Exergaming has become a lucrative commodity for gyms and Nintendo in recent times but it can also be a nice addition to an arcade location. One company that is in the business of developing exergames is Electronic Sports and we have previously reported on Dogfight, a title by the company that combines an exercise bike with a flight simulator. Players turn the plane with handle bars located on their side and the game can be linked up with a second unit where players can duke it out head-to-head. The reason for this post on the game again is the company has released an updated version of the game (aptly named Dogfight V2 and yes we are a few months late on this) which includes at the very least an improved cabinet that looks much nicer than the first edition. Unfortunately the website doesn’t get into any details regarding the software and whether they updated that but the video I embedded below shows the UI from May 2009 which should be what they are using in V2. The game does make heavy use of online functionality and users can create profiles where you can earn ringtones in the game and have that sent to you. Overall, the concept behind the game is cool, it’s certainly something different and the exercise appeal behind it could make it something worth trying out in arcades. I have contacted the company as to whether or not these can be built with coin mechs or not and also how much a unit goes for. I will update this post when they get back to me and in the mean time you can see the latest version of the game in action below. After doing some research it appears that there are a couple of places in my state which already have the game so I will have to find some time to drop by and check the game out first hand.
Archive for the ‘Exer-Gaming’ category
Video games often come under fire from health police for being a sedentary activity, most recently in a UK television advert for a government backed health campaign which caused a bit of controversy. However, this is something that the Gymnastic Academy of Rockford hopes to combat by opening the new XRCADE. The arcade is full of games which require physical activity to play, such as dancing games and motorised climbing walls. It’s always nice to see attempts to relate fitness to kids on their own level!
It definently looks like the exer-gaming scene is picking up a lot of steam and while so far these kinds of devices are being marketed towards gyms, I believe that arcades/FECs could easily capitalize on them as well -as long as they offer a coin box/card swipe sort of function to pay-per-play. So far all of the exer-games which use a fitness bike that we have seen involves a cycling game of some sort but now a company called Electronic Sports has developed a flight-sim/flight-combat title that incorporates the fitness bike into controlling the game. It certainly looks like fun – just the competitive nature of the game alone could draw in players that may not be so prone to sweat it out on an exercise bike and on top of that they already have an online system in place so you can compete with people from anywhere. The graphics in the game aren’t anything to get excited about (they look to be a bit dated although the draw distance is fine) but I think that people will be forgiving of that in the same way they are of the Wii due to it’s control scheme.
here’s a video of Dog Fight in action, filmed in complete “gym equipment infomercial” style, replete with people that over-act and special effects to show you what part of the body is getting a work out. It’s cheesy like you’d expect but it looks like the game delivers on what it promises.
As a final thought, I wonder if this is going to start influencing arcade makers to bring back the same concept to arcades. It had been done before with the likes of Namco’s Prop Cycle and it’s certainly become a more viable concept as exer-gaming is taking off in gyms so maybe it’s only a matter of time.
We’re happy to report new of yet another new arcade facility opening it’s doors to the public, although this one is a little different as they don’t appear to have any coin-operated arcades (except for the LightSpace floor, a device we talked about a while back but that is on freeplay) and instead are focusing on ‘virtual reality’ and ‘simulation’ type games. That also includes a number of game consoles that are lined up along the walls that play from a variety of games they can switch out (which I imagine have to be attended constantly to avoid theft or the changing out of a game). It looks like a couple of those also have a motion seat for the player to get comfy in. I also think they have one of Trio-Tech’s 3D theaters although they do not mention it by name or show any pictures of the unit, they just say that it’s a 4 person virtual theater.
They also have some exerbikes with a game installed called Game Bike Pro. We’ve discussed something similar to these where an exercise bike is essentially the game controller. I hadn’t seen any amusment facilities pick them up until now so it will be interesting to see how they do outside of a gym.
Finally they have a game called Makoto – you stand in this area with up to two friends and there are these polls that have sensors which will light up and you’re supposed to hit it with a soft bat, competing for the high score. It’s an interesting game that I hadn’t seen before but in the brief appearance this game makes in the video below it looks like the sensors weren’t lighting up very fast.
With a refreshment area, golf simulator leagues, GLO Wii Bowling and a pretty cool environment at night they will easily reach their target market of college age kids. It would be cool if they got a couple of proper arcade machines in there too but for now it certainly looks like they have enough to keep people quite entertained.
BTW – VirtualKade is located in Murray Kentucky.
