I remember back in 1999 or so, Dance Dance Revolution was quite famous and people of all ages tried playing it in amusement centers. It was quite innovative and aside from having fun, you are also performing cardio exercise which is healthy for you especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Since then, there were quite some notable interactive video and arcade games that involve physical activity. Let me share those that I have tried thus far and my opinions on this genre in the video game industry.
As mentioned, probably the first game that hinted on the idea that working out can be integrated into video games was Dance Dance Revolution. It’s a highly recommended aerobic exercise since you’ll be using your whole body while stepping on the arrow in rhythm with the music and the arrows that are displayed on the screen. There are levels of difficulty and if you play the harder ones, you’ll definitely break a sweat. The better you time your steps, the higher combo you make and thus, the higher your score is.
I remember back in the late 90s, I bought a dance pad for my Sony Playstation 1 so that I could play at home. It was tough since the mat slid often and it’s quite dangerous since you might slip and fall down. It’s foldable and made of plastic, contrary to the arcade machine which has fixed metal/aluminum parts, so it doesn’t have that much grip on the floor. I believe you can purchase the arcade machine however, it will be very costly. So I just played at the amusement centers for quite a while.
There are other games at the arcade that can raise your heart rate which make it emulate an aerobic exercise. There are motorbikes, surfboards, horses and even sports games such as basketball and bowling. I was able to play a boxing arcade machine where you can actually use your arms to punch using an infrared system. You can also duck and your boxer in the video game will duck as well. These do not explicitly involve exercise routines but they definitely promote an active lifestyle.
Video game consoles also follow suit and probably the most prominent among them is the Nintendo Wii. The introduction of Wii Fit, interactive games aimed at physical fitness, paved way for fitness systems designed specifically for video game consoles for home use. You do not need to go to an amusement center to play these interactive games anymore as you can now enjoy them in the comfort of your own home.
There are also a lot of interactive games wherein you can test and measure your strength. My personal favorite is Sonic Blast Man where you have to punch a pad. It will measure how strong your punches are and if you have enough strength, you can beat a monster, a truck or even an alien. There’s the hammer and the bell which is quite common not only in amusement centers but on carnivals, festivals, fairs and so on.
As you can see, these games do not only offer you enjoyment but it helps you become more fit and adapt an active lifestyle. With the fast advancement in technology, we’ll most likely see more innovative video games aimed at physical fitness. More and more peripherals will probably be implemented on video games. Who knows? We might see a video game that has an entire set of workout programs designed for losing weight or body building that can match workouts done in the gym. They may even be able to act like a personal trainer.