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how to do things with videogames

Exergames

 Bogost’s chapter on Exercise in How to do Things with Videogames made me realize how much exercise I’ve done while participating in videogames. It also made me realize how wrong people are when they suggest that videogames are some sort of “lazy” activity. Personally, I’ve gotten some great workouts while playing Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, and Wii Sports, but the best part is that you’re likely playing these games with other people. Bogost proves that videogames can be a great way to get up and exercise, while also spending quality time with your friends and/or family. Bogost points out that “exergames” can benefit many people simultaneously. Bogost says, “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, whether through computers or portable devices, and whether alone or with others.” (Bogost, 116).

 Videogames offer so much more when it comes to exercise than a lonely trip to the gym. The best forms of exercise are usually the ones that don’t feel forced, but rather, fun. Videogames also offer the convenience of never having to leave your home; exercising can be done right in the comfort of your home. My favorite benefit is the fact that you can do it with your friends and family and it can be fun!

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “Exergames

  1. With this chapter, I think Bogost gave too much credit to people who do exergames. Now, I understand the potential for exercise but I take issue with the idea that it can replace going to the gym and truly working out (not just walking on the treadmill or doing a few five pound bicep curls here and there). Also, I have watched my boyfriend do DDR as a cardio workout, but I don’t believe many people do it at the intensity with which he did. I’ve played Just Dance and something on Wii, but they simply don’t, in a social setting, provide the necessary motivation and intensity needed to exercise. Like group dieting or exercise classes, the goal may be to encourage people to get healthy but this is only an effect if everything goes right. The nature of the group, class, or game encourages not dedication to health, but an enjoyment of something other. For example, when people join a soccer team, it is often not that they seek to get healthy but to play the game. Getting in shape is only an effect of playing, but not the goal. (At least not most of the time.)

    Posted by emmajani | June 3, 2013, 8:09 pm
  2. I completely agree with you in saying that video games are not a lazy activity. All of those games, especially ones associated with the Wii can not only get your heart pumping and work up a sweat, but also be a nice fun family game. While I do agree with emmajani that exergames should not be used as an alternative to the gym, it is better than nothing, and is also a step in the right direction. One point that I feel the need to make is the fact that video games of all kind lead to excellent hand-eye coordination. While it isn’t considered exercise, in the same sense we have been talking about, I still feel it leads to a healthier lifestyle. Good hand-eye coordination can help in many physical aspects of life, like sports or working out. As a matter of fact, training in sports and other physical activities actually leads to good hand-eye coordination, so in that sense it is very similar to activities of that nature.

    Posted by Nick Fico | June 5, 2013, 8:45 pm
  3. I agree that some video games are not lazy activities but I do would say that most video games are lazy activities. In my opinion exergames are really the only video games that are not lazy activities and I feel that they are outnumbered by regular video games that do not require any physical exertion. I do think that exergames are a very important advance in the video game world. Some people just plain hate exercising and exergames are their way of at least doing something to stay somewhat active. Also, many young kids love playing video games. My little cousins can almost always be found playing xbox. Exergames are a great way to get kids up off of the couch and add physical activity to something that they love. However, I completely agree with emmajani that we should not give exergames too much credit. We do not get anywhere near the same work out by playing an exergame that we would if we were to go to the gym.

    Posted by sierrasu | June 9, 2013, 3:35 pm
  4. I completely agree with you in saying that video games are not a lazy activity. All of those games, especially ones associated with the Wii can not only get your heart pumping and work up a sweat, but also be a nice fun family game. While I do agree with emmajani that exergames should not be used as an alternative to the gym, it is better than nothing, and is also a step in the right direction. One point that I feel the need to make is the fact that video games of all kind lead to excellent hand-eye coordination. While it isn’t considered exercise, in the same sense we have been talking about, I still feel it leads to a healthier lifestyle. Good hand-eye coordination can help in many physical aspects of life, like sports or working out. As a matter of fact, training in sports and other physical activities actually leads to good hand-eye coordination, so in that sense it is very similar to activities of that nature. (Sorry for the repeat, I posted the first time when I wasn’t signed in)

    Posted by nrfico | June 15, 2013, 1:22 pm

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