Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lecture 1: 4Mar2010 Physical Games

Today we have discussed what makes a game physical. We have learned that you automatically think of childhood games (because you are so accustomed to it?) and that we can learn a lot from sports to make computer games more exciting: after all, they are often more engaging, more social, more emotional, healthier, etc.
I have shown you my definition of "Exertion Games": a computer game that requires intense physical effort from its players. This is my definition, and you do not need to agree with it, but I believe it is important that you know it.

Please put in the comments below your thoughts about this class (you heard advice on how to do it from the 2nd years). You also need to post the URL of your game team's website to the left (you would need to become an editor to do that).

Thanks for all your contributions in the class, I had a great time, and I am looking forward to seeing all of you next week.


Cheers,
Floyd

PS: For the 2 groups that present next week: Can you please make a better job in bringing a big sheet of paper (or A4 stitched together) with you, with your "the one thing we want everyone to remember from this presentation" printed on it so we can add it to the wall? I'll be there half an hour earlier if you want to setup etc.
I want you to achieve the following: If I wake up any of your fellow students in the middle of the night, and ask them "why do people play games?" or "what is play?" they mumble "there are 4 reasons, hard fun, easy fun, .... and they play out differently in different games, for example when I play WoW, there is a lot of easy fun through exploring the virtual world" or "play starts when entering the magic circle of play. That circle is evident when I play Halo because... " and then they can fall asleep again. That's when you know you did an ace presentation.


Homework

Start preparing your presentation with your group
Enter the URL of your team's blog either on the right or in the comments below and enter progress weekly
Read 2 papers on "why we play games" and "pervasive games" before next week
Bring $20
If you are presenting next week, practice!
Comment on today's lecture

73 comments:

  1. Great lecture and discussion tonight guys!
    Noticed a few of you weren't aware of Natal; Here's the E3 video from 2009 that showcases it's possibilities.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqYSKPoKul8

    And one more that was good idea for a game while in that painful basketball squat position.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2qlHoxPioM&feature=fvst

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  2. Indeed it was a great lecture. Definitely different and much more refreshing.

    One problem I can probably foresee with the Project Natal is with games that require a much higher level of sensitivity. For example, watching that video has got me thinking as to how exactly would they be able to measure the amount of acceleration for the racing game. The motion for acceleration in a car is relatively quite a small motion. Also, I find it worth mentioning the changing of gears for the cars. Would only a linear kind of gear changing work as in, flick up for higher gear, flick up again for a higher one.. or would it be possible to implement specific areas where one could flick to get into gear such as...


    1 2 3
    | | |
    ---------
    | | |
    4 5 6

    Just food for thought. Also, lol at airdrumming vid. =D

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  3. @ Justin

    I'm not sure, I suppose they could track the distance of your foot upright to flat to determine the pressure you're putting on the pedals. The times you see her change gears, she makes a motion to grab for them (which seems to active the nose/action to grab the stick.) and she pulls straight back, and then another time she pulls down at an angle. I can only assume you make the motion to grab the stick, and pull it to a certain angle to change.

    I love the first demo, the fighting game. Imagine doing Tekken juggles with that.

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  4. Excellent lecture Mr. Floyd and the tip of my hat to you at engaging everyone and getting our minds thinking.

    Several of your questions revolving around the main question you asked us (what makes a physical game?) really got me thinking and I wondered is a physical game made up of many parts such as emotion, mental effort as well as physical effort. However, while I found your definition of an "Exertion Game" rather succint and pretty smart I had an image of a person playing a computer game where they exerted a large amount of physical effort just mashing a button and so I'm just wondering does an exertion game require a certain amount of complete physical movement to be counted?

    Also I hope that Natal ends up working like the link George (thanks for the link btw) posted showed...kung fu fight!

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  5. I enjoyed the lecture. The cogs in my brain have been turning a bit on the whole physical games idea.
    WARNING: highly disjointed ramble ahead!
    Re childhood games:
    Someone raised the point that the games we played as children in the schoolyard will still be played there ten years from now, despite the available technology. While it would be great if there were consoles in schoolyards, simple games like tag, thumb wars, and clapping games will still be present. There’s a chance that they will evolve, though. The jacks of today is a different game from the knucklebones of Ancient Greece, though the fundamentals remain. It’s a game that could still be improved with modern technology. After all, Dance Dance Revolution is practically hopscotch.
    But why are these games so great? Tim and I began with impractical arm wrestling, but then switched to thumb wars. At first I felt a bit foolish, especially how I make my thumb do a ceremonial bow out of a childhood custom, but I quickly became just as competitive, if not more so, than I would be playing cards or even a multi-player computer game. I was focused and somewhat afraid of my thumb getting crushed for ten seconds, whereas it’s rare that a computer game will make me fear for my person. So there's definitely an element of risk (and possibly sadism) that makes these kinds of games fun.

