Watchdog Group Report Concludes That New Consoles are Power Hogs

May 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A new report from the Natural Resource Defense Council concludes that the newest generation of game consoles consumer way too much power. The report notes that these new systems are on track to consume as much power nationwide as all the homes in Houston this year. That equates to about $1 billion to operate these systems annually.

Much of this energy is consumed in "the middle of the night, when the console is in standby mode but still listening for voice commands or using higher power than necessary to keep USB ports active."

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All or Nothing: Active Games Best for Combating Sedentary Behavior After School Time

July 3, 2013 -

A new study coming out of Australia says that video games are great for combating sedentary time after school and making small improvements in physical activity levels - if the only ones you play are "active games." Leon Straker, PhD, of Curtin University in Perth, Australia led a team to conduct a crossover trial study to see how the effectiveness of active games could be maximized. One of the best ways was to remove all other kinds of games that did not require the user to get up and move. Removing all video games from the home of participants had similar results.

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Research: Active Gaming Therapy Beneficial to Stroke Victim Recovery

July 2, 2013 -

According to new research, recovering stroke patients who use video games as a therapeutic exercise are more physically capable of movement compared to patients who use traditional motor therapy. The research comes from Dr. Rebbie Rand, an occupational therapist of Tel Aviv University's Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine; and a team of researchers from Sheba Medical Center. The research was funded by a Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant.

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Report Puts Positive Light on Active Games Sector Growth

June 27, 2013 -

A new report released by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the White House study group, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) says that the proliferation and use of fitness video games has grown sharply in the past decade. That's a pretty obvious outcome if you consider that the current generation of console systems have all released popular first-party games that use motion sensing technology of some sort like Wii Fit.

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Research: Active Gaming and Team Work Can Help Children Lose Weight

April 23, 2013 -

A new study published in the scientific journal Obesity finds that active games or exergaming are a good way for children to lose weight. The goal of the study, "Adolescent Exergame Play for Weight Loss and Psychosocial Improvement: A Controlled Physical Activity Intervention," was to find effective ways to encourage youngsters to be more physically active through video gaming. Researchers Sandra Calvert, Ph.D.

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Study: Active Games Do Not Change Sedentary Behavior in Children

June 25, 2012 -

A new study disputes the claims that using exercise video games at home can change the sedentary lifestyles of children in any significant way. A study conducted by researchers at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas found that children overcompensated in "other areas" after playing active video games - basically making any calories burned a zero net gain.

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Limbs Alive Brings Fun Game Therapy to Stroke Victims

May 17, 2012 -

Stroke experts in the United Kingdom from Newcastle University have been working with Limbs Alive to create action-focused games that help patients overcome physical side effects through therapeutic gameplay that can be used at home. Limbs Alive was founded by Professor Janet Eyre and occupational therapist Janice Pearse in partnership with Newcastle University and The Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust.

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Research: Video Games Are Good for Older Adults

April 24, 2012 -

Two new articles in the Games for Health Journal suggest that video games are valuable tools for helping the elderly stay healthy and maintain a reasonably healthy lifestyle. Researchers find that "exergames," or games that give you a workout while playing, also provide cognitive stimulation and serve as a great way to encourage older folks to be more socially interactive and have fun. This can help in extending the life of older players as well.

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Disney Fantasy Cruises Get High Tech Game Technology

April 19, 2012 -

If you are taking your family on a Disney Fantasy Cruise any time soon, you may be happy to hear that video games are an important part of the cruise's entertainment offerings. The interactive entertainment offerings are in two brand new $1 billion ships sailing the Caribbean: the Disney Magic and the Disney Fantasy. 

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Ohio-Based Technology Company Sues Many Over Interactive Fitness Patent

November 23, 2011 -

An Ohio-based technology company Impulse Technology has filed a lawsuit against multiple gaming companies for infringing on a motion-control technology patented by the group in 1996. Impulse Technology claims that companies such as Nintendo, EA, Namco Bandai, Konami, Ubisoft, and Majesco are all violating the patent, and should be fined for the infringement.

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Gamers Make Great Bodybuilders

October 19, 2011 -

Want to look good naked?

