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how to do things with videogames

Exercise and Video Games

Like one of the other students stated in their post, I found that Ian Bogust’s How to Do Things with Videogames contained chapters that struggled to keep my attention, however defiantly had a lot of interesting and useful information in the chapters I could relate to.  One of the chapters that I found captivating and one that has pertinent material in my video game experience was the chapter on exercise and “exergames”.  I enjoyed how this chapter effectively summarized the history of incorporating exercise-type movements in various video games (Wario Ware, Wii Sports, DDR) and devices (Kinect, Move, Smartphones), while also discussing not just physical implications of theses types of video games, but also the problems and potential solutions to these issues.

I agree with Bogust’s argument seen on page 116, where he states, “To incite long-lasting, highly motivated physical activity, exergames do more than issue demands for repetitive physical gestures that produce latent exercise.  In addition, they both simulate and create the social rituals that make us want to be physically active…” essentially stating that without a sense of competition or some form of social interaction with someone else, the “exergame” will lose its value, and the user will tend to take shortcuts (i.e. Zelda Wii example).  Personally, I have defiantly taken shortcuts before when exercising through running / jogging by myself, but have recently found that after I downloaded the Nike+ app for my android, I want to run as far as possible each session to keep up on the leaderboard against my friends and siblings, adding an extra motivational element to what would otherwise be another monotonous run.

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Exercise and Video Games

  1. I agree with your post. The end all be all in any game would be competition; why else play? With exergames any user reaches a point or even limit where individual achievement no longer suffices. Adding the element of multi players or cross platform competition as you stated against your friends and siblings with the Nike+ app truly helps games evolve and have the staying ability the game programmers are looking for.

    Posted by galaviz1 | June 2, 2013, 2:05 am
  2. After looking more into this area, competition is defiantly an aspect of video games that drives the desire to exercise through the medium of video games. While the more traditional and monotonous forms of exercise like running on the treadmill or riding the exercise bike in the gym are more commonplace in our society for achieving daily physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, I think that there are many aspects like competition in exercise video games that give them the potential to surpass these traditional forms of exercise or at least provide an alternative option for those seeking to exercise.

    Posted by bgwhipple | June 27, 2013, 11:31 pm

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