Lets get gamers off their arses

Unfortunately the quarterly out-of-office football challenge didn’t do much for the other months of abuse. Sound familiar anyone?

Having dragged myself away from this lifestyle, I find myself writing this column with the motivating combination of experience with both video gaming and one-to-one personal fitness training – it’s been an interesting journey and now new technology brings me back to my old grounds; it’s great to be back!

It seems as though there’s a shake-up on the horizon and as gamers such as myself originally adopted the ‘Neanderthal with Controller’ position, the morph to a more active gamer seems not too far away. Nintendo seem to be one of the liveliest movers at getting more than our minds circulating, the announcement of Wii Fit certainly put a smile on my face.

With previous visions of, let’s be honest here, quarter-pounder children and adults racking up the calories in front of consoles over the world, we’ve finally got at least some indication that things may be tipping in the opposite direction.

The Balance Board technology looks fun and in cases where gamers have not heard of exercise, let alone taken part in it much, there could be a huge benefit to a wide variety of families and individuals when it is released.

Could this do for gaming what Jamie Oliver did for school dinners? Introducing this kind of gaming to the living room is going to send out a message that will work in a user’s favour for years to come. By making exercise fun early on, the physiological benefits will be maintained and developed, instead of snowballing in the opposite direction and this, in my opinion, is key.

Of course, this could potentially turn into an active universe for developers to dive on the wagon and generate the equivalent of the exercise world’s surplus of useless arse toners and stomach crunchers. Let’s hope not. Hopefully quality will be high and a genuine interest in developing bodies and a positive attitude towards exercise will give video games better coverage in the wider media.

After seeing what Wii Fit might have to offer and what the EyeToy has done for getting gamers out of a chair, I can see huge potential in developing a higher level of ‘active gaming’ in the future, whether it’s multi-user and trainer interactivity or solo driven software.

Imagine exercising, then using a Wii for weekly weigh-ins and automatically storing data online? The possibilities are endless!

I just hope that celebrity endorsements don’t start bombarding the gaming world as they have the DVD shelf space. Let’s just sit on our bums and see what happens, shall we?

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