Sure, we all do.  But would you believe that gamers might have an easier time of it then most?  It’s true.  The qualities that gamers apply to their hobby can easily be applied to bodybuilding.

When Brian Wang and Dick Talens (pictured.  Yeah, they're both the same guy) met at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, neither one was physically fit but both found that what drove them to play games could also be applied to working out.

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College of Staten Island Studies Wii Fit's Effectiveness as Real-World Exercise

September 6, 2011 -

Dr. Maureen Becker, director of clinical education for the Willowbrook college’s Physical Therapy Doctoral Program, is using three New York City-area students (Rachel Pollack of Willowbrook, Emily Cochran of Grasmere and Shirley Coffey of Brooklyn) — to study the most effective ways in which young people can get a real-world workout with Nintendo's Wii Fit. The study began in June, and focuses mainly on tween girls, because, Dr. Becker says, girls tend to have a higher obesity rate than boys in the same age range.

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UKIE Endorses DNA Conference

June 22, 2011 -

UK videogame trade group UK Interactive Entertainment Association (UKIE) has given its endorsement to the DNA Conference, which takes place on July 14 at the 1 Victoria Street Conference Centre, in London. The DNA Conference focuses on the "Digital Out-of-Home Interactive Entertainment" (DOE) industry, which includes video amusement, interactive digital attractions & simulators, digital kiosks, exergaming, digital hospitality, retailtainment and edutainment, and other services in the pay-to-play sector.

"UKIE’s remit is to support all aspects of the Interactive entertainment industry," explained Sam Collins, Commercial Manager for UKIE. "We are delighted to be supporting the DNA conference and the exciting work they are doing within the out of home sector. Many UKIE members are already actively engaged in this area and we expect more to enter this developing market."

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Just Dance 2 Hits Five Million Sales Mark

January 11, 2011 -

Ubisoft has sold more than five million copies of its Just Dance game for Wii, the company announced this week. The active gaming title, Just Dance 2, was released last October. Total sales of the Just Dance franchise are 10 million to-date.

"The 'Just Dance' franchise has revitalized the video game music category with consumers worldwide joining the dance movement," said Ubisoft North America senior vice president of sales and marketing Tony Key.

Ubisoft managed to score a victory late last year with Michael Jackson: The Experience on Wii as well; the game sold 2 million units in its first six weeks of release.

The success of Just Dance 2 also makes it one of the top three franchises of 2010. Certainly, no one saw that coming. As a matter of fact, many would have said that 2010 marked the official death of the music rhythm game, with sales of popular franchises like Rock Band and Guitar Hero plummeting.

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Retailers Keen to Stock Zumba Fitness

January 11, 2011 -

Majesco Entertainment announced that it has sold more than 500,000 units of Zumba Fitness for Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3 to "retailers nationwide." The company also claims that the game is one of its "fastest-selling titles, having reached this milestone in less than two months."

Of course, Majesco is talking about retailer interests more than consumer interest here: the difference between shipped and sell-through are quite stark; shipped means retailers want to stock their shelves with the game, while sold-through means consumers have actually purchased the game.

Zumba Fitness is an exergaming title for the Wii, Xbox 360 Kinect, and PlayStation Move. The game uses the motion controls of each system to help users lose weight and get into shape using nine different dance styles: Reggaeton, Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia, Hip-Hop, Mambo, Rumba, Flamenco and Calypso. The game also features 30 music tracks to dance to.

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Study: Exergames as Good as Traditional PhysEd

December 8, 2010 -

The results of a study released by the University of Calgary this week reveal that video games (exergames) may be as good as traditional physical education classes in keeping children physically fit. The research tested the effects of several video games that encourage users to jump and balance such as dance games, light walls and games that use the Wii's balance board.

After two years studying the effects of games on Calgary elementary school students, researchers found that these exergames improved balance by up to 30 percent. This was compared to conventional physical education that included traditional games like badminton. The results were comparable to a six-week Physical Education program that focused on improving agility and balance using dance, gymnastics, and obstacle courses.

