PE Sport and Physical Activity in Scotland and beyond

Archive for the ‘computer games’ Category

Using Nintendo Wii to combat obesity

Posted by drilly on January 29, 2008

independent.pngInteresting article in The Independent about schools in Worcestershire using the Wii console to promote physical activity. Read the full article

Posted in computer games, fitness, Health, ICT in PE, obesity, Physical Activity, Physical Education | Leave a Comment »

Sunday Herald PE article

Posted by drilly on December 16, 2007

I was interviewed last week for an article PE teachers look for a Wii bit of help in today’s Sunday Herald 16/12/07. I must admit I am a bit disappointed with the title and the article. The article focuses on what was a relatively small part of the interview. I did mention the use of Wii’s etc when asked about it and said they had potential in extra curricular activity clubs and as a possible hook for some disengaged pupils as a possible means to getting them back in to activity and a stepping stone to engage with other activities. I did say that I would not envisage  a class of 30 pupils standing in front of  games consoles during a PE lesson. The article also gives the impression that this will be a major focus of the PE conference on the 19th of December but it will not be. The conference is multi-faceted looking at motivating learners, show casing interesting practice from around the country and offering delegates the chance to reflect on their own practice to move “physical education forward”. In the interview what I spoke at length about how we can use technology to enhance learning in physical education. Using new technologies to help pupils understand and develop their performance. Using new technologies and software to develop resources and multi-media lessons. Using web based tools like blogs and wikis to extend the learning experience beyond the timetabled lesson and provide 24 hour access to learning resources. I also discussed using the much maligned resources such as mobile phones and videos from YouTube and educating the pupils how to use them positively within their learning. I said that PE teachers should consider how they could engage with technology and ICT more but it was a challenge for many due to hardware and infrastructure constraints within PE departments. I certainly did not say that they could be more creative in engaging with pupils such as introducing computer games. In fact I defended the profession and went on to explain about the many innovative activities that teachers were adopting to engage pupils. I  spent a significant part of the interview discussing the wealth of different activities that schools across Scotland are starting to deliver alongside the traditional activities as they move to provide stimulating experiences and more choice for pupils to develop curricula that better meet their needs. It was a shame that the article did not quite come across how I envisaged it would.

Posted in Blogs, computer games, conference, ICT in PE, Physical Education | 3 Comments »

Wii Fit

Posted by drilly on November 10, 2007

An interesting post on Ollie Bray’s blog about Wii fit  you can watch a video demo too.

Posted in Alternative Activities, computer games, Physical Activity, Physical Education | Leave a Comment »

Sports Entrepreneurs SQA on-line Football Store Game

Posted by drilly on September 24, 2007

This is an on-line business game based on how to successfully run a ‘virtual’ sports store, concentrating mainly on the season-long fortunes of Scotland’s senior football clubs. The Scottish version, backed by clubs including Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee United, Hearts, Motherwell, Rangers and Partick Thistle, is based on the pioneering work of The Small Business Company (TSBC) in New Zealand.  TSBC are involved in the trailblazing Scottish game, the first new version to be developed anywhere outside New Zealand.

Over 11,000 pupils from some 280 schools across Scotland have already signed up for this exciting game that aims to teach business and enterprise skills.  By running the sports store, students can learn what works in business and what doesn’t; experiment with different tactics to see the impact of their decisions; and learn what it is like to run a small business.  Given the support of Scotland’s clubs, students can also choose to have their ‘virtual’ store decked out in the colours of their favourite team.

