Study: Fat, Old People Can Burn Calories Using Wii

June 4, 2010 -

A research team led by University of Delaware Associate Professor Elizabeth Orsega-Smith looked into the calorie consumption of healthy, yet overweight senior citizens who played Wii Sports games.

The 24 participants in the study had a body mass index (BMI) ranging between 26 and 39 and were in the age range of 66 to 78. BMI in the range of 25-29.9 indicates a person is overweight, while a 30+ BMI is a sign of obesity. Using wrist-mounted accelerometers, the researchers measured “caloric expenditure” during 30-minute long Wii play sessions.

According to Medical News Today, when playing Wii Bowling by themselves, participants burned between 20-176 calories, while playing in teams resulted in 18-89 calories being burned. Baseball play sessions led to the expenditure of 22-144 calories and Wii Tennis led to 17-72 calories being burnt off.

Orsega-Smith noted, “Wii playing may be a vehicle for physical activity participation, especially for those older adults who do not have access to a fitness facility or who may have physical limitations to their mobility.”


Blind Gamers Benefit from University Project

June 1, 2010 -

Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno have developed motion-sensing games that are aimed at increasing the activeness of blind children.

The VI Fit project currently has two adapted titles available for download, VI Tennis and VI Bowling. Both games utilize the Nintendo Wiimote in combination with a PC (the PC must feature support for Bluetooth or a Bluetooth dongle can be used). VI Tennis was upgraded to include audio and vibrotactile clues that help to indicate when a player should serve or return a shot, while VI Bowling uses vibrotactile feedback to assist gamers in finding the appropriate direction to aim their bowling ball.

Research team leader, and assistant professor, Eelke Folmer, stated, “Lack of vision forms a significant barrier to participation in physical activity and consequently children with visual impairments have much higher obesity rates and obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes.”

Executables for both games can be downloaded from the VI Fit webpage free of charge.

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American Heart Association and Nintendo Team Up

May 17, 2010 -

Recognizing the Wii as an enjoyable way to stay moderately fit, the American Heart Association (AHA) and Nintendo have paired for a “multifaceted” strategic relationship.

Nintendo will benefit from the AHA logo appearing on packaging for the Wii system and specific products like Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort. A united call to action will urge consumers to “Get Informed,” “Get Empowered” and Get Active,” while the jointly-produced ActivePlayNow website will inform people on the benefits of being physically active and offer helpful tips such as “Choose a parking spot farther away than usual, and take some extra steps.”

Nintendo and the AHA also plan to produce a “multidisciplinary” summit later this year that will “take a closer look at the synergies and potential benefits of active-play video games and physically active lifestyles.” Participants will include AHA Exercise Physiologist Dr. Timothy Church and Entertainment Software Association (ESA) President Michael Gallagher.

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Wii Named Top Gaming Console Brand

April 28, 2010 -

Research agency Millward Brown has released its annual list of the Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands (PDF).
The top five overall in the BrandZ Top 100 are probably not too surprising; Google tops the list, followed by IBM, Apple, Microsoft and Coca-Cola. Nintendo checks in at number 32 and Intel is at number 48, while Sony is number 94.

The report also broke out a section specifically for videogames. It was noted that the category was down 3.0 percent in year-over-year results, a shift blamed on the economic downturn. In a bid to spur fan-boy debates perhaps, specific game machines were also ranked by brand value, with the Wii taking the top spot, followed by the Nintendo DS, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP and PlayStation 2.

360 Again Emerges Triumphant in Parental Control Test

April 16, 2010 -

Yet another examination of parental controls on the current crop of consoles has resulted in the Xbox 360 being labeled the best of the bunch.

A Game Informer editor created a scenario for his wife tasking her with adjusting parental controls for a pair of fictional teen boys on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii. The wife was chosen because of her lack of hands on time with the game machines.

A sampling of the article’s commentary and grades for each console are featured below:

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Texas School Grants Back Wii-Based Initiatives

March 30, 2010 -

The Lindale Independent School District Education Foundation of Lindale, Texas has awarded grants to 23 teachers that will fund classroom projects, including two based around Nintendo’s Wii console.

The Early Childhood Center was one recipient; with teachers Cookie Hartley and June Wright (pictured) receiving $1,021.40 in order to fund their project called Wii Can Do It! The project utilizes Wii games as “therapy and instructional tools” for preschool students afflicted with disabilities. Use of the Wii will promote a way to “address educational goals and objectives in the areas of communication and academics” in the youngsters.