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Active-Play Games Lead to Real-World Exercise

December 8, 2010 -

Nintendo, in a bid to push its own products, highlighted a survey by the American Heart Association today. The survey found that playing "active-play" video games can lead players to real-world fitness activities. According to the survey, 58 percent of people who played active-play video games began a new fitness activity like walking, tennis, or jogging since they started playing the games. The survey also found that 68 percent of people who play active-play video games say they are more physically active since they got involved in video games. The survey was conducted Oct. 25- Nov. 1, 2010, by the American Heart Association and included a total of 2,284 male and female respondents ages 25-55.

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AHA: Wii Games Lead to Real Exercise

October 19, 2010 -

The American Heart Association found that Wii games like Wii Sports and Wii Fit are gateways to real exercise. The AHA had an opinion prior the survey, but to put it to the test it conducted a survey. The results showed that nearly 70 percent of respondents considered games such as Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit real forms of physical activity.

TV station My Fox Houston solicited the opinion of Dr. Barry A. Franklin, who calls this phenomenon "the gateway effect." While he stresses that these games are no substitute for a real exercise regimen, they do encourage people to get healthier. Here's some select quotes from Franklin:

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NFL Play 60 Encourages Kids to Turn Off Games

September 29, 2010 -

While the Buffalo Bills may be 0-3, and fans might soon begin to turn off their games, a group of players from the team recently met with kids in order to encourage them to ditch videogames and TV for an hour a day in favor of physical exercise.

About a dozen Bills players were joined by the mayors of Niagara Falls and Buffalo as they entertained a group of third-through-sixth graders for a Play 60 Challenge event, which is a joint initiative between the National Football League and the American Heart Association.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told the kids, “In addition to doing all of your schoolwork and having healthy minds, you have to turn off the video games and exercise 60 minutes every day, whether it’s going outside and playing with your friends, riding your bicycle, throwing a football, throwing a baseball or jumping rope.”

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Grants Doled Out to Enable Games & Health Research

November 5, 2009 -

As part of an initiative to chronicle the health benefits of videogames, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has bestowed over $1.85 million in grants to nine research teams.

RWJF’s Health Games Research program, headquartered at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is backed by $8.25 million in funding from RWJF’s Pioneer Portfolio, which operates under the mantra of supporting “innovative projects that may lead to breakthrough improvements in the future of health and health care.” The grant winners announced today are part of a second round of funding.

Pioneer Portfolio Team Director Paul Tarini stated, “The pace of growth and innovation in digital games is incredible, and we see tremendous potential to design them to help people stay healthy or manage chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson’s disease.  However, we need to know more about what works and what does not—and why.”

Research teams were chosen from 185 total proposals and each was awarded between $100,000 and $300,00. The grant winners, and a short synopsis of their field of study, are:

• Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - Reward Circuitry, Autism and Games that Teach Social Perceptual Skills
 

George Washington University - Active-Adventure: Investigating a Novel Exergaming Genre in Inner City School Physical Education Programs

Georgetown University - Wii Active Exergame Intervention for Low-Income African-American Obese and Overweight Adolescents

Long Island University - Dance Video Game Training and Falling in Parkinson’s Disease

Michigan State University - Buddy Up! Harnessing Group Dynamics to Boost Motivation to Exercise

Michigan State University - Short-Term and Long-Term Effectiveness of Exergames for Young Adults

Teachers College, Columbia University - Lit: A Game Intervention for Nicotine Smokers

University of California, San Francisco - A Video Game to Enhance Cognitive Health in Older Adults

University of Southern California - Robot Motivator: Towards Adaptive Health Games for Productive Long-Term Interaction

2 comments

Fitness Blogger Calls For Obesity Warning Labels on Video Games

July 6, 2009 -

A North Carolina fitness blog has called for obesity warning labels to be placed on video game packaging.

In a review of Nintendo's Wii Fit, Winston-Salem Fitness writes:

Overall, I give Nintendo credit for trying to make a game that tries to get people to be more active, which is more than can be said for other video game manufacturers. However, this will not do anything in terms of chipping away at the American obesity problem.

 

In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that the video game industry needs to follow the route of the tobacco and alcohol manufacturers, and state that excessive use of their product could lead to inactivity and obesity, rather than try to make a half-hearted effort at increasing American activity levels...

By our count, this is the second call this year for warning labels on video games. In January Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA) proposed in Congress that games rated T and higher carry warnings linking violent games to aggressive behavior.

Obesity warning labels have previously been advocated in some quarters for consumables such as soda and fast food.