    Re sports:
    I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I’m not a sporty person. Our experiences of sport may vary, but for some of us, sport was something decided by a PE teacher, and you had no choice in what, who, or when you played. A few of us may voluntarily be on sports teams. Regardless of endorphins being released, people who are pushed into a sport will probably not enjoy it. They may not invest much physical or mental effort. I know I tended to daydream while playing cricket, even when I was batting. Yet if I were to go to the park with friends and set up some stumps, I’d probably participate more, enjoy myself, and receive the health benefits of physical activity.
    I think this explains the popularity and variety of the sports available on the Wii. I won’t play tennis in a proper club, but for a laugh, I might play it on the Wii at home with a friend. I will probably become competitive. The same goes with games like Singstar or Guitar Hero. Some of us won’t join a choir or a guitar ensemble, but these games still have their appeal (though they are somewhat awkward to play on your own).
    With the popularity of fitness games on the Wii, people’s perceptions of games and gamers are changing. Time was, staying at home playing a game would get you labeled as lazy and anti-social. Now you can play a physical game while socializing, even with someone across the world. Suddenly you’re a fit internationalist.
    These games also seem to be popular with other (can I say older?) age groups. This could be people living out fantasies of being sports stars, but it’s also people who don’t have the time to get to a gym or an oval because they’re holding down 9-5 jobs. They may also have families, in which case, the Wii becomes a household item. So, while I abhor parents who buy their children educational games (Treasure MathStorm, anyone?) and expect them to enjoy it, I see the sense in investment in physical games. Being physically active is supposed to aid you mentally, and a child will probably enjoy dancing/playing tennis a lot more than they would be working out multiplication questions.
    That said, I think most of us will retain our current computer game format as our favourite for a while yet, but physical exertion games are a definitely an improvement rather than just a variation on existing RL sports/games.

    Is this long enough? If you actually read it, well done. Have a cookie.

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  6. more information on location of said cookies is needed.

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  7. Excellent and entertaining lecture, definitely was not what I was expecting when I had found out about the Math and Physics class. On the topic of immediately thinking of childhood games like Rock Paper Scissors and Thumb Wars, what both these two games have in common, apart from there being two players, are that they do not require any tools or equipment, just your hands.

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  8. Great lesson, and fantastic lecturer. Just wish that the lecture didn't run so late....

    Exertion games seem to be somewhat close to an actual sport, right? However it's repetative... I dont see any appeal to the gameplay, but I like the fact you meet randoms.

    -sighs- I am so lame at this commentng stuff.

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  9. On behalf of my team (team H) here is a link to our blog where we are going to be brainstorming a lot (hopefully): http://exertiongames.blogspot.com/
    On behalf of myself here are some comments from me on the lecture:

    Not sure if I enjoyed the lecture or not but it certainly raised some interesting points.

    One thing that got me thinking (as it did Steph above me)was why we all remembered the games of our childhood when asked to play a physical game. I think this could be explained by the fact that these and similar games are what children use to help them learn skills such as fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Although most of us play video games now when we were young we learnt a lot of physical and mental skills through simple games such as those we played, as such they are a foundation/building block for everything that came later in life. Unless babies are taught via computers in the future I think games like rock, paper, scissors and paddy cake will remain important and well known. Also I'd like to point out that I find there to be something very disturbing about the idea of computers raising babies and I hope it's something that never happens.

    During the lecture we talked a bit about what made sport fun to watch and whether if video game sports were carried out by professionals fans would still watch. It was suggested that the idea of violence was a large attraction is spectator sports therefore video game sports would lack this element and be less appealing to an audience. However not every game is a contact sport anyway. We were using tennis as an example so I'm surprised no one mentioned this as the lecture. The tennis players don't run over and bash each other half way through, if they are injured it occurs because they themselves have an accident unrelated to the opponent. So I can't see how violence or the lack of it would effect the popularity of virtual tennis or other non contact sports translated to video games.