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3 Year Old Mistakes Gun for Wii Remote, Shoots Herself

March 8, 2010 -

A three-year old Lebanon, Tennessee girl apparently shot herself in the stomach after mistaking her stepfather’s pistol for a Wii controller.

WSMV in Nashville has the story, which began after Douglas Robert Cronberger investigated a trespasser on his property. Returning inside, Cronberger placed his gun on the counter where Cheyenne Alexis McKeehan picked up the weapon, possibly mistaking it for a Wii controller according to her mother, and shot herself in the abdomen.

The little girl succumbed to her injuries on Sunday night. No charges have been filed against the stepfather.

It’s unclear if the girl mistook the gun for a standard Wii remote or for a Wii gun accessory, but in the end it doesn't really matter.

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Playing Wii Sports May Well Help Depressed Geriatrics

March 4, 2010 -

Another day, another medical condition that using Nintendo’s Wii may help to alleviate.

Researchers at the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine believe that the Wii can assist people with symptoms of subsyndromal depression (SSD). A pilot study conducted on 19 SSD-afflicted participants between the ages of 63 and 94 years of age had users play a Wii Sports game on the console three times a week for 35-minutes intervals reports Science Daily.

Study lead, Dilip V. Jeste, MD, reported on the results:

More than one-third of the participants had a 50-percent or greater reduction of depressive symptoms. Many had a significant improvement in their mental health-related quality of life and increased cognitive stimulation.

Jeste cautioned that the study needed to be expanded to larger samples and control groups.


Wii-based Rehab Helps Stroke Victims Recover Motor Skills

March 2, 2010 -

Initial results from a University of Toronto study seem to indicate that using Nintendo’s Wii can assist stroke victims in regaining and improving motor skills.

The Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Using Wii Gaming Technology in Stroke Rehabilitation (EVREST) Study utilized twenty stroke survivors with an average age of 61. Those studied were split into two groups, with one group playing recreational games (card games, Jenga etc…), while the other group played Wii Tennis or Cooking Mama. There were eight sessions over two weeks that lasted about 60 minutes each.

While one Wii user reported nausea or dizziness as a side-effect, researchers found that the Wii users exhibited “significant motor improvement in speed and extent of recovery.”

Study lead Gustavo Saposnik stated:

The beauty of virtual reality is that it applies the concept of repetitive tasks, high-intensity tasks and task-specific activities, that activates special neurons…

Basically, we found that patients in the Wii group achieved a better motor function, both fine and gross, manifested by improvement in speed and grip strength. But it is too early to recommend this approach generally. A larger, randomized study is needed and is underway.

The research was funded by grants from the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSFO) and the Ontario Stroke System (OSS).

|Via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer|


Super Mario Pirate Appears on AU News Show

February 10, 2010 -

Australian TV news show A Current Affair recently covered the story of the man slapped with a $1.5 million dollar AU fine for pirating Super Mario Bros.Wii.

A reticent James Burt (pictured) himself appears in the piece, saying that the fine will have a “devastating affect” on his life. The 24-year old added, “It’s so easy to get carried away and take part in things you may not agree with.”

Burt admitted that what he did was “very stupid,” and something he would have to “work through for the rest of his life.” Interestingly, a broken street date may have helped contribute to Burt’s eventually piracy, as he stated that he found the game in a retail store over a week before it was to be officially released. Recounting to online friends that he already possessed the game led them to demand proof, which in turn led Burt to make the fateful decision to upload the game to the Internet.

The reporter engages a bit of hyperbole in the report, saying that the decision to upload the game by Burt led to “billions of gamers around the globe” receiving the game free of charge. Immediately following the reporter’s use of “billions,” a Nintendo spokesperson appears and pegs the number of downloads at around 50,000, which still equals a significant loss of revenue for the publisher.

The report uses a $1.6 million dollar figure as what Burt owes, which combines the $1.5 million dollar fine and $100,000 in court costs he must reimburse to Nintendo.

Burt had a few words of wisdom for others in the gaming community, saying “Don’t do what I did.”

Thanks Michael!


Game Averse Mom Demonstrates Open Mind

February 9, 2010 -

A columnist for a local Minnesota paper recently detailed her ability to overcome an aversion for videogames.

