People who enjoy video games have a certain stereo-type:

  • Pale and Pasty
  • Overweight
  • Weak
  • Socially backward
It's not a pretty picture. Fortunately, that image is going through something of a change, thanks in part to the growing popularity of "exer-gaming" titles. Exer-gaming titles are games that require you to move around to play. These games fall into a variety of categories and styles.

Dance Games

There are a variety of dance games out there, but the most popular are the Bemani games published by Konami under the nam

e Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). In these games you must follow a pattern of footsteps displayed on the screen in synchronization to the beat of the music. You can start out light with just a few steps and a slow song, but you can really work up a sweat if you turn up the beat. Many iterations of the game include a workout mode that will count your steps and give you an estimated number of calories burned.

Drumming Games

The Donkey Konga series of games and Taiko Drum Master games utilize a drum / bongos and this can be a nice workout for your arms. The frantic drumming in Donkey Konga makes a heck of a racket, but it is a lot of fun. My son and I will play this together and it doesn't take long before we are both grinning ear to ear and wearing out our arms.

Full Body Workouts

The Wii Fit and the PlayStation Eye Toy both are used in games that encourage a full body workout. In the case of the Wii Fit, the accessory is intended fitness directly. The game that comes with it steps you through a variety of simple exercises and tracks your progress. The eye toy has a variety of uses, but in DDR games it can be used to also track arm movements. In this way you get a full body workout rather than just your legs.

There are a lot of options out there now for folks to change the stereo-type of the gamer.  And guys, if you need a little more encouragement to jump into this, here you go.


Jade Mason