    I'm not convinced in the benefits/need of active games such as the wii. While there is obviously a market for these games it seems like a market that shouldn't exist in the first place. I don't really see why people can't just exercise in other ways. A 9 till 5 job is such a big deal that you can't get out of the house, but it's ok, you can spend hours a day inside playing your wii. Seems a little illogical to me. The idea that kids can replace running around outside with friends with being inside on the wii all day, even if they play online with other people, is simply wrong. Partially I'm just trying to be the devils advocate here, I think a discussion on why we need these exertion games could be really interesting so people suggest some more reasons FOR them

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  10. Like the others; I too must thank Floyd for the riveting and interactive lecture we just experienced.
    Ever since I saw Natal promo'd at E3 last year I've been somewhat sceptical of the level to which the camera input can track the movements of the user/s. Often games require a great deal of finesse to perform certain actions. In my experience with the Wii (limited to about 30 hours all up) I often found at some of the most crucial parts of a game, my actions were not read correctly by the machine, often resulting in death/loss etc. Had I been playing with a GameCube controller however, my input would have been easily and fluidly interpreted by the console. For this reason, I know that many of my friends continue to use the original GameCube controllers. As interesting and interactive the Wii Nunchuk controller can be, its lack of reliability seems to have led it to being left as a backup controller.

    Relating this back to Project Natal, which uses an even broader method of interpreting user movement through surveying its surroundings. I am concerned to the level at which this console periphery can pick out the subtle differences in movements a user may make in order to achieve different results, and, when taking into account multiple users at once (As shown in the E3 promo) how it can distinguish all their different and complex movements correctly.
    This may make Natal suitable for only casual games not dissimilar to the Wii Sports titles, but that does seem an awful waste of Microsoft’s RND into our newly labelled genre of ‘Exertion Games’.

    Now that I’ve gotten all the negatives out of the way it is time to bring out the positive: I applaud Natal for attempting to bring total body movement recognition into the console gaming sphere. A problem often lauded regarding the Nintendo Wii’s motion control feature was that a proper conversion of action to reaction wasn’t employed. This resulted in people performing powerful tennis shots whilst sitting in their lounge chair, casually flicking their wrists; which seemed to defeat the whole purpose of the control scheme.
    I would love some feedback from other commenters regarding their experiences with the Wii and perhaps even Sony’s Eye Toy, if anyone used one: How did you find the interactive control scheme? Did you find similar problems as I expressed earlier regarding input clarity? Did you end up using your old GameCube controller to ensure clear commands were given whilst playing games? Finally, does anyone share my concerns with the promises being made regarding Project Natal and Microsoft’s final output?

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  11. Excellent lecture Mr. Floyd!! I'm really amazed at how a whole room full of students are able to engage with each other and share ideas and opinions about our perceptions of games and the evolution of them (the consideration put into games that we played as children reflected much of this). It's so much easier to enjoy a lecture, or a class in general, when you feel that your opinion is valued, and I hope to make use of this in the future.

    I was very interested when you raised two points: "what is considered real?" and what is typically considered a 'game' in today's society. To respond to the first, my opinion is that technology will become such an intense part of the daily lifestyle, that a day will come where we will seriosuly have to consider this question. Robots used for domestic purposes will be such an example. To the second, truthfully, ten years from now I believe most children will abandon the idea of the simple 'rock, paper. scissors' or 'thumb wars'; rather, when the word 'game' is raised I believe most children will automatically associate it with video games and the famous consoles such as the xbox and the playstation.

    Your idea of physical games is essential to the future of the gaming industry. I think that in a competitive market it requires many of the leading companies to think about new ways of experiencing games; society no longer accepts the traditional 'controller', and the success of the Wii proved this to us.

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  12. @ George and Alex, I fear the cookies may have something in common with a certain cake...

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  13. Cookies are a lie?

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  14. At first i thought this subject was really boring and do with real math n physics stuff..
    however, it was a great subject!! great lecture!
    the question and discussion really make me think really hard.. everyone comes up with a great idea.. its make me feel like "aha, i never thought about it before"
    I don't like sport before until Mr.Floyd show us the 1st video. Its a great idea for gamers who don't like sports to do sports..
    sorry for my lame english.. ~_~
    i'll do my best to learn it more.. :)

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  15. THE BLOG: http://nymphora.blogspot.com/

    Super Cool lecture Floyd. From what I've experienced, lecturers seem to be detached to the students there actually lecturing, heck class involvement is usually a zero, but this was complete 'balls to the wall' interaction. I detected a hint of Dead Poets Society and a little bit of Dr. Strangelove from the slick accent. Anyways on to the meat, between the sandwich; discussion

    Exertion games, seems to be another one of those new gaming genres (is it even considered video gaming?). When the Wii, the ideas were endless, 1:1 ratio lightsaber fights, steering wheels, light gun games without the gun but what the game industry has churned out on the wii so far seems to be what I like to call 'Waggle games', instead of pressing buttons to attack, dodge, do your taxes, you waggle the remote and your character will do an animation that isn't at all related to your movement. The closest game released so far that I would consider an insertion game would be 'Wario Ware Smooth Moves' or even 'Mario Party 8: Wii', both games are generally meant to be played in a party situation, you're competition with friends in light competition and also sweating. Let's hope Natal isn't a mutton dressed as lamb.