Maggie Modjeski, a writer for the Winona Daily News of Winona, Minnesota, was given a Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit for Christmas. The console remained boxed for sometime after the holidays as Modjeski wrestled with the fact that the game machine was “against everything I had preached for so long to my children.”

After some setup assistance from her kids, the Wii was ready to go. Modjeski noticed that her offspring playing Wii Fit were not only occupied, but “they were active and they were getting tired,” in addition to “burning pent-up energy that comes with a long, cold Minnesota winter.”

Once her weary children went to bed, the author tried her own hand at the Wii, playing Wii Tennis until her “arm was about to fall off.”

Modjeski’s opinion of games changed almost immediately:

Since that day, the Wii has become my friend. However, I don't condone hours of play or use it as a babysitter. I don't believe it is a revolutionary tool that brings families together, nor does the system replace a trip to the YMCA or any other real activity.

The Wii isn't going to eradicate childhood obesity, and, to be honest, when I hear about kids using it during their physical education classes, I do get a little irritable.

I have come to the conclusion that, like most everything else, in moderation it's OK.

A little different than the last mom covered around these parts.

|Image from Flickr|


Price of Piracy for AU Man: $1.5M

February 9, 2010 -

An Australian man charged with pirating Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros.Wii has reached a settlement and will be fined $1.5 million AU (approximately $1.31 million U.S.).

GameSpot gives the accused pirate’s name as James Burt of Queensland. What had to be particularly galling to Nintendo about this case was that the game in question was released Down Under in advance of other territories, a departure from general release timing that usually sees later releases for new games in Australia.

Subsequently a Nintendo spokesperson indicated that Australia could see a delay in releases, saying, “Unfortunately, due to the actions of this individual, future release dates may be affected for Australia, which is disappointing for us.”

In an official statement on GoNintendo, Nintendo said that the game was first made available for illegal download on November 6, 2009, a week before it was released in Australia.

Nintendo was able to nab Burt by using “sophisticated technological forensics to identify the individual responsible for illegally copying the file and making it available for further distribution.” They received a court order to search Burt’s home on November 23, 2009, which led to “the seizure of property from those premises in order to gain further evidence against the individual.”

In viewing court documents from the case, GameSpot  additionally noticed that Nintendo was poking around for any information Burt may have had on the Wii hack website, which now appears shuttered, offering a message that “the site and all of it’s (sic) content has been removed out of respect for Nintendo.” The message added, “Yafaze will never return.”

Thanks Andrew and iheartassassinmaids!


Estavillo Drops All Suits

February 2, 2010 -

We will have to find a new nickname for professional plaintiff/serial suer Erik Estavillo, as he is dropping all his lawsuits.

Estavillo wrote that his medical conditions, particularly symptoms related to panic disorder and Crohn’s disease, contributed to his decision to abandon the cases. He indicated that the long wait for cases to be heard was starting to get to him, causing his doctors to advise him to walk away from the lawsuits in order to improve his health. Estavillo also provided us with some individual reasons for dropping each case, mostly due to those being sued making improvements or fixes which seemed to appease Erik.

Estavillo had sued Sony over being banned from the PlayStation Network following Resistance: Fall of Man online gaming sessions. He had alleged that Sony was ineffective at stopping players under the age of 17 from playing the game and that banning him from the network amounted to theft, in regards to his PSN pre-paid points. Estavillo wrote that a signup page for PSN appears to have been added, which requires a parent or master account to add a new account to a PS3, addressing his concern of younger kids playing the game.

Erik has also sued Microsoft over a red ring of death on his Xbox 360 and Nintendo over a Wii system update that rendered his homebrew channel unusable. Estavillo said he just learned that Microsoft is not charging 360 owners to fix a console that received a RROD and that he has found many websites that would easily allow him to re-install the home brew channel if he so chose to do so.

A suit against World of Warcraft maker Activision Blizzards had alleged that characters in WOW walked to slow, thus enabling the game’s publisher to continue to reap monthly subscription fees as it took long periods of time just to travel in the game. Estavillo notes that now, it appears that WOW avatars walk much faster in Ghost mode.

Another factor in dropping the suits was that Estavillo could not afford to pay the process server fees needed to serve the people he had subpoenaed for some of his cases. Those subpoenaed by Estavillo had included Bill Gates, Winona Ryder, Depeche Mode’s Martin Lee Gore, Lady Sovereign and Krayzie Bone.

Estavillo will also drop his most recent case, which targeted a variety of gaming and popular websites for libel.


