Video Games Go Active - The Growth of Exertainment
Kids these days have so many entertainment options when it comes to staying preoccupied - movies, video games, surfing the web, instant messaging, listening to music, talking on the phone, shopping and the list goes on and on. How many times do you find yourself saying, "I wish we had this when we were kids?" Before you answer that question, hold that thought and now ask yourself "What did I do for fun when I was a kid?" Chances are most of things you did when you were a kid are not what kids are doing today. Let's look at one example.
History: Jason has worked in the interactive entertainment industry for over nine years and the music industry for three years. Since joining Konami in 1999 he has worked on Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, Contra, Silent Hill, Karaoke Revolution, DDR and more.
Highlights: Responsible for bringing the home version of DDR stateside and launching it in 2001, total cumulative sales of Dance Dance Revolution have exceeded 2.5 million units in North America.
Currently: Jason is currently a product manager for Konami Digital Entertainment - America based in Redwood City, California. He has launched nearly 40 titles on every major platform and most recently launched Metal Gear Acid for the PSP.Remember when we would come home from school and immediately drop our bags to go outside and play with friends? We played well into the evening and always dreaded hearing our parents call us in for dinner, but once dinner was done, we were back outside playing and having fun until dusk. On occasion, we would skip going outside to play with toys or video games, but these other forms of entertainment could never compare or replace playing outside.These days kids have more entertainment options vying for their available time and most of these activities are indoor focused. Young people today spend forty-four-and-a-half hours a week using media (TV, music, handheld or console gaming, going online, movies, reading, etc.)—the equivalent of a full time job with overtime—and they spend more time with media than any other activity besides sleeping.1 The multitude of indoor options available to kids has created a generation where playing outside would be considered boring or unattractive. This increasing trend in sedentary activities has led to an inactive lifestyle where kids are less responsive to daily physical activity. Research has shown the incidence of obesity and other health-related problems increases with more time spent in sedentary activities.2Video games are becoming more of a sedentary activity, as the player remains engrossed in the gameplay experience for longer intervals of time. Advances in video game technology have turned playing a single video game into a major time investment. Action games typically run 10-20 hours on average, RPGs run 25-50 hours on average and online games offer limitless hours of gameplay. That's a considerable shift compared to the early days of gaming where games were played in short bursts and playing more than an hour was rare.Just as technology has the power to keep kids preoccupied indoors, it also has the power to get kids up and active in a way that appeals to them. This is where buzzwords like "exertainment" come into play. While the concept of exertainment is relatively new, it is a growing trend that fuses electronic entertainment and fitness. For example, take your normal exercise bike and add an LCD screen. Now the rider can race other competitors in an on-screen video game. The simple addition of racing competitors makes the usual act of hitting the exercise bike for 30 minutes a lot more enjoyable and interesting.