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I have a Wii and a DS, and my brother has a 360. I don't have anything against the PS3. We just can't afford one yet, but I do want a PSP when I can.
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Sorry this is a day late. Anyway, finished week two of this experiment. Found a bunch of speed bumps, but looking at those just makes me more determined (plus I've heard the second week is often one of the toughest). I did the time upgrade to 45 minutes, and of course felt more burn and sweating from the extra time. It felt good, even if more sore at points.

I also added Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 to my gamercise collection, and later on would like to get the current DDR Wii game, just for a second mat.

Games I played each day:
* Monday: Just Dance 2, which turned out to be surprisingly intense, as well as fun.
* Tuesday: Gold's Gym Dance Workout. Got about 500 calories burned, according to the scoring on that game, and it felt at least that much.
* Wednesday: Ended up as a skip day, since I've gotten plenty of advice not to do this every day.
* Thurdsay: Didn't want this to be a skip day, but it happened. Don't want to talk about why.
* Friday: Got DDR HP2, and tried that out. Had to turn off all the fancy stuff after the first song though. Even though the weight loss is more important than the score, I still have to know what I am doing.
* Saturday: Moved furniture as exercise. My mother and sister needed new dressers, so we had to take out the old ones and put the new ones together.
* Sunday: Just Dance 2 again.

Still need to remind myself to drink more water, and did feel "off" some of these days, but I'm not feeling discouraged. I'm up to an hour next week, and then seeing if I should increase the time after that or the intensity.

Announcement.

Week one report.








Finished the first week of my gaming exercise experiment, so this is the update.

Games I played each day:
* Monday: We Cheer. Still haven't mastered the timing for that game, but I did break a sweat trying.
* Tuesday: Gold's Gym Dance Workout. Also started sweating after the first few songs.
* Wednesday: Skipped. I had some shopping to do, but since the grocery story was in walking distance, I usually walk there. But had to hurry, as there were rain clouds in the sky. I managed to get home before it ran, but it was still about 3-4 miles total at a hurried pace. My sister recommended I just count that as a workout this day due to that.
* Thursday: DDR Hottest Party 3. It was a good thing I waited until then, as my legs were still a little sore from walking the day before. So I started off with the lighter songs to get a warmup, and try to get adjusted to the "down" button on the pad (my biggest problem due to our carpet often moving the pad as we play). The more intense songs did leave me sweating by the time I was done.
* Friday: Skipped. More shopping. I didn't walk as far, but when I got home, I realized I forgot a few things, so had to walk back there all over again.
* Saturday: We Cheer 2. Spent some time beating three and four star songs, which was good cardio.
* Sunday: Wii Fit. Finished this week with a more rounded workout. I did a few Yoga moves to warmup, some of the strength moves, some of the cardio boxing, and did the "Lotus Focus" as a cool down.

All in all, was a good warmup week. My biggest issue is getting myself to drink enough water, which I'll make sure to work on this week. Will also make sure to have better portion control this week as well. It's also of course where I move into 45 minutes each workout.

Now I am posting this in multiple sites, to see what advice as many of you as possible can give, and I got some good tips. One was to not go for the full two hours, as just one is easier to stick with. I can understand that, as some exercise experts have stated it's not always the length of the workout, but the intensity. If some of you agree, I'll keep my time to an hour, but build up how hard each one is.

Finally, my family got Just Dance 2, which adds another game to this list. Will report on how it works next week.








My name is Luke Collins, and I'm overweight. I'm 31, 5'10'', and 280 pounds. I don't have a problem with exercising and eating right in the first place, just sticking with those things.

Well I like gaming, and my family and I have collected quite a few exercise games for the Wii and the 360 in the past few months, and I'm actually liking a lot of these games as well. Thus I am seeing if doing lots of exercising in the games can help me lose weight. And I'm posting this here and elsewhere, seeing if

Aside from the occasional walk, all the exercising I do will be with exercise games. No gyms, and no special diets. Not that I won't take out fattening foods, but I won't be replacing meat with tofu either (plus turkey meat is also healthy and tastier).

For the first week, I'm spending a half hour each day playing these games, and then adding fifteen minutes every week until I get to two hours. If this works, and I start seeing results by then, I'll be sticking with two hours a day until I get to below 200 pounds, and then sticking with an hour or so each day from then on.

