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RF Generation Message Board | Other | Idle Chatter | Opportuntiy to get fit in a VG environment. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Opportuntiy to get fit in a VG environment.  (Read 640 times)
Memorex VIS
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« on: March 08, 2006, 10:32:43 AM »

Found this article. Skip to the 4th paragraph.


*Couldn't find thread for online articles related to VG so I put this here. Feel free to correct me.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2006, 10:34:27 AM by archetype » Logged

It is not what happens to you rather what you do with what happens.
Sega Master System
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2006, 10:50:34 AM »

Thank you for the link. I went ahead and quoted what was mentioned. I wonder if these puppies would be worth collecting? Does anyone have this game/program? It's sad to say, but I think my fat lazy self could use such a thing.

I t's not every personal trainer who inspires a client to write poetry in her honor. But after a few weeks of training with doe-eyed Maya, Glen Raphael couldn't help but extol her virtues in verse: "Sweet Maya never sleeps or even tires/I rarely get a sense that she perspires."

Posting such ardent poetry might be embarrassing -- if Maya could actually read it. But Maya is not a real person; she is a computer-simulated woman designed to be an ideal trainer. "She's my personal trainer," says Raphael, 38, a software engineer in San Francisco. "She just happens to live in my television."

Each time Raphael begins a workout, Maya asks how he's feeling and the next time, remembers whether he said upbeat or sluggish. She also nags if he misses a scheduled workout, asking, "Where were you yesterday?"

All it takes to get Maya to customize a personal exercise program is a personal computer or a video game console (PlayStation 2, Xbox or Xbox 360) and an additional $34.99 for the training game, "Yourself!Fitness."

Virtual trainers in such programs come to seem real to the people who use them not only because they are designed to be affable but also because, through the magic of computing, they can actually keep track of users' progress over months. Unlike fitness DVDs that show the same exercises day after day, virtual trainers can suggest ever-more-difficult workouts.

In just over a year, more than 100,000 copies of "Yourself!Fitness" have been sold, a drop in the bucket compared with the mammoth sales of traditional games. But at-home exercisers, out-of-shape novices and video game players who have tried the game say they enjoy combining exercise with a video game and that, with consistent use, it helps boost fitness. Some fitness experts warn that video coaching is a poor substitute for good one-on-one training. Still, for the price of a few sessions with a trainer at a gym, people can "hire" a cybertrainer who can meet them any time they like and who is knowledgeable about fitness.

"Everybody needs feedback, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than paying a trainer," says Doug Lowenstein, the president of the Entertainment Software Association.

Personal training video games use various techniques to gauge a player's fitness. Before starting workouts with "Yourself!Fitness," players take a test that assesses their cardiovascular fitness, strength and flexibility. Then Maya suggests exercises -- including strength training, yoga, Pilates and step aerobics -- that target areas of weakness. Periodically, she asks the player to rate the difficulty of the drills, so she can intensify the workout if need be.

"The more input you give her, the more personalized the workout becomes," says Phineas Barnes, the chief executive of ResponDesign, which created the game.

"EyeToy Kinetic," a personal training game created by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Nike Motionworks, assesses a player's progress more directly. The "EyeToy" camera captures the player's movements and beams them on screen. The object of one game is to dodge some falling balls while hitting others with a deft punch or kick. If a player fails to evade the balls, a trainer offers advice.

"Kinetic" offers two trainers: either British Anna, whose coaching style is firm but polite, or her take-charge American counterpart, Matt. Both provide pointers and encouragement as they lead players through kickboxing, yoga, tai chi or cardiovascular drills like the ball drop game.

Kristen Dennis, who grew up playing old-fashioned combat games, says once she starts playing "Kinetic," it's hard to stop, even if she tires. "I'm not going to stop because I know it's going to lower my score," says Dennis, 22, who is a research coordinator in the psychology department at Duke University in Durham, N.C. "I don't feel the same way about the elliptical."

Like many video games, "Yourself!Fitness" lets players advance to tougher challenges after they have mastered easier ones. Each workout brings gamers a step closer to hearing new music or to unlocking new virtual scenery like an Alpine retreat.

Special care was taken to make each cybertrainer universally appealing. Anna and Matt are robust but not so perfectly chiseled as to intimidate their trainees. "Certain looks were eliminated because they looked too gung ho," says Tom Holmes, the lead producer of "Kinetic."

The trainers' personalities were likewise fine-tuned. Their creators videotaped trainers from Nike Sport Research Lab in Beaverton, Ore., and then replicated, in Anna and Matt, the real trainers' expertise in providing both instruction and encouragement. After a sub-par showing, Matt says, "You've got a bit of work ahead of you, but overall I think that was a strong performance." Or he cheers, "I like what I see!"

Ricardo Torres, a senior editor for the online magazine GameSpot, says, "It's prerecorded and canned footage, but they are speaking to you." It's "kind of cheesy," he added. "But people feel special."

As for Maya, the game creators at ResponDesign asked real trainers to evaluate her teaching skills, and focus groups helped hone her personality and appearance. The people surveyed said they wanted a trainer "athletic enough to be credible, but not so athletic that I want to turn her off because I think she's been working out all day," Barnes says.

Have you played Pitfall II today?

Postmaster General; Wielder of the Mighty Banhammer
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2006, 02:57:54 PM »

Pretty sure i have seen the Xbox version of Yourself! Fitness for sale at 20$s around here.

It wasn't very common either.
I only remmber a a few stores having a few copies.

Of course there is always the possiblity i just did not taken notice of it at more stores.

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