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Physical fitness in virtual worlds

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1 Author(s)
Smith, B.K. ; Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA, USA

Academic studies and news reports have suggested that the increasing number of obese youth derive at least partially from television viewing and video game use. In particular, the couch potato hypothesis suggests that watching television and playing video games consume time that could be spent engaging in physical activities. This hypothesis assumes that video gamers pursue their hobby by pressing buttons and moving joysticks while occupying comfortable chairs placed in front of large video screens. An accurate stereotype until recently, this form of gaming is being supplanted by a new generation of games and controllers that entice players to become more physically active. Low-cost cameras and advanced video processing algorithms let video games be controlled by bodily movements, while touch-sensitive floor sensors let players dance in virtual spaces. The article looks briefly at some of these new generation games including: Dance Dance Revolution; and GameBike.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 10 )