Nintendo UK Ads Win Dubious Distinction

January 20, 2010 -

Nintendo’s UK television spots featuring the comedy team Anthony “Ant” McPartlin and Declan “Dec” Donnelly have made a list of the most irritating ads of 2009.

Marketing Magazine assembled the list of irksome ads, assigning Nintendo to 9th place, in a tie with a campaign for Country Life put together by the agency Grey London. Karmarama produced the Nintendo spots, some of which can be viewed here on EnjoyNintendo.

Is it a positive for a brand to make a list like this or not?

Saatchi & Saatchi’s Director of Strategy Richard Huntington was asked by Marketing Magazine for his take on the subject and indicated that, while the ads are certainly memorable, whether “they can form part of a sustainable communication strategy remains to be seen.

Or, as Marketing Magazine interprets, “once a brand has done its best to irritate consumers it is difficult to see where the creative approach goes next.”

|Via MCVUK, Thanks Andrew|


Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical Equipment

January 19, 2010 -

Nintendo’s Wii Balance Board, which typically costs about $100 (and comes with a game), is performing on par with $18,000 medical equipment when it comes to assisting stroke victims regain their balance.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne and Singapore General Hospital tested thirty subjects who were “without lower limb pathology.” After running four types of tests, the researchers reported that the Wii Balance Board outperformed the expensive laboratory-grade force platform (when it came to minimum detectable changes) in three out of four tests for assessing standing balance in patients.

Researcher Ross Clark told the New Scientist:

The low price of the Wii kit is now seeing it used to assess rehabilitation after stroke, traumatic brain injuries and to examine standing balance in children who were born pre-term.

I was shocked given the price: it was an extremely impressive strain gauge set-up.

Catching terrorists, helping stroke victims… what’s next for the little Wii accessory?

|Via Gizmodo|


Lock Up Your Consoles

December 16, 2009 -

Videogame console thefts have risen dramatically over the years, according to data released by the FBI.

A USA Today story indicates that reported cases have risen 285% over three years, to a number of 42,615 such incidents in 2009. That number is even more astounding when factoring in that overall property crime numbers, which include theft of electronics, dropped from 10.0 million in 2006 to 9.8 million in 2008.

The FBI produced the numbers at the behest of Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who wanted to see the data after complaints from constituents about electronic thefts.

Weiner’s take on the growing problem, “It's the omnipresent, miniature electronics crime paradox: Even as crime goes down, when you have more electronics, you have more theft.”

Laptop computer thefts grew from 96,834 in 2007 to 128,280 in 2009, a gain of 32%. Cellphone snatches were down over the same period however, dropping 5% to over 106,000 stolen in 2009.

University of Massachusetts-Lowell Criminologist Larry Siegel added, “Criminals are rational. They steal things that have high value, are easily transportable and easily sold.”


Christian Game Company Not Leaving Xbox or Wii Behind

December 10, 2009 -

Left Behind Games plans on bringing its brand of Christian-infused videogames to the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox 360.

Left Behind is teaming up with LifeLine Studios to develop a title called Bible Adventures for both consoles. The new effort will draw content from Left Behind’s Charlie the Church Mouse series, which is currently available on the PC. Bible Adventures will “educate young children by teaching them academic lessons vital to early childhood development through Bible stories.”

Left Behind CEO Troy Lyndon added:

Parents and kids already love the Charlie Church Mouse Bible Adventure games for the PC. Our strategy is to follow Nintendo's example by including up to 18 story animations and mini-games, providing significant value for our customers. We expect our financial projections to grow exponentially as we transition from a PC game developer to a Wii & Xbox developer.

Left Behind games is also known as Inspired Media Entertainment. In October the company announced a pilot effort to sell its religious-themed PC games in Texas-area Wal-Mart stores.

|Image via Kerusso|


Console-based Emergency Alert System Testing Underway in NY

November 24, 2009 -

While it might not mean the end of the traditional air raid siren, New York State is currently testing a plan that uses networked videogame machines to send emergency alerts and warnings to the state’s population.

The alert system is just one component of New York State’s Empire 2.0 initiative, which is designed to make the state’s government more “transparent, participatory and collaborative,” reports Information Week.