In case you are curious, the exercise games, or at least those you can exercise to, my family owns are:
* The Biggest Loser (Wii and 360; actually that's the only such game we have for the 360 so far, so the rest listed here are for the Wii)
* Daisy Fuentes Pilates (although that's my sister's, so I'm not sure I'll try that for a while)
* Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3 (unfortunately we live on a second floor apartment, so we can't use it that much)
* EA Sports Active (bought used, since... let's just say I don't want to give EA my money right now)
* Gold's Gym Cardio Workout
* Gold's Gym Dance Workout
* Jillian Micheals Fitness Ultimatum 2009 (although that's also my sister's, so I'm not sure I'll try that for a while)
* Jillian Micheals Fitness Ultimatum 2010 (see above)
* Mario Power Tennis (even though it's lighter than most)
* We Cheer
* We Cheer 2 (probably my favorite of these, and partly even for the right reasons)
* Wii Fit Plus
* Wii Sports
* Zumba Fitness

This is a picture of how I look now, and I'll take another picture every month, but posting other updates every week.








Yes, the recent news of Taliban being pulled out of the latest Medal of Honor game does have a stink of giving in to controversy, and failing to stick to principles.

But was the controversy the reason this change was made, or was it more from gamers who genuinely wouldn't have bought the game if this was left in?

This notion isn't new. In 2001, Time Magazine considered naming Osama Bin Laden their "Person of the Year". Now this was a while before he officially took credit, but it was still clear for most people that he had a hand in September 11.

Now here was the sticky point. Bin Laden really did have the strongest effect on that year. Principle meant that he should have been named.

But people were threatening to pull their subscriptions if he was. That isn't a mere controversy, that is lost sales and revenue. They could not afford to stand on any high horse and tell their subscribers they were wrong should continue to buy the magazine anyway. Time chose mayor Giuliani instead rather than look like they were honoring America's most wanted man. Now before some of you bring up Hitler being given that title in 1938, that was 1938. Imagine him being getting that title for 1945, after all the atrocities of his regime were revealed.

It's just as likely EA faced a similar situation. What if what caused removing the Taliban wasn't from people who weren't going to buy the game anyway (like people from Fox News about Mass Effect), or were going to buy the game anyway ("They made Sonic's eyes GREEN!"), but from people who would have bought the game, but including the Taliban actually would have been a deal breaker?

Thus I refer you all to "I can't support the new Medal of Honor". This isn't from an attention hound on the news, nor a whiny fanboy. This is someone stating very politely and respectfully that he does not like the inclusion of the Taliban in the game. Now Aziz does not say outright that he's not buying the game, but what if others are?

What if EA found it likely that some people would refuse to buy the game for including a this group? We can't tell those people they are wrong. It's not like gaming fans who follow message boards and gaming news, and therefore should know better. These are people who would see the game and likely walk away.

EA cannot afford that, not after all their quarters of losses. If this game loses sales due to people turned away, principles cannot make up for that loss.

It seems sad that principles have to be sacrificed for money, but this isn't an underdog triumphs film.








This study about reviews and sales might seem to be conclusive evidence that reviews affect sales, but there are two reasons why it is not.

1. The participants were required to read the reviews, and most consumers are not.

2. The study asked those who intended to buy games, not those who did buy games.

Thus the study doesn't give an actual indication of whether reviews affect sales in real market conditions. The way to properly determine that might just require something along the lines of a Zogby or Gallup poll, asking people why they did or didn't buy certain games, and seeing what percentage of the answers were caused by reviews.

Of course such a study would be hugely expensive, as you'd need a decent sample size of people not only owning games, owning various systems, but, if you want to leave no doubt, also a number of buyers approximating the respective sales of the game. Even a getting the US President's approval rating wouldn't need to talk to that many people.

Another method would be to compare review scores and sales. Let me tell you, the film industry has known for years that reviews might as well be dart throwing. The disparity among box office and reviews scores is blatant there, but for some reason gaming hasn't caught on to this. Now perhaps with games there is a connection, but without verifying it, assuming a game did well/poorly because it got good/bad reviews is falling for the "correlation=causation" fallacy.

