Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

August 17, 2010 -

As the gaming world continues to evolve further into the era of true interactive gaming, one child psychiatrist thinks it’s time for a new ratings system that informs consumers about a game’s ability to contribute to exercise.

Paul Ballas guest-authored a Wired article on the subject following an introduction to, among other things, Sony’s Move and Microsoft’s Kinect technology at this year’s E3 Expo. Ballas thinks that if videogame developers focused their efforts on creating games that also provided a cardiovascular workout, “there is a real chance of striking a blow against childhood obesity.”

To that end Ballas outlined the type of content descriptors he would like to see:

Similar to Food and Drug Administration-mandated labels on food, an exercise rating system could estimate the calories burned by the average person in an hour of gameplay. The label could range from Sedentary for lean-back, button-intensive shooting games to Active for games with a calorie-expenditure rate comparable to playing basketball.

 

Alternatively, an independent organization could estimate the minimum calories required to play a videogame per hour, and that rating could be put on the game’s label


Comments

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

This "exercise rating" would be more of a marketing concept than any good semaritan cause; because there's still a large amount of people who think these exercise games aren't actually exercise games, but more along the lines of Madden, where its a "sports" game but doesnt actually involve exerting yourself.

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

Seems kind of a waste of time and money to me.  The vast majority of games will not burn many more calories than you would just sitting there watching TV or reading a book.  The ones that do should be pretty obvious from the title and box art (ex. Wii Fit, EA Sports Active, Gold's Gym Cardio Workout, etc.).  Then again, there are a few that might not be immediately obvious like Just Dance, We Cheer, or possibly Dance Dance Revolution.

I think an independent organization managing its own website listing and evaluating the more active titles is the most likely thing to happen.  I don't see the ESRB adding such a content descriptor and I don't think the publishers or console manufacturers would be comfortable stamping the game cases with a claim that could easily be brought into question.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

 That could be inferred by the title alone.  Also, ever since MAX DDR has advertised the Workout mode on the back of the box

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

What could be inferred by what title alone?

"Also, ever since MAX DDR has advertised the Workout mode on the back of the box"

Planning on finishing that statement?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

IN BED.

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

Ah ha ha ha!  It works every...

Wait, that doesn't work at all.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

Guess what, 99% of all games ever made are lean-back, button-intensive games!

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

Cause the thing the video game industry obviously needs is another nebulous rating system they have to spend thousands of dollars on per game.

Could the sarcasm be tasted through the internet on that one?

Re: Child Shrink: Time for Games to Feature Exercise Ratings

Not a bad idea.  Seems like it should be opt-in, and should have some actual basis in scientific fact (estimated calories burned, something like that) rather than be a matter of opinion like ESRB ratings, but I think it's a good way of promoting games that can be physically healthy to play.

 
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Papa MidnightBecause, you know, that's worked out so well over the past 10 years that they've said the same exact thing: https://i.imgur.com/RFrFNoZ.jpg03/05/2015 - 9:25am
Papa MidnightAh, it's a new year. You know what that means: time for Microsoft to renew it's promise on PC Gaming! http://www.businessinsider.com/windows-10-games-2015-303/05/2015 - 9:24am
MechaTama31Not to belabor the point, but you did say "folks" and "any links", which doesn't sound to me like you were referring only to one particular link... </pedant> ;)03/05/2015 - 8:33am
MechaCrashIt can be made extraneous, depending on how you format the URL. For example: http://youtu.be/dQw4w9WgXcQ03/05/2015 - 6:28am
Andrew EisenMechaTama - I was referring specifically to the link below my post. I should have been more clear. My bad.03/05/2015 - 2:42am
james_fudgefair point, let's say "excluding YouTube videos"03/05/2015 - 2:25am
MechaTama31The stuff after the ? is not *always* extraneous.03/04/2015 - 11:57pm
MechaTama31AE: But that would make your link https://www.youtube.com/watch , which wouldn't work so well... ;)03/04/2015 - 11:56pm
E. Zachary KnightFor those curious, that timeline came from Destructoid: http://www.destructoid.com/tomm-hulett-s-unified-mario-timeline-theory-288472.phtml03/04/2015 - 8:11pm
WymorenceJeez, who'd have thought Yoshi doing a good deed was the reason for everything in Mushroom Kingdom being so screwed up...?03/04/2015 - 7:49pm
prh99The most popular games on Steam for 2014 http://bit.ly/1zLE0r403/04/2015 - 7:47pm
Papa MidnightWow, EZK. Oh my goodness, that timeline is huge.03/04/2015 - 6:59pm
E. Zachary KnightIt's the Super Mario timeline. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/386496/smbTimeline_huge.png03/04/2015 - 6:49pm
prh99There are the various URL shortening services.03/04/2015 - 6:45pm
WymorenceIronic that they're releasing a game about cops and robbers in essence while they don the "extortionist" mask...03/04/2015 - 6:38pm
james_fudgeI'm not a miracle worker :)03/04/2015 - 6:09pm
Craig R.That link is still awful due to the fact that the entire article title is part of the URL :P03/04/2015 - 6:00pm
MonteI'm really waiting to see more publishers get serious backlash for those horrible DLC practices03/04/2015 - 5:48pm
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