Great news for all of us girlie-girls (and girlie-boys): fitness has finally gone non-competitive and individual, plus funner and cooler than ever! Or at least that’s where it’s headed…
The New York Times reports on the growing popularity — even in school gyms — of the video-exercise game Dance Dance Revolution. The LA Times calls it “exergaming” — the blending of video games with workouts. Lights and action, and a video game challenge that takes a lot of body movement to accomplish. Loud music and smiles. Sweating without suffering. Not surprisingly, lots of kids find this stuff “more fun than regular PE.”
And do you realize what this means? Perhaps the end of decades of gym humiliation for the geeks and wimps, the kids who always got picked last and never once got slapped on the back, except as a taunt. (Who me, bitter ?)
Overheard in the NYT:
“Traditionally, physical education was about team sports and was very skills oriented,” said Chad Fenwick, who oversees physical education for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where about 40 schools now use Dance Dance Revolution. “What you’re seeing is a move toward activities where you don’t need to be so great at catching and throwing and things like that, so we can appeal to a wider range of kids.”
A reader recently commented here about what a @#$! struggle it can be to get interested in exercise when you never really acclimated to it growing up — quite possibly because gym class was such a negative experience for so many kids who weren’t the naturals.
I’m grinning like a kid myself thinking how much more fun it must be to do your own thing to the music up on that game platform. Sure, some kids are better at it than others, but it’s not about making the all-stars. It’s about “getting more and more people involved and getting them to see exercise doesn’t have to be a chore,” according to a spokesman for Bally Fitness, which is slowly bringing the DDR games into its clubs in the kids areas. Nothing like it specifically for adults yet, but mark my words: we’ll all be Exergaming soon.