Tag Archives: xbox 360

Exergaming & The River Gym

When exercise, gaming and clean energy generation come together

GAMERS are subjected to a cruel stereo­type that we all live in our parents’ basement and are rendered lifeless if exposed to direct sunlight. While most games are not physically demanding, there is a growing market for exercise gaming — known more commonly as “exergaming”.

Just DanceThe Playstation and Wii are at the forefront of exercise gaming — having released several titles and peripherals that encourage gamers to get a good cardiovascular workout. Many also offer calorie counters, which let you know exactly what you’re burning while you play.

Exergaming relies on technology that tracks body movement or reaction. Exergames are seen as evolving from technology changes aimed at making video games more fun and healthy at the same time.

After the huge success of titles such as Just Dance and Wii Sports Resort, the growing market and appeal of exercise gaming has spawned a whole army of peripherals and new game genres – enough to start your own interactive gym.

Many Wii games feature some sort of motion sensor controls, which read and track your movements as you play. There are now even horror-action titles, such as Silent Hill Shattered Memories that require players to swim, fend off attackers and move objects with wild flailing movements.

Motion sensor technology combined with gaming has become a hot topic over the last few years and got hotter with the announcement that both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 would be joining the Nintendo Wii in offering “motion” gaming. The implementation of these features will enable both these popular platforms to offer titles in the new “gaming as exercise” trend.

The Wii Fit is certainly a winner which helped to pioneer the gaming as exercise trend. It has not only sold over 20 million copies to date, but has taken things further by offering extra exercise gaming peripherals.

In 2009 the Wii CyberBike was released — the first video game to be bundled with a full-sized exercise bike. The visual stimulation coupled with the Cyberbike may see you clearing roads of pollution and traversing by land, sea and air over 18 different circuits.

This may not be for everyone, but then again neither is the gym. If you plan on buying an exercise bike anyway and like the sound of the additional gaming incentive, then the Cyberbike may be a good, modern choice.

If simple exercise isn’t enough to get your heart pounding, there are emerging possibilities of having the energy you expend by exergaming captured and put to good use. It is already possible to power a Playstation and small home appliances with exercise, but this tends to be an archetypal “hamster in a wheel” approach.

The River Gym

The River Gym

"The River Gym is one of the more innovative concepts to break water in recent times and looks to cash in on our desire to exercise to stay fit and healthy by capturing the energy we expend when burning calories" (image: http://www.gizmag.com)

The River Gym, off the Hudson and East Rivers in New York, is a floating vessel of fitness that harnesses renewable energy from burnt-off calories. The plan is to have River Gym “pods” that would offer a range of exercise equipment capable of converting energy derived from human motion into usable electric energy stored in on-board batteries.

“The vessels would be fitted with water purification devices to combat pollution and would also be capable of carrying additional passengers and commuters, thereby easing the burden of ferry lines as well as varying the intensity of the exercise” — www.gizmag.com

The River Gym also promises “the obvious benefits of exercise and eco-credentials” along with spectacular panoramic views of New York – an experience that “far surpasses the bland tedium of a conventional gymnasium”.

Of course, it would only be fair that membership for a River Gym would be free considering that users would be creating vast amounts of usable energy by breaking a sweat. Perhaps some free, on-board entertainment sponsored by Nintendo is in order?

Player Versus Player Digital Arena

NEW Gaming experience opens at Liberty Midlands Mall

AN exciting new entertainment venue opens in Pietermaritzburg’s Liberty Midlands Mall this weekend. PVP Digital Arena (short for Player Versus Player) will allow gamers to at last take advantage of some built-in features of the Xbox 360 that they have been denied up until now.

Previously Xbox owners have only been able to take advantage of around 30% of the capabilities of the Xbox, says Brendon Holder, who together with Paul Gilliver is responsible for dreaming up the idea for this ground-breaking store.

PvP Digital ArenaPVP is, apparently, the first of its kind in the country and the only electronic game specialist store in Pietermaritzburg. The store also retails a range of the best and latest games for Xbox, Playstation, PC and Nintendo consoles and Holder and Gilliver are available to give expert advice.

PVP will give gamers access to 20 networked  Xbox 360s connected to high definition LCD monitors, to play the latest games that include first person shooters such as Halo: Orbital Drop Shock Troopers and Call of Duty; third person shooters like Gears of War 2; real time strategy games such as Halo Wars; car racing and rally games that include Dirt 2, and car simulators like Forza 3; as well as a variety of “beat-em-up” games, and sports games like Fifa 10, rugby and golf.  

The real X-factor with PVP, however, is the fact that players can play against other players in the same room, giving the already convincingly rendered games, enhanced reality. Slow internet speeds in South Africa have meant that unlike other places in the world, live multiplayer gaming has not been a real option for gamers in SA. This has meant that possibly the most exciting aspect of electronic multiplayer games has yet to be experienced by locals.

“Playing Call of Duty is so much more real when you and your squad are in the same room, discussing strategy, while your opponents are on the other side of the room planning how to ambush you. The line between real and virtual is blurred.” – Holder

To further enhance the experience, PVP will hold competitions, elite tournaments for pro gamers, and in-store events, including the possibility of “moments of madness” where they will randomly give away PVP-branded gear and other prizes to players.

The eagerly anticipated store has already created a stir on PVP’s facebook page (PVP Digital Arena) and Liberty Midlands Mall centre manager Cassie Fourie says that there has been a lot of interest shown.

“Customers have been asking when PVP is opening and are extremely excited”, she said, “We welcome this new addition to the mall, which caters to the entertainment element.”

The best news though is that to get in on the action, it will cost players less than a ride in one of those peddle boats at the seaside, with prices starting at a mere R20 per 30 minutes.

Costs to play at PVP Digital Arena
      – R20 per 30 minutes
      – R35 per one hour
      – R60 per two hours

Events planned
After-hour “lock ins” will be organised for groups of 16 or more on request.
 Competitions for rankings, with prizes, to be held every month.
Elite tournaments for pro gamers to be held at PVP.
Various events to be held weekly, including “moments of madness”

Other goods on offer
PVP is also a retailer of the best electronic console games for Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Wii and PC. Buyers can try games before they buy and get expert advice on game choices. There will be a game swopping facility available too.

Membership options are planned for the future, with loyalty cards that earn members points that can be redeemed for playing time, games or PVP merchandise.

 Twenty networked Xbox 360s linked to HDMI.
23” LCD monitors, with headphones and comfortable tub chairs.
PVP will keep their equipment current and in future will even change to another console platform if a better one is released.

PVP Digital Arena is at Shop 93A at Pietermaritzburg’s Liberty Midlands Mall. Don’t miss their grand opening at 9am this Saturday, October 24. Get there early to claim your place. For inquiries call PVP at 033 342 6420 or email Brendon Holder: brendon@pvp-arena.co.za