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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NeenekoI have met some real jerks and slimeballs in gender activism, but when I hear the idea that there are many 'not nice' people it comes across as code for 'uppity people who do not know their place'.09/19/2014 - 12:10pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Many of the people pushing gender issues aren't nice people? I'm sure not everyone's a sweatheart but so far, everyone I've seen with such a critique had absolutely nothing to back them up.09/19/2014 - 10:46am
InfophileI think there's a qualitative difference between a site and a hashtag though. GP can ban anyone from commenting, so they can have the image they want. But anyone can use any hashtag and try to poison it. Granted, that hasn't happened to the other one yet09/19/2014 - 10:13am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, your comparison to GP does not work. We do not need to get rid of GP, because no one associates GP with trolls and abuse. The same can't be said for gamergate.09/19/2014 - 10:09am
Krono@Michael You don't remember the "other hashtag" because no one actually uses it. We're talking 836,983 uses of #gamergate over it's lifetime, and 8,119 for the "alternative". 47,129 uses on the 18th vs 41. With #notyourshield at 140,133 uses & 5,209 uses09/19/2014 - 9:48am
Kronoresearch it. Changing tags to get away from trolls would be like wiping GamePolitics and restarting under a new name to get away from people calling Jack Thompson a filthy names in the comments section.09/19/2014 - 9:35am
Sleaker@quiknkold - seems like all that page is is a bunch of random developer opinions and rumors that we're supposedto do what with?09/19/2014 - 9:31am
Kronoas an opportunity to push back against them. It's one of the things muddling the issue. @conster A new hashtag would do nothing to improve anything. Trolls will simply follow to the new hashtag, and it will confuse the issue for anyone attempting to09/19/2014 - 9:25am
Krono@Andrew aaah. Yes, I'm sure there's some of that. Part of the problem is many of the people pushing gender issues are not very nice people. Basically the latest incarnation of moralists we've seen in the past couple decades. Naturually some will take this09/19/2014 - 9:23am
quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael Chandraallegedly fired over giving a game a mediocre review and the company threatened to pull ads? Sorry but I ain't buying this.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael ChandraBut people arguing this is horrible and just about ethics, even though there's very little support that journalistic integrity was actually violated here, while they never spoke up when a journalist was09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Michael ChandraIf people start with condemning the way GamersGate was used as a misdirection, then use a better hashtag, that would work in convincing me they mean it.09/19/2014 - 3:43am
 

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