81 comments

Report: Video Games Good For Kids, Deserve Official Support

June 25, 2009 -

A new report published by the Joan Ganz Clooney Center at Sesame Workshop discusses the potentially positive effects of video games in educating children and promoting their physical well-being.

Game Changer: Investing in Digital Play to Advance Children’s Learning and Health urges educators as well as government and the healthcare industry to look beyond the stereotype of video games as harmful. The report also calls for increased investment in the medium:

All groups committed to the public interest—educators, policymakers, the federal government, industry leaders, philanthropies, universities—should invest resources in learning how to maximize the impact of a potentially powerful phenomenon that can advance both children's learning and health.

Because a large percentage of American youth play video games, increased investment in their positive aspects could reap enormous benefits for the next generation, the report concludes. The authors note, however, that video games are under constant scrutiny due to their perceived negative effects:

Despite their reputation as promoters of violence and mayhem, digital games have in fact been shown to help children gain content and vital foundational and 21st century skills.

While noting that some stakeholders have reservations about investing in video game tech because of the perceived sedentary nature of games and potential links to rising childhood obesity rates, the report notes the popularity of  the Wii and Dance Dance Revolution. Nintendo’s popular console and Konami’s best-selling dance game franchise have helped to alter perceptions about negative physical effects of video games.

The authors also point to a number of well-established examples illustrating the potentially beneficial effects video games could have on the education and health of future American generations:

Digital games are here to stay and offer the country a rare opportunity to leverage children's already established enthusiasm in order to reform education and promote healthy development.

Via: Kotaku

DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab the full Game Changer report here. Grab the executive summary here.

GP: With this article we welcome Doug Buffone to the pages of GamePolitics. Doug, a student at Georgetown, is interning with GP's parent company, the Entertainment Consumers Association.

8 comments

EA'S Peter Moore Challenges Obama

June 21, 2009 -

When President Obama linked video games to a sedentary lifestyle in a speech to the American Medical Association last week, Peter Moore sensed a marketing opportunity.

On Friday the EA Sports boss posted a "challenge" to Obama on his official blog. As you might guess, there's an EA product involved:

It may be time for the President and his family to put their Wii to good use and fire up the 30-Day Challenge with EA SPORTS Active.  This is a “game” even the President may not want to “step away” from...

In fact, I know [Obama is] in pretty good shape, but I guarantee the President wouldn’t look quite so smooth walking across the White House lawn to Marine One the morning after his first session with EA SPORTS Active (especially if he does those pesky lunges)! ...

Mr. President, here is my challenge to you: Try EA SPORTS Active and I guarantee you’ll need aides saying “Yes You Can!” to finish your first workout.

13 comments

Reports of Execrise Guru's Suit vs. Nintendo Seem Premature

February 10, 2009 -

A story sourced to back to Newsblaze (we're not familiar with the publication) maintains that a California fitness guru by the name of Michael Torchia (left) plans to file a class-action lawsuit against Nintendo.

The Newsblaze story, in fact, reads rather like a press release and links back to Torchia's marketing site. As to the supposed lawsuit, its basis is described as follows:

Michael Torchia's mission is to have Nintendo pull their Wii games off the shelves until they make important changes to their products.

People around the World are sustaining serious injuries due to the lack of proper warnings on their products... Torchia feels Nintendo is misrepresenting their Wii games as a replacement for sensible exercise and sports activities. He believes that Nintendo needs to issue a warning that these games are intended for entertainment and not to replace actual physical activity...

There is a new phenomenon that is occurring as a result of extensive and widespread usage of the Wii Fit and Wii Balance Board. As more people use the Wii as an exercise tool, they are sustaining injuries in their knees, back and wrists because of overuse and improper warm-up...

Michael Torchia, has retained a prominent law firm in Beverly Hills, California to prepare a class action suit against Nintendo...

Despite reports to the contrary at some game sites, no lawsuit has yet been filed. The law firm said to be preparing such an action is not named. It's easy, of course, to threaten a lawsuit and adding Nintendo's industry-leading name to the mix ensures that such a threat will garner some coverage.

That's not to say a class-action suit won't be forthcoming. But it seems very odd to announce it in this fashion.