It's holding on to those assumptions without confirming them that lost Sony their first place, and made it all the harder, and more expensive, for Microsoft to get just to where they are.








My last post on games and art was a thrown together rant, with the points not well put, thus leaving room for misinterpretation, as many of the replies showed. So I'm going to break the points down and and focus on them in different posts.

This post is about this notion that a lot of game developers and some people in the gaming press have, that games need to advance the notion of video games as an art form, and that any game that doesn't advance that notion is therefore bad.

This is just wrong. And it's also the same notion that has made movie critics so disconnected from audiences. Some films have been artistic, and some are just entertainment. But look at how the critics tear any film apart for being nothing more than something for people to sit down and enjoy for a few hours.

There is a similar thing with the aforementioned developers and press when it comes to video games. Anything that is just an activity with a set of rules where you win by performing well within those rules, and doesn't try in some way to make you think differently about life or has some attempt to create immersion, is therefore crap that should be spit upon at every opportunity.

Although the ideas of what makes films artistic and what makes video games artistic are different among these respective groups. While with films isn't about spending less money, with games it's about spending more money. Films praised as art are often for a "less is more" reason, while with games it's about trying to throw as much to simulate another world, ours or a fantasy world.

Now that approach to video games isn't inherently bad. The problem is insisting this is the primary way to make games into a true art for, when works in other media have varied ways they get praised as art, and that, again, it's a bad thing for games not to try to make games art.

This seems to be one reason they hate the Wii. Its lower specs make that approach impossible. So rather than try to find other ways to be artistic, or even not try to be artistic, they just avoid the system. For one thing, it shows a horrible lack of imagination and creativeness, and for anther thing, that approach actually puts style over substance. But those points are for another post.

The thing is games are pastimes to have fun. They can be art, and some have come damn close (Okami is one for me, as well as Orisinal, aka the artistic PopCap). But trying to drag the entire medium into being art is wrong. It hasn't happened with other media. Even painting was just as much about portraits as much as being art.

Yet the most important thing is that this narrow-minded view of games hasn't caused games outside these circles to be accepted as art. It's just made games more expensive.

Back to movies, I can see some looking at Avatar and thinking that's what they want. They see the film seemingly making that leap over the uncanny valley (can't be sure myself because I haven't seen it yet), and all the money it's made, and think if they just pull that off that will be the breakthrough they wanted.

What they don't realize is that James Cameron is one of few filmmakers going with that approach. If half the filmmakers were going for that, Avatar would just be lost in a flood of similar films. It wouldn't impress audiences.

We have a similar situation with games. So many try the same general approaches (even if the genres and actual graphical styles differ) that developers and the gaming press decided they should that only a few stand out anymore.

Some seem to think that if enough games follow this path than the medium will be pulled along by the tide and games will transcend beyond being just games and become just as real as movies and will be just as narrative as books. Even if that were possible, the approach is wrong. Because too many are doing that, anyone who doesn't follow gaming releases closely will just see too many similar games and go with what's proven and familiar, same with the recent burst of the "casual bubble".

BTW, I don't just mean HD games. I mean any game that tries so hard to be artistic. Even Nintendo has been guilty of this. Also, I like some of the games I'm discussing. But I know that they can't achieve what the developers and gaming press want them to achieve.

A specific example is Grand Theft Auto IV. Rockstar North spent record development costs to try to create the most immersive game ever. Critics lavished praise on it. And what did most gamers, and game detractors notice? That it was another GTA game. All that work and only the critics and developers cared.

And then Mario Kart Wii outsold it, despite being bashed for not being Gran Turismo with power ups. It clearly wasn't trying to advance games as art, but no one outside those circles cared about that either.

So what went wrong with GTA IV? Technically, nothing. What went wrong wasn't with the game itself. It was the need to make it something more than it was, and the expectation it would do so.

This in essence is the problem with the idea that games must be art, and that there is only one general path to games being art. It's an expensive pipe dream.

My personal advice to these people isn't to drop the idea that games can be art. Just drop the need for it to be so. And come at it from other, less costly, approaches. Also look at other kinds of art in the context of each piece on its own, not how you could make a game to imitate that form.