    One of the topics of discussion or something similar was that 'if you pit the two best virtual tennis players and broadcast it to the entire world, would it be the same atmosphere as the Aus Open Finals?'. Let's face it, even though video games are becoming more mainstream, it and it's culture are still a niche, a large one but niche.

    The casual audience (e.g. the people that bought the Wii and DS purely for wiisports and brain age) would probably think 'Why watch fake tennis played by little kids, when I can watch real sportsman, bleeding sweat onto the court of kings rah rah rah'. 'Pfft, virtual tennis is casual trash' would be the warcry of the hardcore gamers you know the type, joins clans, rank number 1 in there tournaments, goes on ventrillo etc. The two groups are completely different.

    However look at the following videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtuA5we0RZU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A1Ol3ya6-U

    The atmosphere in the crowd is the same, but the 'scale' is different (EVO had a crowd of 300+, Anzac Match had 40k+ crowd). Back to the question 'If you pit the two best virtual tennis players and broadcast it to the entire world, would it be the same atmosphere as the Aus Open Finals?'. It wouldn't generate the same atmosphere, but if someone managed to create a video game, popular enough to please both casual and xtreeeme hardcore crowd and it was able to played at a competitive level just maybe...it'll have that atmosphere.

    Then again, Starcraft is consider a serious sports in Korea, players are sponsored by nike, star in ads for fashion brands and the opposite sex buckle to there knees at the site of one.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbBoVcqVOKc

    Just listen to the urgency of the news reporter!

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  16. What an interesting class. :)

    I thought a bit about the difference between sports and games and found that most sports involve exercise and the desire to win, while games in general tend to be more fun than competitive.

    Of course, there are competitive games as well (WCG ESWC) but I find them more fun than sports. However that may be my aversion to physical exertion talking. Sorry, I'm sleepy. Hopefully that was somewhat coherent.

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  17. I enjoyed that lecture a lot as it was more interactive and engaging than most of our other lectures.

    It was interesting to see what some people considered a physical game and what others didn't and the sorts of components like movement, balance and physical exertion that helped decide this.

    I agree that we can learn a lot from sports to make computer games more exciting but I also think that re-presenting these sports in new ways also attracts players to games, for example a fighting sort of game using mystical and medieval characters.

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  18. I really enjoyed the lecture tonight, and am so excited to have such an engaging lecturer! ^_^ The class is so back and forth and I feel that for the first time this week I've actually learned something that has really stuck and has opened up different perceptions for me *also I'm relieved that there are no actual maths involved heh*

    In regards to todays lecture and why we all went straight to childhood hand games when faced with the task of 'performing a physical game with the person next to you' my impression of this phrase was automatic- Do something that involves your hands. I immediately disregarded any games that could be drawn or written. This is why I found it very interesting when we were all discussing the definition of a physical game, and how basically anything that requires movement is quite literally and technically a physical game! I think my mentality ( of physical games) is...or was... this way because in my mind games are catergorised into different types, for example 'physical games = outdoor activity, movement, engaging with other players etc' but then there is 'mind games = puzzles, tic tac toe etc'.

    Also in regards to people and their driven emotion towards real life sport and the comparison to the emotion towards video games, I think that people are more passionate (the majority of people that is... because man I've seen a lot of gamer fanatics that have cried over their games >.>) the reality of sports is that there is no going back, there is no try again, there is no instant repair for the wounds. It's all final, and I think that this is the main difference when it comes to why people are more adamant and passionate towards real life sports.

    Anyways, great lecture! Kind of freaking out about presentation next week, but that's okay :)
    Look forward to the semester

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  19. Mr. Floyd, you deserve a star!

    That was a wonderful lecture! I loved how discussions were involved, it constantly got my mind to think and which made it very engaging espcially being at such a late session.

    All this discussion and would definately contribute for everyone in expanding their thoughts and knowledge.

    oh and blog link to our team(N) would be:
    http://nymphora.blogspot.com/

    To those that play HoN? that's where the name came from =)

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  20. Haha I'm playing HoN very drowsily as we speak.

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  21. Group Blog: publicdisturbance.wordpress.com

    I can't stop thinking! Well done Mr. Floyd your philosophical questions on game concepts are mind boggling. I felt compelled by how interactive your lecture was, I guess now Thursday’s has a pretty good finish to look forward to.