15 comments

North Dakota's 1st Lady Plays Guitar Hero... Legislators Fail at DDR

February 6, 2009 -

Bismarck's KYFR-5 reports that North Dakota's First Lady Mikey Hoeven (sporting the big hair at left) has played a bit of Guitar Hero. And the wife of Gov. John Hoeven (R) isn't bad at Dance Dance Revolution, either.

News of Mrs. Hoeven's gaming chops leaked during an American Heart Association event at the State Capitol. KYFR reports that legislators who gave DDR a try didn't fare nearly as well as the First Lady:

Sen. Dwight Cook knows a thing or two about North Dakota politics, but there was one thing going on at the capitol today that was over his head.

"It's not easy, it`s not easy at all," Cook says.

The response most legislators had after testing out Dance, Dance Revolution... Unfortunately, legislators weren`t so enthused about the high-tech workout.

"Most of them, I think, are a little shy or shy away from it because of the technology, I think they`re afraid like `Oh is this going to move too fast for me?` And `I can`t do this,`" says [gym teacher Tammi] Doppler...

First Lady Mikey Hoeven was among the top scoring in the political sector. But she admits, she had the upper hand as the concept of the game isn`t new because she`s played Guitar Hero.

11 comments

Exergaming Promoted at International Health Conference

November 6, 2008 -

Games that get kids up and moving are being discussed at the 2008 McGill Health Challenge Think Tank in Montreal this week.

As reported by the Montreal Gazette, conference organizer Laurette Dubé said:

When we talk about obesity, we often talk about the fast-food industry. But that's only one side of the equation - the energy-in side. We also have to look at the energy-out side, and that's why it's very important to look at ways in which we can reduce kids' inactive time and increase their share of time that gets them moving.

West Virginia University professor Linda Carson admitted that not everyone is comfortable with the exergaming concept:

There are some folks who feel that by promoting physical activity through the use of video games, children are being socially isolated or not be encouraged to go outside and play. There are some opponents who say that it takes away from traditional physical-education exercise.

[But] I think exergaming needs to be recognized as an exciting alternative to traditional physical education. There is a lot of value to children having physical activity options in their home and even at school.

Via: Edge Online

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Papa MidnightIt was most likely an automated tool. Happens all the time. Just another case of the broken DMCA Claim and Takedown process that puts the entirety of the burden of proof on the accused instead of the claimant.12/22/2014 - 10:09pm
Conster*applauds IanC*12/22/2014 - 7:37pm
MaskedPixelanteSounds like BN was going after an unrelated mod, and took out DSFix in the process. Probably once a counterclaim goes out, this'll all be sorted out.12/22/2014 - 7:04pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=144440299&postcount=1 wtf is namco thinking.......12/22/2014 - 6:17pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/22/read-the-fine-print-ubisoft-free-game-offer-waives-lawsuits/12/22/2014 - 6:00pm
Papa MidnightI kind of liked the movement to have Terry Crews play him instead, but this will do.12/22/2014 - 3:40pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://marvel.com/news/tv/23866/mike_colter_to_star_as_luke_cage_in_marvels_aka_jessica_jones#ixzz3MeuUl63P Mike Colter is Luke Cage.12/22/2014 - 3:23pm
IanCBecause that isn't Max Payne 3. It might have the name, but it isn't an entry in the series.12/22/2014 - 12:48pm
IanCOh theres a Max Payne 3? A proper one, or are we referring to that abomination that Rockstar crapped out a few years ago12/22/2014 - 12:48pm
IanCUpgraded PS3 hard drive to 500gb. Restored 53GB back up. Done the maths, have somehow used up 106GB already?12/22/2014 - 12:44pm
Papa Midnighthttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/12/drm-glitch-leaves-new-max-payne-3-buyers-temporarily-in-the-lurch/12/22/2014 - 11:55am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.kanzenshuu.com/2014/12/22/j-stars-victory-vs-ps3-ps4-vita-international-plus-version/ J-Stars is coming to North America.12/22/2014 - 9:36am
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.businessinsider.com/xbox-one-virtual-reality-headset-will-compete-with-oculus-rift-2014-12 can a xbo even handle doing vr?12/21/2014 - 10:48pm
PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
 

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