[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.