Sunday, April 15, 2012

Being Active While Playing Video Games?!

When most people think of video games they think of sitting on the couch for hours with a controller in hand, staring at a television screen. However, after spending Wednesdays lab in the SUNY Cortland Exergame lab, we all learned that gaming can be connected with physical activity. As Physical educators we are constantly trying to figure out new ways to stay active through the use of technology. Children today play more video games then ever before so it is important to show them how to involve fitness with gaming. 

When we all arrived in the lab there were mats that looked like DDR mats but soon realized that it was for iDance. We all jumped on a dance mat and started following the arrows on the projector screen. I instantly started to sweat because of how hard it is to keep up with the song! After about an half hour of playing iDance, I wanted to try some other games. I had never played Wii Sports so I tried baseball and then tennis. To be honest, I enjoy the Xbox Kinect more because you are more active and you dont use a controller. Wii is used with a controller and senses how hard you flick your wrist. Kinect senses body movements. For example, if you are playing baseball you have to pretend that you are holding a bat and swing with power. 

There also was an Xbox system where you could play NBA 2K but the controllers were hooked up to a step-up machine. I thought this was a great idea because you are still involved in a game but to work  the controller you have to be moving. You could also play games like Fifa, Madden, and NHL. There also was a peddle bike that you had to peddle in order to keep the race car moving. The faster you peddled the faster the car would go. Overall, my experience in the Exergame lab was an eye opener and I really learned a lot about how gaming and fitness can be connected.

After playing with all of the technology we were introduced to many games that could be used with the Pre-K kids. Most of the games were used to be interactive and help them with memorization of numbers and colors. One game that I thought was really cool and seemed like it would be perfect for the Pre-K children was Animal Hyper Dash. It had a Giraffe that could fit over the little animal figurines. The giraffe would make an animal sound and the kids had to find the animal and put the giraffe over it. It was a great way to help kids with their animal sounds and types of animals. I thought of a game that would be fun for the kids and still have everyone involved. One person could go and then the kids who are waiting their turn would have to do different fitness exercises depending on the animal. So if tiger was called out then they would have to do mountain climbers. After one game is done then they would give the giraffe to the next person. This teaches them sharing and taking your turn. Also it it keeps everyone involved in the game and they are active. Overall, I thought that Hyper Dash is the perfect way to help the Pre-K with their memorization while keeping them involved interactively and physically.     

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