    I think this whole idea of physical exertion is really cool, I myself do long distance running. Usually when I do run I see just how far I can go until I can’t run anymore, the idea that some how these kinds of actions of self endurance could be turned into a concept for gaming are pretty interesting.

    I had an idea of like putting two people in a hamster wheel, and making it so the faster a person runs the faster the other person’s wheel turn’s in the opposite direction. Sort of like the discussion we had about the weird “invisible chair thing” and ways of increasing the level of competition. I think that actually been able to test people on two levels is an amazing direction for gaming to go, sounds a lot more interesting when people are susceptible to pain, exhaustion, embarrassment or frustration.

    My question however as at want point can you define something as an exertion game, because there are sports out there like car racing. Were the car is doing all the work, and it doesn’t involve any physical activity except pushing a pedal and turning a wheel. Yet the car does move in the real world, it can move, accelerate and if get involved in a pile up it can be a very real and fatal accident.

    Your questions reminded me of the running man and the way people use other people as a tool in a game, yet they themselves do nothing. But then which person is the player? the player in the game? or the one with all the control?

    The risk factor to me is what determines what the best exertion games would be birthed from as fear. Fear can give you butterflies and spark panic, for example when you go on an amusement park ride. Been in an altered state of mind makes it harder to perform, blinding someone senses.

    Even better what about a game that people didn’t even know they were playing like ghosting? That sport Hamish and Andy invented. Were you stalking someone close behind them until they notice you, but the thing is you’re not that only one playing? The other person is the other player any they don’t know it, it’s there instinctive nature of determining when they are been followed that decides how good you are at being sneaky.

    Instinct is now reminding me of the Saw.. Saw is messed up.. If I keep going this is going to get creepy..

    But I think there might be allot of potential in games people don’t know there playing evolving instinctive quick reactions and choices. (Not to level of SAW!)

    I had too much caffeine today, night friends.

    Btw pardon my grammar I’m a pretty sucky writer..

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  22. Thanks for the awesome lecture Floyd, I'm very excited that we are going to be working on exertion games, because there are, and are going to be so many new possibility for how we interact with games.

    Now with Nintendo's motion controller +wii motion plus (that makes the motion controller as good as people thought it should of been in the first place) and wii balance board,
    Microsoft with project Natal that makes use of your body to interact.
    Sony's motions controller that uses the play stations eyes webcam to help track the controller and is meant to give 1:1 motion tracking. both Natal and playstation aiming for a release end of 2010.

    Though at the moment, many people see it to be a bit gimmicky, it has lots of potential.
    I don't think they will replace the standard ways of interacting with games but will branch out into its own category.

    With trying to recreate the feelings you get through sport in video games is something I haven't thought of before, through (sport)games (Exertion games) where you interact with other people, you do(can) form a bond or connection with other plays on an emotional level that video games just dose not allow.

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  23. @Steph Y - user please =)

    Also, regarding Project Natal. I can certainly see limitations in places where these full body motion games can be played to its full potential.
    People living in apartments or flats will have space problems when trying to say.. perform a spinning back kick in the fighting game. Now, we have to imagine that there would be also some sort of multiplayer implementation, and when you have a couple guys swinging about in the air, someone's gonna cop a hit sooner or later and it's going to probably turn into a real "exertion game" =P.

    And we have Glados here with us!! XD
    I want a weighted companion cube!!!

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  24. Thankyou Floyd for such a fantastic lecture! My friend had you last year and told me you and your lectures are amazing and she was right =].

    I think the reason behind us all resorting to 'childhood games' is because these games require basic functions and have a basic objective. These games have been around since before our childhood and have just been passed down and are probably one of the first types of games we learnt to interact with other people. Therefore this being one of the oldest type of physical games we know, hence why we all resorted to it? Because of it's familiarity? Also likely due to the fact we most likely didn't know the people we were playing the game with very well so decided to stick to a basic universal game? Instead of discussing and thinking of more complex games just choosing what was easiest.

    In reference to reality sports vs. computer games, I don't think computer games could ever replace that. People have been trained from a young age developing and honing their whole body and skills to perform to a standard at the top of their league. Also people can choosen sports based on their body build as there are now tests that can determine which sport you would excel at most due to your body type. Although passion can be seen in both reality sports and computer sports, with reality sports it is usually based on a league or a tornament system to win the championship. This means there are no room for errors. With gaming you can just restart it and do it again. During the lecture I was also prompted to think about guitar hero and reality guitar playing. Although playing guitar is not a sport it can use a lot of physical exertion especially if performing where cordless amps etc could come in useful. I have played guitar for five years, and the first few times I played guitar hero I found it difficult and nothing like playing a real guitar even though the console is supposed to be similar to a real guitar. So playing sports is a lot different in real life than with computer games, even using Wii. It just isn't close enough to generate accurate emotions of reality even though they can come close.

