DDR in Schools for PE

NY Times article on DDR in schools: P.E. Classes Turn to Video Game That Works Legs.

Cool - this is one of the examples of success frequently waved around by the Serious Games community. There’s actually a congressional ‘Exergaming’ initiative that Games for Health supports. About a year ago, I went with them to the House and Senate buildings in DC to show congresspeople and their staff members how to play games like DDR. (There were a bunch of other games there, too - some of the EyeToy ones, etc…)

Anyhow, it was a trip to be there, in a suit, showing people how to play. After 3-4 hours of examples, I was worn out! here’s a link

Kudos to them. It’s nice to be reminded from time to time that there are positive benefits to games.

I know a lot of chair-potato gamers who are actually pretty good at DDR. It doesn’t seem to affect their weight in any way, but I know the aerobic aspect has got to be beneficial to their circulatory system.

I wouldn’t recommend it for schools, but I bet Guitar Hero has been a catalyst for a lot of people to either take up playing an instrument, or to get back into playing one if they had given it up.

Anybody here ever play video games while on a ski machine or something? When I play a racing game on a Nordic Track, I always get a much better work out than if I’m watching TV or something else.

I remember reading a long time ago about Nintendo or some other company releaseing an exercise bike game system. The character on screen would move faster depending on how much your exercising, after that article I never heard anything about it again was it ever released?

I play my 360 while I use my stationary bike. I feel like I get a lot better work out. Fight Night is my favorite for that since it’s pretty intense but not too involved.

I used to belong to a gym that had competition stationary bikes as well as rower machines. When you sat down you could choose to join the race already in progress, wait for the next race, or use the machine offline. It was quite fun, I remember using the machines a lot more than I had planned just to finish the race with the others sitting there. I wish I could remember the name of the manufacturer but it would be really nice to see more of that. Really the only game I play at the gym now is the singles game. Lots of folks in the same age range trying to look better while staring at each other.

Despite the $1k of weights sitting around in my apartment, I think I’d join a gym for this. I think anything that got me past the point of “Damn, I’m out of breath and sweating like a pig… I hate exercising” mentally would be worth it. I like the way I feel after a good workout, I just hate getting there from the beginning.

On a side note, anyone reading actually play DDR themselves? I need a good pad (the fiance has mine currently and it’s a bit far to go to get it back) and the place I bought mine from originally no longer is in business. (Not looking for the silly $300 type, but one of the soft ones with the really dense foam inserts should be sufficient for now.)

Once this becomes a required part of your school curriculum, doesn’t it cease to be fun? Will adoption of DDR for school use lead to a drop in popularity of the home and arcade versions of the game, or is it an already declining fad that schools are only now catching up to?

You can get metal pads for $100 or just under with good construction. Definitely worth it, in my opinion.

I haven’t played for a couple years now, but I used the RedOctane pads ($80 ea), which I thought worked pretty well and are as you describe (soft w/ dense foam inserts).

What’s with kids these days? Why, when I was a kid in PE, we had to run everyday. In the sun!

The best part of that article is this:

“In a study last year, researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., found that children playing Dance Dance Revolution expended significantly more energy than children watching television and playing traditional video games.”

They did a fucking study to determine that dancing burns more calories than sitting on your ass. Your tax dollars at work!

$100 with good (esp switch) construction? Okay… I’ll check that out… have a link?

Unfortunately nothing current (I haven’t played in a few years, either). But I had a metal pad that was used by the entire household, including a fatty, and it still worked like a charm after thousands of games.

I would say check the make and models being sold on eBay, and then look up reviews and opinions for the different brands on a DDR forum.

Unfortunately, as stoopid as it is in this case, if you want to convince a legislative body to spend a lot of money to put video games in public schools, you have to have ‘scientific’ evidence from a properly managed research study. That’s part of the problem that is holding the whole serious games biz back. Corporations that can make decisions on anecdotal evidence will buy them, but governments and public schools? Not so much.

I wonder if they use DDR in PE class in Japan…

If you’re looking to do a DDR pad on the cheap, get any old DDR soft-pad (ie., I have a MadCatz pad). Mount the pad on mason board and then get a sheet of Lucite and cut 9 squares to cover the button grid. Use black duct-tape to keep the Lucite together, and to attach the Lucite to the back mason board.

It works amazingly well, and can be used with shoes if desired. This is a crappy description of how to slap it together, but a google of ‘Chubby DDR pad’ should return results.

I suddenly want to buy DDR… is there a DDR+Pad for the 360?

Yeah.