Posted in computer games, ICT, ICT in PE, SQA, Uncategorized, web resources | Leave a Comment »

Exergaming fad or “fit” for purpose

Posted by drilly on July 7, 2007

I mentioned the idea of using computer games in PE in a previous post and after reading Derek Robertsons post about a computer games Olympics I decided to revisit this to find out more information.  I found some interesting leads in this blog a couple in particular grabbed my attention. An American PE teacher set up a computer games tournament as an alternative to PE


“Last Friday, for my gym class’s Physical Fitness Final Exam, my teacher brought in 3 Wiis and an Xbox, all hooked up to LCD projectors projected on the walls of the gym. For 2 hours we had tournaments on 2 of the Wiis in Wii Sports, Wii Play, Excite Truck, and Wario Ware while others played Twilight Princess on another and DDR on the xbox. We were also given the option of playing basketball but all 20 people in my class were more interested in Wii”

I dont know if I am all that comfortable with the idea of these active games replacing genuine activities in a PE lesson. I would also question whether the children were being physicaly educated. However you can’t argue with the fact that the pupils find them engaging and I am certainly not writing off the use of this technology I just need to work out how it can be used to enhance the learning and teaching processes in physical education.

Erin Hoffman raises some interesting perspectives in her article Exergaming goes mainstream.

I am quite taken with the development of Dance Dance Reveloution (DDR) called Groove Motion DDR. It’s based off the company’s Dance Dance Revolution game, but includes six programs like yoga and martial arts-style exercises. While a DDR-type mat is used, GROOVE MOTION differs in that a motion sensor belt is worn. It calculates individual data like calories counted and “score.” I could see this being incorporated within a block of fitness or as part of an after school activity club though the cost of providing enough hardware for a class of 30 will probably be prohibitive. Though I dont think I will have to worry too much as it does not look like Konami are actually going to release it as a game they are probably going to use it within their own brand fitness clubs.


The idea of games forming a core constituent of a gym already exists in America Exergaming blends video games with workouts. The interactive exercise equipment appeals to kids. Will arcades be the gyms of the future? This article investigates the use of and highlights the virtues of using gaming technology in fitness clubs and gyms.

Sticking with the fitness theme I was particularly intrigued by the Wii sports fitness experiment In this research Mickey DeLorenzo wanted to investigate whether engaging in daily active gaming with a Nintendo Wii would have an impact on his health and fitness.


Mickey states “I decided to try out an experiment, where I would do everything I normally did, eat everything I normally ate and see if anything changes after playing 30 minutes of Wii Sports everyday for 6 weeks. If I miss a day, I’ll make a note of it and that weeks report.”

After completing the experiment DeLorenzo found: that he hald lost 9lbs in weight, his resting heart rate dropped from 81 to 68 bpm, his body mass index dropped from 25.2 to 24.0 and his waist dropped from 34.5 to 31 inches. Read the full article here his workout was so successful that he has now signed a book deal, “The Wii Workout”, and teamed up with to show off his workout.

I think we males owe Mickey an enormous debt of gratitude we now have the perfect excuse for our girlfriends and wives for playing games to our hearts content and indeed hearts benifit.

However  I think we need to proceed with caution, is his story to good to be true, losing all of that weight whilst continuing normal activity and eating habits, possibly not for Mickey but it sounds like he may be an anomaly.  A post on his website seems to be at odds with the viability of the claims “its takes 3500 kcal to burn 1 pound of fat. You lost 9 lbs. If your caloric energy balance remained unchanged this means you would have to burn 750 calories a day. I’m glad you lost weight and I’m glad you are motivating people to become more active but its unlikely that your results are typical.” Rocky’s fitness writer “she pointed out that he would have had to burn an extra 750 calories a day to lose that much weight that quickly without dieting. Looking through his calorie breakdown for each of the mini-games, it’s easy to see that simply wasn’t possible”

Ian Bogost also casts some doubt on the ability of these games to sustain an interest in physical activity in his article The missing social rituals of exergames.  He states “The rituals of sport as competitive social practice remain very strong among amateurs who golf, play tennis, box, or bowl for real. Sure, some of us may hit the course, the court, the ring, or the alley for exercise, but we return to these places thanks to the social rituals that surround them: everything from the locker room taunts to the scorecard handicap.” “To incite real, motivated physical activity, exergames will have to do more than just demanding physical gestures that produce latent exercise. In addition, they will have to simulate and create the social rituals that make us want to be physically active, whether alone or with others.”

I have to agree with this having played a number of sports and in particular Rugby the social aspects and interaction with team mates was a significantly important factor for me.  

Posted in Alternative Activities, computer games, ICT in PE | 3 Comments »