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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IanCBroke my EA boycott to pick up Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare. Loving it. Still hate EA though. But i like Popcap. Gah.08/30/2014 - 6:01am
MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
 

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