New York State Deputy Chief Information Officer Rico Singleton thinks the plan to alert the populace via videogame consoles is a natural, “considering the amount of time our youth spend on video games.“

Other Empire 2.0 measures include monitoring Facebook in a bid to spot and stop potential suicidal behavior, using Second Life to train 700,000 Homeland Security first responders and publishing Senate bills online where members of the public can comment on and mark up proposed legislation.


Banned Resistance Gamer Targets MS and NOA in Latest Suits

November 19, 2009 -

Erik Estavillo, the Resistance: Fall of Man gamer who sued Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) over being banned from the PlayStation Network has targeted the remaining two major console makers in a new lawsuit.

Microsoft Corporation and Nintendo of America are defendants in a federal complaint, which was filed November 18 in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

Microsoft is being sued for a “red ring of death” affecting the plaintiff’s Xbox 360 console. Estavillo notes that as he is disabled, he cannot afford to pay the “well over $100” fee to fix the console, nor can he afford to purchase a new one. He feels “that Microsoft should have to bear the burden that is now put on the shoulders of this disabled plaintiff.”

Estavillo is seeking $75,000 from Microsoft, due to the “undue stress” he has undergone since the 360 broke and the “sadness he will have in the mean time of finding one he can afford.”

The same complaint targets Nintendo over a Wii system update. Estavillo claims that update 4.3 disabled his Homebrew Channel, which he used to unlock characters in Mario Kart Wii. Plaintiff states that the only way to unlock characters in Mario Kart Wii is to purchase Super Mario Galaxy, which will unlock a single character in the former title. “In essence, Nintendo is forcing customers to buy another game to unlock one character in a different game.”

Damages to the tune of $5,000 are sought from Nintendo, for interfering in plaintiff’s “pursuit of happiness.” An injunction is also being sought to prohibit Nintendo from “deleting, blocking or prohibiting the Homebrew Channel and Ocarina applications.”

Estavillo says he suffers from depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia and Crohn’s disease, all of which lead to his leaning on videogames “heavily” for happiness.

Estavillo plans to file a lawsuit in state court as well, which he wrote will “pretty much” be identical to the federal suit.

|Image from Flickr|


Wii Being Sold In… The Sports Authority?

November 18, 2009 -

Despite split opinions on the actual effectiveness of it as a method of working out or maintaining health, the Nintendo Wii is now being sold at a U.S. sporting goods chain.

The Sports Authority will sell both Wii and Wii Fit Plus systems and is launching a new campaign and dedicated in-store section designed to promote the new offerings. “We Know Fit, We Know Fun,” will have Wii-branded fitness trainers on hand in order to encourage customers to try out the system before purchasing it.

David Campisi, president of Sports Authority stated, “Sports Authority recognized that the Wii console is a product that can help you stay active and have fun with your family at the same time, which is why the retail partnership with Nintendo is a perfect fit.”

The Sports Authority, which has 465 stores throughout the U.S., has also launched a dedicated micro-site for the Wii at 102 stores will have the Wii setup in store by November 19, with the rest following suit by next spring.

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CNET Survey: 60 Percent of 360s Fail

November 17, 2009 -

A survey commissioned by CNET UK asked gamers to weigh in on the failure rate of the current generation of game consoles.

Perhaps unsurprisingly Microsoft’s Xbox 360 came in first (last?), with 60% of the respondents indicating that their 360 had failed at some point. Sony’s PlayStation 3 broke for 16% of those who took part in the poll, while the Wii stopped working for just 6%.

Even worse news for Microsoft, of those who did report their 360 breaking, 32% said the console broke twice and 19% claimed it stopped working three or more time. One unfortunate respondent indicated that their 360 failed six times.

The 360 failure rate fell to 34 percent for respondents who had purchased a console since January 2008.

Of those with broken 360s, 72% percent returned their machine to Microsoft for fixing, while 15% chose to toss the 360 or try to fix it themselves.

All in all, 1,128 people took the poll, with 591 owning a Wii, 562 owning an Xbox 360 and 473 possessing a PS3.

CNET notes that the poll has its faults—those surveyed do not constitute a random sample—but adds that since console makers do not release such information, this is about the best we can go on.

GP: What about you, how are your consoles holding up? My launch 360 red ringed once (under warranty) and my original PS3’s Blu-Ray drive failed once (also under warranty) but the Wii keeps on ticking, although it hasn’t been plugged in since February.



Study Measures Wii Energy Expenditure

November 16, 2009 -

A Nintendo-funded study claims that some Wii games and activities offer energy expenditure levels at least on par with moderate real-world exercise.

