Gaming: exercise alternative

In the quest to make America healthier, technology is both a blessing and a curse. The line dividing "healthy" technology from "unhealthy" technology is getting thinner and thinner. Video games straddle this divide. While many video games cause players to sit for hours looking at a television or computer screen, there has been a surge of video games designed to get players moving. In this article, we will review the top five healthiest video games. 5. Just Dance (Wii) Released in November 2009, Just Dance is a game that makes its users, you guessed it, just dance. The player can choose between 32 songs, which includes "Cotton Eye Joe," "Eye of the Tiger," and "Womanizer," and three game options, "Classic," "Last One Standing," and "Strike a Pose." Once chosen, the player then imitates the motions of the silhouette dancing on the screen. The better the player imitates the silhouette, the more points he or she will earn. With its catchy songs and silly dance moves, the game definitely entertains its players. However, the graphics are nothing special, and the game can only detect the players arm movements, meaning that the player can stand still and only move his or her arms. With that said, the amount of physical activity when playing this game relies on how much the player wants to move. 4. EyeToy/Playstation Eye (Playstation 2 and 3) EyeToy:Play, released in 2003, was the first video game that used the EyeToy, a camera designed to capture the movements of players. Equipped with 12 different mini games, EyeToy: Play is arguably the game that started the "exergaming" genre. Since its debut, the EyeToy has been used exclusively in over 20 games. EyeToy: Kinetic, released in 2005, was created to be specifically used as an exercise tool. Separating EyeToy: Kinetic from other "exergames" is its creative imaging and interesting in-game activities, divided into four categories: Cardio zone, combat zone, toning zone, and mind and body zone. The Playstation Eye is the successor to the EyeToy. Unlike the EyeToy, however, there are no games for the Playstation Eye that are specifically designed for exercising. While the EyeToy had adequate graphics for its time, in today’s gaming world, the EyeToy’s graphics are not satisfactory. If Sony wants to stay in the "exergaming" business, it must create a exercising game to be played using the Playstation Eye. 3. Wii Fit (Wii) The Wii Fit is undoubtedly the most famous of the "exergames." Selling 22.56 million copies, Wii Fit is the second bestselling video game in history. Designed to work all areas of the body, Wii Fit is the ideal exercising game. With an easy user-face and dozens of dozens of fun games, such as ski jumping, boxing, and hula hooping, Wii Fit is suitable for both novice and experienced gamers. The game begins by measuring the player’s BMI (Body Mass Index) and balance. These unique tests make Wii Fit better than its competition. Wii Fit, although entertaining, does not cause its players to really sweat. Compared to the next two games, Wii Fit does not provide the same quality of exercising. Wii Fit Plus, however, does offer more games and a calorie counter, allowing users to measure how many calories he or she burns. 2. Dance Dance Revolution series (Almost every game console) Dance Dance Revolution, more than any other game, causes its players to sweat. This game is pure cardio. The player moves his or her feet as arrows move down the screen. Depending upon the difficulty level, the arrows scroll down at different paces, causing the player to move faster or slower. With dozens of songs per game and dozens of games in the series, Dance Dance Revolution offers its players with an almost endless amount of song choices. The game’s user-face is nothing spectacular, but it really doesn’t need to be. With fast-paced songs and bright colors, Dance Dance Revolution will keep its players awake and moving. Dancing, however, does get old after awhile. If Konami, the makers of Dance Dance Revolution, would expand to other sports, like Run Run Revolution or Jump Jump Revolution, the series would be unstoppable. 1. EA Sports Active (Wii) Released in May 2009, EA Sports Active completely revolutionized "exergaming." Equipped with a leg strap and resistant bands, EA Sports Active is a total body workout. The game contains several different activities, all designed to burn calories and tone muscles. The game begins by having each player choose if he or she wants a male or female personal trainer. EA Active contains several pre-programmed workout regime, and it also offers the player to design his or her own regime. There are so many activities to choose from, including roller blading, kickboxing, and running around a track, that getting bored is almost impossible. The graphics in EA Sports Active are equivalent to that of Wii Fit. Unlike Wii Fit, EA Sports Active offers its players with both easy and intense workouts. With its endless amount of games, impressive graphics, and quality exercises, EA Sports Active is the best option in "exergaming."