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First Gaming Fitness Arcade Opens in CA 60

Posted by Zonk
from the get-out-there-and-kill-those-zombies dept.
Turismo writes "In an effort to convince teenagers to exercise, one entrepreneur has started a 'fitness arcade' in California that lures teens with movement-based videogames, WiFi, and study lounges. Should kids be getting even more exposure to media when they workout?" From the Ars Technica article: "When asked whether incorporating gaming into a workout routine was sending mixed messages to adolescents whose free time is often consumed by video games, instant messaging, and TV watching, Ferrell said that the approach Overtime Fitness is taking was necessary. 'In some ways, we're waving the white flag,' he admitted. 'But if we went the opposite way, they would be far less likely to jump in.'"
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First Gaming Fitness Arcade Opens in CA

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  • by UbuntuDupe (970646) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:05PM (#16162157) Journal
    What would be great is if the Wii could have some game where you strap Wiimotes to your arms and legs with some sort of holder and you could have more of a full-body dancing game that could detect your motions. I wonder if this arcade has or plans to have some game like that?
  • Great Idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kyokugenryu (817869) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:07PM (#16162174)
    This is a great idea, I have no idea why no one has done this before. Konami's Mocap Boxing even counts the calories you work off (although I have no idea how accurate the tally is) and gives one hell of a workout. Now if they figured out a way for me to play World of Warcraft while working out, I'd be the most fit guy in the world.
  • Re:Great Idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EnderGT (916132) <endergt2k@verizonREDHAT.net minus distro> on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:16PM (#16162243)
    Just find a way to mount the keyboard and a trackball to the exercise machine (stationary bike, treadmill, etc) and set it up in front of a large screen, and you're good to go.

    Alternatively, they should find a way to link the game to the equipment. Imagine - the rate at which you can move around is dictated by how fast you pedal or run. Or maybe your health/mana/rage/etc regen rate is affected by how long your heart rate has been elevated above resting. Or, even more motivating: your need vs greed roll is weighted by your activity level.

    The real question is, how many subscribers would they lose if they enforced this...

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:16PM (#16162246) Homepage

    I've been after my gym to get something like this. For a while, they had some of the cardio machines equipped with Internet access, but the gear was from a dot-com that went bust. They have TV, but that's boring, and working out usually doesn't align with the TV schedule.

    There was an arcade game called "Sky Cycle" about ten years ago, with a stationary bicycle. If you pedaled harder, you gained altitude. But all you could do was pedal along a canned route and pop balloons. Something like that, but more aggressive, would be fun as a piece of gym equipment. Tie it into a game like "Crimson Skies". Offer multiplayer mode, so you can have dogfights at the gym. Even in single player, though, Crimson Skies is fun. Now that would liven up cardio machines, which are, let's face it, boring.

    Who goes to gyms? Middle-aged people, now. Thirty years ago, the average age at gyms was 18-23. Now it's 46. It's the same people working out. That's part of why we're seeing teenage "wide loads". We need more fusions of gaming and gym equipment.

  • Wait, huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bahwi (43111) <[incoming] [at] [josephguhlin.com]> on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:22PM (#16162296) Homepage
    "Should kids be getting even more exposure to media when they workout?"

    Umm, the problem isn't too much media exposure, the problem is kids aren't working out. This is using a potential problem(media exposure) to solve an existing problem(not enough to nil exercise).
  • by andykuan (522434) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:30PM (#16162362) Homepage
    Ah, you're right. I'm sure I'd be thoroughly aggravated if a bunch of 12 year-olds started maniacally running around my gym.

    Well if I were a fitness entrepreneur, I'd start introducing gaming machines into my adult-only gyms slowly. But I'm not, which means I'll have to keep my mad-DDR-skillz at home.
  • More support. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:34PM (#16162394)
    If the government had ANY, I repeat ANY sense at all, they'd look into this, and support or fund, to stem the apparent obesity epidemic the media is reporting on among America's youth. Is there? Really?

    As a multi-relapse former gym member, this interests me a whole lot more than my local Gold's Gym. I don't know if its the entertainment or gaming aspect of it, but this seems like it would be more enjoyable, from a physical exercise aspect, than hitting weight rack, machines, or mass cardio class. I prefer a little more mental stimulation when exercising, and the visual aspect that some of these exercises provides would probably fill that.

    I know I'm speaking for my preferences here, but ask yourself this: why would we not want something that we get exercise from and a little enjoyment/fun out of??

    Hmmm.... kinda like sex.

    /kindly waiting for armchair psychiatrists to break down my association issues ...
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:59PM (#16162587) Homepage Journal
    I get sweaty playing DDR and that boxing game with the 3lb "gloves" and that sword fighting game with the 5lb sword. Throw in some old Nintendo running pad olympics, and I think you've got a business plan!

    I used to own Konami shares - the Konami firm actually owns a chain of sports gymnasiums in Japan, and I could easily see them expanding DDR with some Wii games here and doing quite well. It's a fairly profitable component of their business, not counting the gaming machines (Mah Jong and gambling ones) they also run here in the US.
  • by frankgod (218789) on Friday September 22, 2006 @03:06PM (#16162631)
    I would totally dump Bally's and join an adult version of this if there was one nearby! DDR takes some time to get into, but now that I play mostly heavy (most difficult) mode it is better exercise and way way more fun than an elliptical machine. I do have pads at home but I hit an arcade about once every week or two to get out and enjoy the real thing. I only hit Bally's once a week but I would go at least twice as often if they had DDR!
  • by smilinggoat (443212) on Friday September 22, 2006 @03:37PM (#16162881) Homepage Journal
    When asked whether incorporating gaming into a workout routine was sending mixed messages to adolescents whose free time is often consumed by video games, instant messaging, and TV watching, Ferrell said that the approach Overtime Fitness is taking was necessary."In some ways, we're waving the white flag,"

    How is that sending mixed messages? People multi-task today. This is the same as how Lance Armstrong or Mr. Nine-To-Fiver will go running with his iPod while listening to an NPR podcast. The only difference is the demographic and the focus of the media. I go running (almost) daily while listening to music, it gives me a chance to listen to my friends' and I's music [atomisk.com] and concentrate on it with little else distracting, a far cry from attempting to listen while driving or at home with roommates, spouses, and IMs. Same could go for gaming. Just keep on moving and keep on gaming.
  • Re:3 Hours of DDR... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday September 22, 2006 @05:18PM (#16163517) Homepage Journal
    Two hours of Iaido with real swords and I'll guarantee you'll burn more calories, better develop your hand and eye coordination (and you learn to clean and re-sheathe your sword without looking,) and you'll be wicked deadly with a weapon!

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