Korean Gyms Subjected to Kinect

Illustration for article titled Korean Gyms Subjected to Kinect
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Microsoft Korea joins World Gym Fitness Center in the Ilsan district to promote the Kinect throughout February. Members of the gym will be able to participate in the "Dance Time with Kinect" program, held twice every Tuesday. The promotion will use Dance Central 2, and during the last week of February, there will be a dance competition for prizes.

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As Microsoft Korea's IEB division director Song Jin-Ho stated, Microsoft participated in this promotion to allow gym members to enjoy the game's "great music and easy to follow motions." Song added that he hopes young women who are normally reluctant to exercise will take an interest in Dance Central 2.

Let's ignore the strangeness of the gender discrimination of this quote, but instead consider the old absurdity of using games to exercise. Even with perfect 1:1 motion controls, even with a game as critically well received as Dance Central 2, gaming in the living room cannot yet replicate the fun and social element of real exercise. This leads to the idea that World Gym Fitness Center is trying to target gamers to step outside and join their gym, Microsoft trying to get non-gamers at this gym to buy their machines, and everything reeks of desperately motion controlling at straws.

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I exercise specifically to exercise, away from my computer, television, and games. I think that if I were to see a Kinect and Dance Central 2 hooked up at my gym, I would feel the wrong kind of ripped, and then I'd forget about it since I go there to swim anyway.

Dance Time with Kinect [VideogamerX]

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DISCUSSION

I'm not so sure if the gym's real goal is to target gamers who spend all day at home than to present a new and exciting way to exercise to their casual gym members. Unless the gym dynamics in Korea are drastically different from the gyms in the US, you tend to have the really active gym rats and the casual gym goer (like my mother) who are only interested in going to their zumba or step aerobics class. The gym rats will snub their noses and go back to their curls while the casual gym goers will get a kick out of it.

As for the validity of video games for exercise, there's been quite a few studies on the effectiveness of the Wii with physical rehabilitation of post surgery outpatients and older geriatric patients. As for Dance Central, it's essentially just dancing and dancing is a caloric burning activity. It's not even that new of a trend, since exercise and video games have been linked since the original Dance Dance Revolution days. I actually have a friend who lost at least 50 lbs just from becoming addicted to DDR. Of course, the activity has to be physical. Playing Zelda on the Wii while you sit on the couch doesn't work for obvious reasons.