Tuesday, October 17, 2006

No Yourself!Fitness Sequel? Augh!

Games for Health is a series of conferences intended to "develop a community and best practices platform for the numerous games being built for health care applications." Games for getting in shape, games for recovering from illness, games to teach health concepts.

A recent talk on the state of exergaming included this sad news for Maya's fans:
ResponDesign, the creators of Yourself Fitness [brought news of] Yourself Fitness no longer being in stores and [that] there is no sequel in the works. While ResponDesigns has an uncertain future there is still strong support and need for the exergaming space. They also feel having compelling software is what is required to get people to exercise and to solve the obesity epidemic.
Compelling software is important, but so is good marketing and branding. To buy these products, you have to know they exist and where to find them. Despite the lovely New York Times article, "Yourself!Fitness" and "EyeToy:Kinetic" don't roll trippingly off the tongue and haven't become household names. Hey! Maybe what the field needs is a celebrity! Like Tiger Woods Golf and John Madden Football, our instructor could be based on a real person! Although, come to think of it, that's been tried too - the XaviX console has a series of Jackie Chan fitness products. Or does it? Jackie Chan Studio Fitness just says "our new site is coming soon - check back shortly!"

Since January.

Of the "serious exercise game" triumvirate: XaviX's site is mostly dead, Y!F is slowly disappearing without a sequel, and the official EyeToy:Kinetic blog hasn't posted anything since May, which seems like a bad sign for their rumored sequel EyeToy:Kinetic Combat.

So is there any good news?
  • Wii is on the way with the explicit goal of making full-body movement fun and part of not just a few games but every game on the platform. They're making "get up and move" a required part of the game experience. If Wii succeeds, others will follow.
  • Dance Dance Revolution is no longer a game, it's a game category. It's a genre. Every platform needs a dancing game as much as it needs a fighting game and a first-person shooter.
  • Exergaming and real-world gaming have conferences. It's not just a few weirdoes working on this stuff, it's enough weirdoes to have a Games4Health conference. To have an exergaming area at CES or E3. Like DDR, the idea of a videogame workout has enough momentum to survive the death of any one product. Or two. Or three.
(hat tip: iPortion)

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Blogger Askazombiehousewife said...

I wish there was something that could save Maya!

Maybe something tied with something else. Tie in of an existing product: Simple name:
I’ve only seen one episode so far but something Like Biggest Loser: Personal Trainer
or Crunch: Personal Trainer

Just the title would help with distribution:

A choice of two animated trainers with customable music
Printable food journals, food calculator, with calorie recommendations by weight for loss and maintenance.
And the ability to choose your equipment, step, weights, hula hoop, jump rope, and mini cycle

10/17/2006 2:24 PM  

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