Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Laser tag video game?

Wow, Ubisoft takes a jump and brings back an oldie but goodie, laser tag, in the form of a video game! Thx to Dr. Stephen Yang for posting this on his blog (see his link in my fav links sidebar).

Play laser tag outdoors (FPS, Survival mode) or anywhere you want or even biatholon using Ubisoft's newest exergame - Battle Tag. At E3 last night, the unveiled exergaming's newest entry into an ever changing user interface market. In how Ubisoft describes Battle Tag as the first Live Shooter Game (LSG), the infrared (IR) lasers have a 70 meter range while the pc base needs to stay within a range of 300 meters in order to keep track of the game using the UbiConnect antennae. You can pick up health, ammunition, or objective packs to keep your game going and they are scanned using the RFID sensors placed in both the gun and packs. This is somewhat reminiscent of Hyper Dash, Hyper Jump, Animal Scramble from Wild Entertainment and an FRID toy called Swinxs that is finally available in the US. It would be neat to test all three systems to compare what kids like about each system. If you know someone that can get us a test kit - please get in touch with me at

Other features include:

  • UbiConnect Game Master program & antennae
  • Up to 8 players can play together (4 v 4)
  • User-generated data shared with Battle Tag community
  • Laser sensing vests
  • Voice prompting from Game Master transmitted via the laser gun's speakers

Exergaming Benefits

  • Physical activity (primarily cardiovascular) away from a console.
  • If most of the movements are near maximal and in short bursts, it could be one of the elusive exergames that elicit the vigorous intensity level that has shown to have excellent health benefits.
  • Choice of many types of games and challenges.
  • Social interaction with peers while playing and after receiving results.
  • Strategies (individual and group) and group dynamics.
  • Problem-solving during game-play.

Exergaming Concerns

  • If we really want the kids to get outdoors, they probably should focus on making this game/ type of exergame a mobile-based system (think Jogging at Distance) or one that can leave the range of UbiConnect and continue to be able play. Similar to some wireless real-time heart-rate monitors that leave the base range and continue to collect data - then when you get back in range, the data is streamed to the base.
  • Tethered to the UbiConnect base (300m).
  • "Shooting" / using humans as targets.
  • Batteries and charging system.


  • Any haptic feedback in vest or gun?
  • GPS / mobile systems in development?
  • Customizable games and features?
  • Language packs?

Release date Holiday Season 2010. In know what I'm going to ask Santa for this Christmas:-) Tag On!

center;width:480px;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:12px;color:#FF9B00;">Xbox 360 Games - E3 2010 - Battle Tag

Los Angeles, USA – June 14, 2010 –Today live at the E3 exposition in Los Angeles, Ubisoft demonstrated a unique new brand of video game toys. The new UbiConnectTM brand brings video games and toys together to offer an immersive and innovative game experience. The brand launches in holiday 2010 with its first product, Battle TagTMa real shooter game that can be played between friends anywhere – at home or outside.
Battle Tagcombines the best of two worlds: a laser tag game and a shooter video game. Using unique real world accessories, players will be able to recharge and increase their life points. The PC will act as a Game Master, challenging players and keeping track of scores between teams. Players will also be able to download new content, create their own content and share with their friends and the Battle Tagcommunity.
“Today’s children grow up with video games and accept them as a part of their play time,” said Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer at Ubisoft. “UbiConnect brings together video games and physical toys, allowing players to play the game both at and away from a video screen.”
Battle Tagis a social, physical and fun experience that brings the interactivity of video games into real life using real world toys and accessories. Battle Tag will launch across North America during this fiscal year.
For more information on Battle Tag, please visit:

E3 Exergaming Highlights

6-23-10: Back from vacation, checking out the highlights from E3. Here's one called Kinect Adventures (Kinect is the new name for Natal, MS's 3D camera).

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Every body has a brain

6-5-10: This was a session at Games for Health...check out the videos!

Every Body Has a Brain, Karen Littman, Morphonix. 
This session will focus on lessons learned and techniques used developing Every Body Has a Brain, an interactive musical brain game and web site designed to increase interest in and knowledge about the brain among 4-6 year olds. It is the third in a series of award-winning neuroscience video games developed by Morphonix LLC and funded by grants from The National Institute of Mental Health's Small Business Innovation Research Program. Creating videogames for 4-6 year olds is challenging. Designers must remember to think like a kid in order to create engaging games. Many 4-6 year olds have never used a computer. Issues like navigation and how to word instructions to meet the developmental needs of the children must be addressed. Participants will learn about Morphonix’ design process, which includes a group of 4-6 year old advisors. They’ll see parts of Every Body has a Brain, hear examples of original songs that introduce each learning objective, and see video footage of the design team in action.

"I posted Videos shown at my session, Every Body Has a Brain on our YouTube channel since they were too big to upload to slide share. There are 5 short videos posted.  The links follow with the description of the session. Great conference!"
Karen Littman

NASA's Challenge

6-5-10: Just rec'd the following from our games for health listserve:

The following request for a written proposal describing a virtual exercise program has $20k award associated with it:

"NASA is looking for a system that augments the exercise experience and captures psychological and physiological measures while the individual crew member is participating in prescribed exercise regimens. This virtual, interactive system will serve as a countermeasure by enhancing the exercise experience.

This is a Theoretical Challenge which requires a written proposal only. The Solver will propose a system that meets the requirements and justify it with arguments and relevant references. Evidence that the proposed system will work (from previous applications, existing data, literature, etc.) will be very important. The proposal will be evaluated on a theoretical basis considering the current state of the art knowledge."
Take care,