    Thankyou again for a great lecture looking forward to the next one =]

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  25. Cynthia had a very good point: in sports there is no "undo", every action has consequences that are irreversible. This can be beneficial or detrimental: you might say that computer games are therefore better, because players can take higher risks (they can always pull the plug), or worse than sports, because the risk is what makes sports so exciting and hence engaging. So which direction should your game go?

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  26. About Project Natal, wouldn't it be more effective if they used 'nodes' or some sort of transmitters that are attached on key parts of the body (i.e. wrists, elbows) to register the movement of the user?

    It's almost like the Wii controller but broken down into many small parts to be more precise and deliver more accurate information to the sensor.

    I also thought about creating technology that allows physically handicapped people to enjoy games too. Maybe in the future scientists can create a way to translate nerve impulses to allow, say, a fully paralyzed person to control an in-game avatar with their mind.

    It would be cool if able-bodied people can play around with this mental technology too. Imagine playing Counter Strike with only your mind - no delay between thought and action. How fast-paced and exhilarating would that be? :D

    Just some thoughts I had for awhile now.

    @Justin G - snowbunnie

    But I'm a slack player (chatting while playing etc) so I'll probably frustrate you with my incompetence in game. Be warned. :)

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  27. Kane, what's your team's letter?
    Also, check out Nike+: is it a game?

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  28. I believe that our games should go in the direction of having a higher risk factor. But the risk factor would have to be something other than physical injury. Athletes play sports knowingly well of the risks that they take, and therefore go through vigorous training not only to boost their performance but also to minimize the risk of physical injury. Whereas in a game, we would need people to understand that there is little to no risk of physical injury but instead a penalty of some other kind would have to be imposed. These risks or penalties can probably come in various forms. But I believe having the risk of having a bruised ego would be quite effective for the gamers to really give it all in order to win therefore raising the competitiveness of the players.

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  29. Great lecture ive been racking my brain thinking of pysical game ideas

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  30. i think they already have a game that uses nerve endings and the brain its like tetris or pong i think i saw a doc about it on beyond tomorro

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  31. @Justin G

    I agree with the idea of risk, but involving ego in a game goes against my belief that games should be enjoyed and promote friendship and sportsmanship between gamers. When egos collide...the results can't be pretty.

    I'm not sure about other places, but the online gaming environment where I play often gets ruined by overcompetitiveness. Name-calling and insults fly when people get cocky and/or start bragging.

    I may have misunderstood your point though, please correct me if I have.

    @ Aaron

    Would you mind linking me? I'm really interested in that topic. :)

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  32. well, it was a very interesting lecture. at least it made me less sleepy compared to the other lectures. (still sleepy, but not so much :P) 

    something i like the most from this lecture is that it wasn't really like maths and physics in high school, I thought so before though. 

    ur topic about exertion games is very engaging and encouraging, that it made us want to make something more. Overall, It's really fun BUT i remember something, things that are fun usually leads to problems. thus, i have to be more aware with this subject hehehe

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  33. The lecture was entertaining and very easy to follow and learn Floyd!

    I must say, I am looking forward to see how Project Natal evolves to be after being anounced again on this E3, and Id like to see how Project Natal works in Practice.

    Now, I must say that the experience that I had with the wii could be similar with Project Natal. When you look in this videos the players seem to be able to input all this commands with ease with great flow and continuously.

    When the Nintendo team announced the first time the Wii-Mote, I thought it was the best thing ever anyone could have invented for a video game. The way how different players could use the wii-mote just seemed so out of this world, and now my wii is in my cupboard gaining dust due to this pile of casual junkware...

    And most of the things I thought the Wii-mote could do it dosent do. Wii Plus may be able to change this to show true 1:1 Movement. The question comes in now if they are going to make more games for the wii a "must" to use Wii-Plus.

    Hopefully the next Zelda will explore the true possibilities with Wii-Plus.

    I am more exited with Sony's Motion controller that uses a camera at the same time too. If Microsoft released a option where you could use a "wand" to press simple commands as shoot, jump that are overly repetitive it would be overkill, with the same option of being able to do the same thing with movement.

    With the Lecture: I wanted to disclose (and I had my hand up) Something that I thought as a good example in games that the crowd loves to see (in terms of pain or blood) in old times was the Gladiators where many man, slaves, warriors and beasts would fight against each other just for the glory.

