6-30-08: In doing a tel. interview with a reporter from a Va newspaper, she asked a question about why exergaming works and I came up with that phrase. It's what separates watching TV while working out on a treadmill, in my mind.

Any thoughts? Comments?

Seniors play Wii

6-30-08: Another local story about seniors playing Wii and getting into exergaming! There's a reference about the county setting up seniors centers with exergaming--that's us! Check out the article here at the Sun.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Exergaming in the news!

6-28-08: This past week, XRTZ was featured for a 2nd time on Fox 11 news. Check out this news segment, featuring both kids and seniors into exergaming.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tournament at E for All

6-25-08: E for All is what took the place of E3 and is held in October. It's open to the general public as well. Look what I found--they are hosting tournaments! Think it's too late to include some XRGaming tournaments??? We can try! Check out the press release and E for All's website and let's see if we can do this.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New equipment; on Fox News again!

6-24-08: We recently just put in some new games in the Zone. Come in and check it out!

The first thing we recently added was this stepper called the Gamercize Pro Stepper. Richard Coshott, out of the UK, is the founder of Gamercize and definitely "European Exergaming Evangelist"! Here you see one of our senior staffers, Vicky, trying it out. We'll report back in a little bit to see how the response is to it.
Another game that we just got installed yesterday is called "Dogfight", a flight simulator combined with a recumbent bike. Check out their website, Electronic Sports and see a demo video of how it works. It's a blast! I played it this AM against Joel and within a minute or so, he blasted me out of the air and I had to eject and parachute to safety.

Here's a shot of Joel and his daughter, Cassie, putting it though it's paces.
A close of up what Cassie is seeing on this huge screen. You use the handles to turn and bank your plane.

Joe Dean is the creator of this cool game and it's being developed in the beautiful island of Cebu, Philippines. We are fortunate to be the 2nd facility in the US to have a pair, and will give it a good workout here in the Zone. Here, Joe and Joel are doing a dogfight.

The crew, all the way from the Philippines, pose for one final shot before they head to Utah for some R & R.

Both games are connected to the Internet, allowing for online competition with players anywhere in the world. Hopefully, we'll soon have competitions with players from other states and countries!

We'll be utilizing both of these games, along with the Wii Fit and other games, in our upcoming 3rd Annual XRGames in August, so stay tuned!

In other XRTZ news, we are making progress on our first extension location, the Drayson Center, Loma Linda University's fitness center. Here you can see the display we have at the entrance promoting the summer day camp and the July Grand Opening, and the 2nd picture is where this will be located (behind the wall). We're excited about this collaboration, not only to bring exergaming to more people, but to also further research in medicine at LLU. (The Drayson Center is my regular gym where I play r-ball, lift weights, and swim, so I'll be able to check in on this on a regular basis.)

Finally, XRTZ was featured on Ch. 11 Fox News last night and this AM! Joel Tivo'd it and we'll soon have the segment on our website. They did a great job on the piece in getting our message out there, and if you notice my voice, you're not hearing things--it does sound strange because I was just getting over a head cold! (This was shot shortly after I had returned from my 5th conference in 6 weeks and it finally caught up to me.)

Jillian Michaels to make Wii fitness game!

6-24-08: Jillian Michaels, one of the trainers on "The Biggest Loser", has teamed up with Majesco to make a Wii fitness game! Check out the article. Does anyone know or have a connection with Jillian? That's awesome she's doing this!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

As E3 approaches...

6-21-08: As E3 approaches, I'm excited because I'm hoping to rub shoulders with the likes of EA and Ubisoft, 2 companies who have recently been quoted as saying that, "Health games are here for the foreseeable future." (Tony Key, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, Ubisoft) and EA Sports president Peter Moore said, "Health and fitness is an area where I want to see EA Sports be a leader...I think we can play in this space."

(You can read the full article here: MSN Tech and Gadgets)

Wow! What an opportunity for Games for Health, people! If you're going to E3, we should plan a strategy so when we meet these company leaders, we can help them "play in this space" of games for health. We know what we want and need!