We’ve discussed ExerGaming in relation to the coin-op scene before – it’s from the coin-op scene that exergaming really started to take off thanks to Dance Dance Revolution and now you will find that game in gyms or schools as another way to exercise. Now we have Expresso Fitness – it’s not the first bike riding system we have seen to do this (see the link above) and the concept was actually thought of a long time ago in the coin-op scene by Atari Games but this video shows the exercise bike riding game hybrid in action which I hadn’t seen before. All you need to do is make some sort of coin-op module and these things could easily find appeal in an arcade as well as gym and if you don’t think that exergaming could work in an arcade just look at how Nintendo has pulled off balancing on a board for the home.
Recently we discussed Exer-Gaming and the combination of coin-operated arcade style games being used in gyms and other sectors seeking to keep kids fit. While it is unlikely you’ll see many of these games in a local FEC or arcade they certainly are attracting a lot of attention from a variety of sources, including the mainstream press. The Chicago Tribune has posted an article entitled “Arcade-style machines in gyms help young couch potatoes sweat” that discusses the growing impact of physical gaming and how these new types of games are growing in popularity as people seek ways to fuse entertainment and fitness together, also called Exer-Gaming. Of course there is plenty of fuel coming from the console industry with the Nintendo Wii leading the charge and this is having an impact not only in the sector of creating fitness based exer-games but also any type of game that involves physical movement as part of the control. The Stinger Report suggests that we will be seeing a larger number of games coming to arcades next year that focus more on this style of gameplay but expanded beyond what the Wii can do for gamers. Already Trio-Tech is working on a new golf simulator that combines realistic golf control with Tiger Woods PGA Golf; Sega has already created Manic Panic Ghost; Konami has already created several motion-based a while before the Wii was even known as the Revolution. Physical gaming certainly is here to stay and it should be interesting to see how it develops in the arcade sector over time.
[via The Stinger Report, #590]
One of the latest Stinger Reports take a look at the influence of physical gaming in the fitness industry that can have some applications in the amusement industry and with it of course are a number of new ideas that might be making their way to an arcade near you (although most likely will show up at a gym). Thanks to the success of the Nintendo Wii and it’s emphasis on physical gameplay, manufacturers in other parts of the gaming industry have taken notice.
In particular TSR attended the Leisure Industry Week show in England’s NorthWest and saw a number of products at the show that proved that the idea of ‘Exer-Gaming’ – the idea of combining fitness and exercise into gaming – is going to be a huge hit to the point that it’s being called a revolution. The application of these new exer-games can be used over a broad spectrum of industries, from arcades, to gyms and even schools. Interestingly enough, many of these projects seem to mimick an old project that Atari had been working on at one time called the Puffer Project, which would have turned an exercise bike into a console game controller for the Atari 5200. Here is a rundown of the various products demonstrated at LIW 2007:
“VR X-Biking” by Trixter – This concept uses a unique resistance training bike unit combined with an interactive element via a large screen display (typically a projector) where participants have six ride experiences to choose from to motivate them to cycle. At least two of these events are CGi driven where the player can compete in a circuit or off-road competition. The bicycle is essentially the game controller. [Trixter Website]
“S2” by Instyle Fitness – combines an interactive resistance cycle machine with a 17″ display, steering, and a heart rate sensor. The bike is also the game controller with this system but it provides a different experience from the VR X-Bike thanks to the display on every bike. Stinger calls this the “most comprehensive crossover between a top-spec exercise platform and an interactive game system.” Powered by PC-based hardware, players can choose from 30 different courses to race on and on top of that can even race against others anywhere in the world through the internet. [S2 Bike Website]
The LightSpace floor also made an appearance at the show, we at AH have reported on this before, including some price cuts on this system recently. [LightSpace Website]
A number of Dance-based games made their way to the floor of the show, including ZigZag’s XerDance which is based on Andamiro’s Pump It up! but takes it to the next level by offering 32 player support and monitoring how many carbs each player has burnt. In addition to this, ZigZag has teamed up with a company called Cybex to introduce their Trazer body tracking exercise system to Europe. This looks pretty interesting, kind of an enhancement of some of Konami’s motion-based arcade games. [More info on XerGames]
Finally there also was a demonstration of a new 4D film concept presented by Simworx, featuring a film called the Curse of Skull Rock. According to the website: “Specifically designed for 4D effects, The Curse Of Skull Rock takes audiences aboard a pirate ship on a swashbuckling adventure that pits plucky cabin girl Jill Hopkins against the tyrannical Captain Scabb in pursuit of the legendary lost treasure of Skull Rock.” Sounds pretty entertaining! [Simworx Website]
Overall it appears as though we can expect to see more exer-gaming coming to the amusement industry. One thing I have noted is that none of these websites seem to mention any application of their products in arcades and while it’s true that smaller arcades won’t have the room for such products, some of the larger ones could really benefit from these exciting ideas. Thanks to the Stinger Report for the coverage.