    I suppose that this is a very big thing we like about video games. We don't want to do harm in people. We don't want to be destructive or the society does not allow us to aim and shoot with a gun. We are not allowed to kill. We are not allowed to do such thing or its not safe. This is maybe why we enjoy playing this virtual world where we can do things we are not allowed in real life. Like wearing a sword ready for battle. I suppose that magic, spells and superpowers makes a game more interesting and hard to experience in real life.

    Other aspect that I wanted to disclose. With Sport games, rules are more tight and the number is more limited to have a number to lets say 2-20 or 30 and so on. In Sport games its very unlikely to have a higher number. But to the Politicians “game of power” where they just wanted to be man in History, they had their own kind of game: War.

    War has been part of human beings for a long time and with time its number is much higher, they are rules, and a country can win, retreat or be defeated. I am sure that the players or so warriors in this cruel human phenomenon they mostly don't want to take part off, or they dint want to take part of. But why then we so play war games? And why are they popular?

    I have known and read situations where someone's grandfather would see their grandson playing a war game like Call of Duty and they would be terrified! They could not believe that our generation would be so interested in reliving their worst experiences as a medium of fun and entertainment.

    To Chester G: Both videos gave me Goose bumps! And that SF3 Game reminded me so much in the good old days of playing Soul Calibur 3... oh the good days. I got SC4 If anyone wants to play some in the Games Room. Sorry for the Long post. Just my two cents :) Also: Sorry for my bad english.

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  34. Michael M / MikeyMarch 5, 2010 at 1:22 AM

    Hey Floyd, thanks heaps for a top lecture! :)

    My group/team as well as myself really enjoyed it and how you engaged the whole class in the discussion.
    I'm really looking forward to the coming weeks and working on Exertion games, I'm excited and believe I will enjoy each week immensely and loved the fact that the lecture helped expand everyone's thoughts on games beyond 'outside the box'.
    Such as creating a brand new game concept for athletes, pets as well as people with disabilities. This was very interesting and helped me think more broadly about games and brand new concepts being what the game industry want.
    Thanks for a great lecture,
    Looking forward to the semester.

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  35. @Krotana - I'll play SC4 with you =) I use Mitsurugi but I have not played in a long time.

    @Steph Y - Well, I think the flaw in my argument was that I attributed the "ego" thing mainly to myself. I'm more of a passive player and although I do get competitive, I never get nasty. So, I think I never really considered what responses a bruised ego could invoke in other less passive players. Games, to me is a way of just having fun and overcoming challenges.

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  36. Thank you for a fun evening Floyd, I was warned that I should post ASAP, and due to no fault but my own I now suffer from a lack of imagination to find some unused adjectives to describe the lecture, so here is a list of my favourites used so far:
    -interactive
    -interesting
    -entertaining
    -engaging
    -awesome

    I will be following this up tomorrow early next week with my thoughts on what makes a sport a sport, I just finished the text below and as you can see from the post time it is a little past even my bedtime and I still have to set up my teams blog (done - http://TheRainbowRambos.wordpress.com ), look forward to another great lecture next week.

    @Candy G: on your doubt in the benefits of active games, I would like to make a few points.

    We in the wealthier half of the global community have begun to suffer from the more malignant traits of our abundant access to goods and services. As our lives become easier and our occupations less physically demanding, there are fewer reasons for us to keep our bodies fit other than for the sake of our fitness alone. This in itself may be enough to motivate some or even most, but personally and I don't think I am alone here; I prefer exercising when my time is spent meeting other challenges and when it is also spent in a social setting.

    The Wii revolutionised the dynamics of my household in Tasmania. My mum, my dad, my two sisters, my brother and my two sisters' partners would often gather around at night after School/Uni/Work/Housework and compete with the WiiFit Those with unhealthy BMIs(myself included) found ourselves losing weight while also finding an activity that brought us closer together. In duller moments of the hectic weekends 10 minutes was all I needed to try beat my sister's boyfriend's score in downhill skiing
    or my mother's in hoola dancing. This time otherwise would of been spent burning time on my PC, instead I had the motivation to do something good for my health.

    While you could argue "But hey, why didn't your family just go for a jog, or go to the gym together?" I would retort that these two things lack the same amount of fun as having the wii around and more towards the jog that a lot of exercise is not practical in the evening hours.

    In fact, that's where I would like to raise the idea that "Exertion Games" could be seen as a relieving medicine for the more menacing symptoms of our affluence from physical inactivity through to Obesity. Alot of these games can be played at your own convenience and when these games hit the internet, they will allow further the social aspect.

