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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TechnogeekThe constant conflation of "you shouldn't do this" as a personal guideline and "you shouldn't do this" as something with the force of law is really getting tiresome. Lawful Neutral was garbage in D&D, and it's garbage in real life.07/01/2015 - 12:24pm
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/sources-warner-bros-knew-that-arkham-knight-pc-was-a-1714915219 Sources: Warner Bros. Knew That Arkham Knight PC Was A Mess For Months07/01/2015 - 11:49am
Andrew EisenIf you do, I hope you can provide some examples of people (again, other than random no-name numbnuts on Twitter) who are genuinely trying to dictate what should and should not be allowed so far as themes, topics, language, plot devices, etc. go.07/01/2015 - 9:43am
MattsworknameI'd go into why I think it's a bigger problem then most realize, but nows not the time really. I'll catch up with everyone later07/01/2015 - 9:42am
Andrew EisenThat's the thing though, rarely is anyone (again, other than random numbnuts on Twitter) attempting to dictate what can and cannot be said or done.07/01/2015 - 9:39am
Andrew Eisen"Don't write rape scenes" is being offered as advice (along with reasons for that advice) not a mandate.07/01/2015 - 9:37am
MattsworknameOh, on that last one andrew I wasn't talking about the article, I was being more general, lately it seems like all the news and media is trying to decide what is and isn't proper to say. Thats what i was refering to.07/01/2015 - 9:37am
Andrew EisenPerhaps you should consider reading the entire article. Despite quotes you can pull from the intro and conclusion, the author isn't arguing that you can't or shouldn't be allowed to cover a certain topic.07/01/2015 - 9:35am
MattsworknameOne of the things I hate right now is that people are trying to be the deciders of what is and isn't proper to be said. It's political correctness to a level that makes me angry.07/01/2015 - 9:29am
Mattsworknamemake them, i just tell peopel that I think what they did sucked. Just cause I dont like what they did, doesn't mean I can tell them "You shouldn't wrtie that" cause thats just another step on the way to telling them "YOU CANT WRITE THAT".07/01/2015 - 9:24am
MattsworknameNo, but you or I aren't the one to tell someone else what they can or cannot do beyond EXTREMELY narrow limits. Telling a person then shouldn't write something or say something. I may hate certain movies or music, doesn't mean I dont' tell peopel not to07/01/2015 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightHasbro is taking steps to fix its Dinosaur gender issues. http://io9.com/the-jurassic-world-dinosaur-toys-are-clever-girls-again-171513589607/01/2015 - 9:20am
TechnogeekImagine that level of accuracy, only applied to something that has actually caused physiological and psychological trauma in more cases than just whatever the equivalent of the CD-i Zelda games would be.07/01/2015 - 8:40am
TechnogeekThat's the issue I see as well, E. To put it in terms anyone reading this site will likely understand: you know how any time video games show up on TV, they feature absurdly outdated 3D graphics and/or audio from the Intellivison era?07/01/2015 - 8:40am
InfophileWell, you CAN go to a crowded streetcorner and tell everyone who passes by your social security number and bank account PIN, but you shouldn't. Is that censorship?07/01/2015 - 8:36am
E. Zachary KnightSo if it is going to turn out to be a bad scene, why even bother writing it?07/01/2015 - 8:07am
E. Zachary KnightMatts, Goth, The article, and others I have read making the same conclusion, state that most people fail in their attempts to write rape scenes without being overly offensive or overly incompetent in their attempt.07/01/2015 - 8:07am
Adam802http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Ex-Sen-Leland-Yee-may-be-headed-for-a-plea-deal-6358941.php07/01/2015 - 7:12am
Adam802Possible plea deal in Yee case: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28408532/leland-yee-case-plea-deal-appears-likely07/01/2015 - 7:11am
MattsworknameInfo, Im with goth on this, the moment people start saying "You can but you shouldnt" thats a slow slide into censorship07/01/2015 - 6:05am
 

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