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.
Posted tagged ‘exergaming’
While most of the exergaming attention has gone to the Nintendo Wii, arcades occasionally get the nod for promoting physical activity via gaming, as we read in this article on the Rocky Mount Telegram website. DDR gets most the attention in this article which is fine, but do remember that there are some other non-DDR alternatives to coin-op exergaming out there (see here and here for a little more on coin-op exergaming). One thing I just realized though is that these kind of articles never give much attention to games like air hockey either which can give you a small workout if you get into it.
I do think that if we saw more exergames in arcades it would be a good thing, if not just for the exercise it would be great to since we could expect these kind of games to include controls that are difficult to reproduce at home (or that provide more exercise than simply flicking your wrist). I have heard rumors since last year that some arcade developers were looking into the possiblities of exergaming in light of the Wii craze but we still haven’t heard anything about such projects yet but with AMOA next month and IAAPA in November maybe we will get a surprise.
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!
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.