Yang, S., Smith, B., & Graham, G. (2008)
Journal of Online Education, 4(4)
Retrieved September 6, 2008
Stephen Yang, Brian Smith, and George Graham explore the potential of exergames as a tool to combat the growing problem of childhood and adolescent obesity. Exergames rely on sensing technology that allows on-screen activity to be controlled through physical activity, rather than through operation of a handheld controller. Researchers frequently correlate increasing childhood obesity with a drastic increase in the popularity and ubiquity of video game systems; however, Konami's Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), a game that requires players to accumulate points by coordinating body movements with onscreen cues, has been credited with helping some teens lose weight and improve their health. Suggesting that games like DDR and game systems like Nintendo's Wii may appeal to young people who resist more accepted forms of exercise, Yang, Smith, and Graham explore the potential power of these games to encourage children and youth to be physically active. After a survey of game controllers, consoles, and software available and in development, the authors conclude with a call for further research, including a cost-benefit analysis of the viability of including such games in school physical education programs.