Again, I'm saying this as a healthcare professional, not a gamer, because I'm not a gamer! (A frequent confession I make since many think I'm a hardcore gamer, being the exergaming evangelist and all. I still don't own a game console, with the exception of the DS Light, thanks to a friend at Golin Harris. ;-) I'd like to be more of a gamer, but right now, playing video games is in the same category as golf--I love to do both, but just don't have the time right now!

Those of us in healthcare, fitness, and sports medicine, are looking for new tools to motivate people to eat right and exercise, reduce their stress, and quit smoking. We saw examples of games at our recent Games for Health conf., and hopefully at next year's conference, we'll see even more samples of games for health!

So we need to start NOW in helping these game developer companies head in this direction. Maybe EA Sports and Ubisoft will open up a "Games for Health" division which would bring in healthcare/fitness professionals to work with game developers so that they could develop some really cool games for health.

If you aren't able to make it to E3, but have some ideas, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm planning on going to all 2 or 3 days, having taken off work from my day job at the clinic to go to these sessions. I have no idea how the new E3 format is compared to when it was more open, so we'll see what I can do there.

Will update on this post-E3. so stay tuned!

"New" trend called exergaming?

6-21-08: Happened to see this CNN report on the Wii Fit and got a nice chuckle on the caption on this "new trend called exergaming" while they talked about the Wii Fit. Check it out!

BTW, what brought me here was the video by pastor's's hilarious! Check it out as well at: Pastors wives speak out!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day at the G4H conf, thru the eyes of...

...yours truly! Thanks to the G4H organizers, Ben Sawyer and Beth Bryant, for having the faith in me to pull something off like this. I didn't know it was finished till I happened on the RWJF website and found it!

It's interesting to see how it was all edited down to a few minutes--after shooting from 7:30 AM till 5:30 PM. This was one conf. day where I couldn't nod off one wink--not with the camera taping the whole time (except when I went to the restroom and had lunch).

For those of you who were there, you saw it in the making. For those of you who weren't, enjoy the first day of the G4H conference through the eyes of the Exergaming Evangelist. ;-)

For those who know me well, they know I'm into these kinds of projects, though I'm more comfortable BEHIND the lens, rather than in front of it. If I had known all that it entailed, I might have said, "No way!" but nevertheless, I learned a lot from the crew that I can bring back to my own Spicy Curry Productions.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience, working with the crew, and having this chance to share a day at our G4H conference. ;-)

TIME on Supersized Kids!

6-17-08: Our June 23 issue of TIME magazine came in our mail today, and guess what was the cover story? Pediatric obesity! It's a special health issue so if you don't get this, go out and get it!

On page 110, they gave "10 Tips" on how to get kids to move.
Of course, as usual, Tip #1 was about "unplugging"...

...but then Tip #4 mentioned DDR and the Wii...but that's it!!!
They needed a WHOLE ARTICLE on the exploding field of exergaming with all kinds of exciting pictures. Here's my letter that I wrote to them. We'll see if they print it!

Dear Time Magazine,

Thanks for putting out this special health issue on "Our super-sized kids", especially in light of the recent news that obesity rates in certain age groups are beginning to level off. This is not the time to be backing off and patting ourselves on the back for there is still much to be done.

At the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in 2006, I heard the then US Surgeon General Richard Carmona say that, "...the greatest threat to our national security is pediatric obesity." Why? Because every aspect of our society--healthcare, financial, workforce, retirement, military, etc.--will be negatively impacted which means we will all feel the effects of this epidemic.

While there was a lot of great information and practical advice on what to do, I wish there was more (than the one sentence mentioning DDR and the Wii) on the exploding movement called "exergaming" that is now being utilized to reach this high tech generation of kids who need it most and has attracted the likes of the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, which last November announced $8.2 million dollars in grant money for games for health research. (They just recently announced their first 12 recipients of this funding.)

On the RWJF website, exergaming facilities such as the XRtainment Zone demonstrate that healthcare (including health insurance) and video games can be powerful allies in empowering kids and their families to adopt a healthier lifestyle and get the outcomes we need to reverse this epidemic.