Presented at the American Heart Association’s 2009 Scientific Session, the research consisted of putting a dozen people between the ages of 25 and 44 into a metabolic chamber to measure the average Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) or energy expended. Wii Boxing performed the best of the activities offered in Wii Fit, averaging about 4.5 METs, followed by Baseball (3.0), Tennis (3.0), Bowling (2.6) and Golf (2.0).  By comparison, an adult walking at three miles per hour on a flat surface burns about 3.3 METs.

Wii Fit’s single-arm stand challenge measured 5.6 METs, though it was noted that overall Wii Fit activity MET readings were low because of the product’s focus on yoga and balance-based exercises.

Motohiko Miyachi, Ph.D, lead author of the study, added, “The range of energy expenditure in these active games is sufficient to prevent or to improve obesity and lifestyle-related disease, from heart disease and diabetes to metabolic diseases.”

This study’s apparent preference of Wii Sports over Wii Fit when it comes to exercise jibes with findings from the American Council on Exercise reported on last week.

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Wii Bowling Cops Spared Tough Sanctions

November 11, 2009 -

Remember those Florida cops caught playing Wii Bowling following a drug raid?

Disciplinary measures for those who took part in the gaming party have been revealed and they are rather lenient. The Ledger reports that, following an investigation by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 11 members of the task force in all were found to be at fault.

Undercover detectives who were on the scene received a letter of retraining and will undergo two hours of retraining, while supervising sergeants earned a letter of guidance and were sentenced to four hours of retraining.

Sheriff’s Chief of Staff Gary Hester said, “We are learning from our mistakes. I'm absolutely convinced these folks will never do that again. I think we handled (the investigation) appropriately. We told them we were disappointed in what they did.”

The actual incident took place way back in March of this year, but was not brought to the public eye until September, when a local TV station obtained the footage captured by surveillance cameras.

Thanks Andrew

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Workout Study: Wii Sports > Wii Fit

November 11, 2009 -

Recent research suggests that the Wii Fit is “no panacea” when it comes to providing a workout.

As part of a study (PDF) funded by the American Council on Exercise, 16 volunteers between the ages of 20 and 24 underwent Wii Fit training to determine the effect the title can have on health.

After establishing a baseline fitness level in each participant, each was then subjected to six activities chosen from the game especially for their ability to aerobically challenge— Free Run, Island Run, Free Step, Advanced Step, Super Hula Hoop, and Rhythm Boxing. Of the six activities tested, Island Run and Free Run had the best results, though “neither was sufficient enough to maintain or improve cardiorespiratory endurance as defined by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

John Porcari, Ph. D., one of the lead researchers on the project, had this to say about Wii Fit:

I guess anything is better than nothing, but we were a little bit underwhelmed with the exercise intensity of some of the exercises. The Wii Fit is a very, very mild workout.

In fact, playing Wii Sports may be a better workout than Wii Fit, as Alexa Carroll, M.S., the study’s author, noted:

You’re better off doing Wii Sports than Wii Fit. In Wii Sports there’s more jumping around, and you’re not constrained by having to stand on the balance pad. I just think there’s much more freedom of movement and you get a better workout.”

|Via IndustryGamers|


Wii Bails Out Felonious Juvenile

October 30, 2009 -

A 12-year old Canadian boy on the road to delinquency had his Nintendo Wii confiscated by a Judge in lieu of bail money.

The boy’s nine-month crime spree has included such transgressions as smashing school windows, braining another boy with a pool cue and punching classmates, reports the Winnipeg Sun. Judge Marvin Garfinkle granted the child bail in his last court appearance, but only if he put up his prized possession—the Wii—as security.

The kid risks forfeiting the Wii if he does not live up to release conditions, which include “keeping the peace, appearing for court dates, living with his grandmother and participating in a bail management program.”

The boy’s lawyer added:

I know it doesn't look good. I've never seen him enraged, I've never seen him upset. He's a 12-year-old who is generally quite scared.

Via Kotaku

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Six Days in Fallujah Sister Dev Preps Marine Title

October 20, 2009 -

Developer Destineer Games, sister company to Atomic Games (the group behind the ill-fated Six Days in Fallujah), is about to release a Wii-game based on Marine activity in modern-day Beirut.

Marines: Modern Urban Combat is due out on November 10 according to the Marine Corps Times, but “is far removed from the realism that would be portrayed in Six Days in Fallujah, should that project ever move forward.”

