Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quick trip to San Diego!

3-30-11: Shortly after lunch, a friend, Megan, and I took a quick trip to San Diego to meet up with the large gathering of exergaming friends from around the world. They had just finished putting on one of the best exergaming workshops for all the PE folks at the AAHPERD annual conference that AM and were now relaxing at Lounge 6.

Before that, we visited Peter Newman's office to see some of his latest products. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pixs of our visit there so sorry about that!

Here are a few shots from our quick trip (got back after midnight last night!) yesterday....

Great seeing everyone, especially Brett from NZ! The next time I'll be seeing them is in Boston for Games for Health. Then, I'll be able to hang out with the gang longer!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Exergaming goes mobile!

Announcing Perpetual Motion Partner's' (PMP) first health game app! View the trailer and go to our website and sign up for the updates. You can also submit an idea for your own adventure trail!

We're trying to go viral and could use your help in getting our product funded so we can create mobile adventure walks anywhere!

Know anyone who is into walking? Help us spread it to your network of friends and invite them to sign up for updates as well or to submit an idea for a walk in your area!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

LA Times article on exergaming

3-13-11: nice article came out today in LA Times. Glad George made it in! Check it out here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

More proof exergames can reach moderate intensity!

3-11-11: Over the last few days, I've been excited to see the latest study by Bailey & McInnis, published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, showing that exergames can get players to reach the moderate to vigorous intensity levels, being talked about all over the net. (WebMD, Kotaku, VOA, Switched, Montreal Gazette, MedConnect, Google News listing)

Exergames can reach MVPA
This joins a growing body of research showing that certain types of exergames can be used to reach the moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity (MVPA). (See the list of research in The Exergame Network database, the Exergames Unlocked database, and Health Games Research database.)

Ever since the latest federal recommendations for physical activity came out in 2008, I've been saying that certain exergames can help Americans fulfill these recommendations, so it's nice to see more and more research supporting this this idea.

We know that exergames can overcome many of the obstacles faced in motivating people to be more physically active. We know that exergames can be appropriate interventions for reaching the PA recommendations.

Will they keep playing long enough to see the benefit?
What we don't know for sure yet is if players will keep playing long enough to gain the biometric benefits (reduced weight, lowered BP, reduced blood markers, etc.) those of us in healthcare desire to see.

Another recent study published online in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise (MSSE) concluded that " video games can significantly increase energy expended during screen time, but these games are less enjoyable than other more sedentary games, suggesting that they may be less likely to be played over time...".

NAGL to the rescue?
This is an organization like the now-forming National Active Gaming League (NAGL) can help address this "less enjoyment" factor and long-term compliance.

Just like swimming laps during a swim team practice is less enjoyable than playing Marco Polo at a swimming b-day party, organizing teams and training together for upcoming NAGL tournaments can empower kids and adults to "train" on exergames at a new level.

The structure provided by NAGL can give exergaming teams and "AGAs" (active gaming athletes) a reason to continue to train for the right duration and intensity.

A Prediction
Someday, the NAGL will be as effective at getting kids and adults to reach MVPA as the National Spelling Bee is at getting kids to study and compete in spelling. Then maybe someday, we will see the NAGL national finals on ESPN, just like the National Spelling finals!

Friday, March 4, 2011

VR tech symposium on DM and Obesity published!

3-4-11: Last summer, a group of games for health and exergaming colleagues presented at this NIH-sponsored symposium looking at virtual reality technology in research and education on diabetes and obesity.

Just rec'd the link that the March 2011 issue of the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology just came out so if you'd like to see all the various presentations in articles, check out this link:

J Diabetes Science and Technology, Vol. 5, #2, March 2011

Thx to Skip Rizzo for inviting us to present and co-organizing this event. Games for health and exergaming had a lot of presence here at this symposium, and we were able to network and get better acquainted with quite a few NIH folks.

BTW, my presentation was part of an article by Barb Ruppert (along with Ben Sawyer's presentation), which you can read here in this abstract:

"New Directions in Virtual Environments and Gaming to Address Obesity and Diabetes: Industry Perspective"
by Barb Ruppert, M.A.Ed.

Author Affiliations: Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, Frederick, Maryland

Keywords: exercise games, exergames, gaming for health, medical virtual environments, virtual reality

Corresponding Author: Barb Ruppert, M.A.Ed., 271 Crum Rd., Fairfield, PA 17320; email address
Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Volume 5, Issue 2, March 2011 © Diabetes Technology Society

Virtual reality is increasingly used for education and treatment in the fields of health and medicine. What is the health potential of virtual reality technology from the software development industry perspective? This article presents interviews with Ben Sawyer of Games for Health, Dr. Walter Greenleaf of InWorld Solutions, and Dr. Ernie Medina of MedPlay Technologies. Games for Health brings together researchers, medical professionals,
and game developers to share information on the impact that game technologies can have on health, health care, and policy. InWorld is an Internet-based virtual environment designed specifically for behavioral health care. MedPlay Technologies develops wellness training programs that include exergaming technology. The interviewees share their views on software development and other issues that must be addressed to advance the field of virtual reality for health applications.

J Diabetes Sci Technol 2011;5(2):277-282