Termed a “small-budget” game designed to be “family-friendly,” the new title is based on a Marine Corps simulator Destineer created back in 2005 and will have players attempt to stop Syrian and Iranian factions from inciting a civil war in Beirut.

Peter Tamte, President of both Destineer and Atomic Games offered:

We as a society tend to glorify heroes from 50 years ago, as we should, but there are individuals whose sacrifice and courage and commitment is just as strong who are walking around with us right now.

Tamte added that his company “remains committed” to making Six Days in Fallujah and is seeking out new partners in the wake of Konami bailing out on the project.

Via GameCulture


Singapore School Uses Wii for PE

October 19, 2009 -

A school located in the Sengkang area of Singapore has added the Nintendo Wii to its physical education repertoire.

North Vista Primary School is using the videogame technology to help teach sports to its students, with two weeks out of each five week session utilizing the Wii. Asia One reports that the high-tech means of physical education is a way for the school to connect with its students, who principal Phua Kia Wang called “digital natives.”

The indoor PE classes also overcome the problem of oppressive heat in the region. Outdoor PE classes were previously limited to early mornings to avoid the heat, now PE classes can be scheduled with impunity throughout the day.

The school has also invested in heart rate monitors for older students to ensure they do not over exert themselves.

The article further notes that researchers from Nanyang Technological University are eying the effect videogames can have on children’s attitudes towards exercise.


Wii Fit Balance Board: Terrorist Catcher?

October 8, 2009 -

As airports turn to new types of technology to use for screening air travelers, videogame technology may play a role.

An article on CNN details a new Homeland Security-backed project, dubbed Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), which measures physiological signs—heart rate, breathing, eye movement, body temperature and fidgeting—in an attempt to decipher whether or not the person being scanned intends to do harm.

The component currently used to monitor fidgeting? A Wii Fit Balance Board modified to show the weight shift of the subject in question. Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be a concrete correlation between weight shifting and intent to terrorize, as a study is currently underway to determine what level of fidgeting would necessitate a secondary security screen.

Via Kotaku, thanks Mdo7! Image from CNN.


Wii-Maker Named World’s Best Company

October 6, 2009 -

A BusinessWeek list of the Top 40 companies in the world is topped by none other than Japanese videogame maker Nintendo.

The list, commissioned by BusinessWeek from consulting firm A.T. Kearney, started out with the 2,500 largest publicly listed companies in the world, then took only those with a minimum of $10 billion in sales. Further extrapolation thinned the herd to companies with at least 25% of their earnings coming from outside their home region. Finally, companies were rated on sales growth and value creation over the past five years.

Nintendo’s sales have risen 36% annually over the past five years according to BW, which added:

Despite the hard times of the past year, Nintendo's continued emphasis on innovation has helped the company develop must-haves such as the DS handheld game machine and the Wii console, which outsold rival offerings from Sony and Microsoft .

Google took second place, followed by Apple in third.


Wii for $200, Alex

September 24, 2009 -

In a move that has been rumored for awhile, Nintendo announced today that it had dropped the price of the Wii console to $199.99, a savings of $50. The price cut takes effect on Sunday and it marks the first price drop for the console since it was released in November 2006.

Sales for the Wii have been slipping in Japan and the United States, and price cuts on Sony's PS3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 have only fueled the increased competition. Sony released a statement yesterday saying that PS3 sales had risen 300 percent in the United States with a $100 price cut and the release of the slimmed down version of the console last month.

Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's VP of sales and marketing, said in a statement:

"Our research shows there are 50 million Americans thinking about becoming gamers, and this more affordable price point and our vast array of new software mean many of them can now make the leap and find experiences that appeal to them, whatever their tastes or level of gaming experience."

NPD released numbers last week that, among other things, gave a breakdown of console ownership in the United States. Kyle Orland analyzed much of the data available to get a better picture of the console landscape.

Have these price drops affected your decision to buy a new console?


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How do you usually divide up your Humble Bundle payments?:

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Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelante Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilson Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
TheSmokey CoD loser calls SWAT on person who beat him04/23/2014 - 7:13am
MaskedPixelante Just give it up, Microsoft. You're NEVER going to be big in Japan, especially now that the notoriously clunky in Japan Kinect is MANDATORY.04/23/2014 - 7:10am
Cheater87Has this been posted yet? - 9:31pm
ZippyDSMlee - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelante The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am

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