    Although I've only talked about a more adult cluster of players, the benefits to kids are just as great, a lot of kids I know already spend hours playing games that don't have a physical side, exertion games could well be the cure for the "most obese generation".

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  37. ** I will be following this up tomorrow *OR early next week

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  38. After attending the lecture and reading the comments here I have two major points that are important to add the the discussion.

    Quality of Exercise

    I recently perused the Wii website, and read about the Wii Fit game, as well as the Wii Sports game. I have also tried out the Wii sports games for a short time. While these games offer many light exercise mini-game types, they don't offer any options that allow the player to really get their heart rate up. In order for physical movement to be considered worthwhile exercise, the players heart rate should be between around 120 - 180 BPM. When a participant's heart rate is within this range, they will receive cardiovascular and hormonal benefits from their exercise. A Wii Sports player will typically never reach this exertion level for a continuous half hour, or whatever the doctors' recommended appropriate daily exercise period is these days. The Wii player may receive the benefits of an mildly increased caloric usage from playing Wii Sports, but they will not receive the more important cardiovascular benefits that an increased heart rate provides.

    So when people hail the Wii and upcoming game technologies as being helpful for making exercise fun and easier to do, they many not be correct in saying so.

    A perfect example of a computer game that can claim to provide worthwhile exercise potential is Floyd's long distance Breakout prototype. After watching the participants it was clear that they had heart rates within the recommended BPM.


    Immersion

    This is a topic that I will just touch on as I haven't given it the huge amount of thought that it requires, and hopefully we will cover some of the issues in class.

    I happen to agree with Katana when he said

    "The way how different players could use the wii-mote just seemed so out of this world, and now my wii is in my cupboard gaining dust due to this pile of casual junkware... "

    That is part of the issue with exertion games based on current and near future tech (like Wii, Natal, or the Sony one). One reason Floyd's Breakout game performs so well as an exertion game is because you can get into it. The user experience is pretty much transparent and immersive, allowing you to forget you are breathing hard and exercising, just like regular sports. Using the Wii feels stiff and unintuitive for many of the games I have tried out, forcing the games to be shallow and unimmersive in order to be playable (and for me making them interesting for only 5 minutes). Without the transparency, it is difficult to make an exertion game that would be worthwhile.

    The Wii (and from what I can guess, Natal) can never even hope to achieve the level of transparency and fluidity that are integral to Floyd's Breakout exertion game.

    From that analysis I am of the loose opinion that any tech that is used to create a true exertion game must provide completely transparent access to the game mechanics, which will almost always preclude any controller in the current sense (Wii) or limited motion sensing device (Natal).

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  39. Before I begin, I would like to applaud you for your ability to bring to the lecture something that was new and fresh and, which did not- in any form or way- sedate me. To be completely honest, I am not really an evening person- especially with my brain disconnecting anytime after 6- but you have shown that with the right stuff that anything is possible.
    OK now back to what we are all really here for…

    *note to readers, the following may not make sense, so therefore I apologize in advance*

    Ok the introduction that you gave; regarding exertion games was- as mentioned by others- very succinct and to the point. However what I am still finding difficult is understanding how much exertion needs to be exerted for it to be considered an ‘Exertion Game”. Is a paralyzed thumb a sure sign that the game pushed the person to exert the most amounts of energy and what not? Are we to look for the guys that are soaked in their own bodily excretions (sweat)?
    Furthermore it was mentioned that by playing the standing still game that you are- technically- taking part in something that is physical challenging etc. Though such was demonstrated in the squatting exercise, where the individual remained in one spot and tried their best to support their whole weight, I still cannot get myself to link ‘Exertion Games’ to a picture a bunch of guys frozen in some bizarre pose. I mean, compared to the guys that were kicking those balls- like there was no tomorrow- a frozen bunch of guys is nothing.

    In regards to the similarities and differences between real world sport and computer games, I have sort of come to the realization that, unlike the stats page in the virtual world, sports truly allows a person to assess and judge another person’s character, ability and strengths and weaknesses. For example, if we were on the stands someplace and was watching down on a practice match, we would easily be able to judge who would be better off in what position and who should avoid the game no matter what. This may sound harsh, but when it comes down to picking the correct positions, captains have no choice but to be ruthless and select individuals on how they did on the field. I may be wrong, but when it comes down to computer games I don’t find it that easy to note and decipher who is the better one and who deserves to be above another or not. Maybe it’s just me, but yeah it just doesn’t seem to be as obvious as on the field/court/ring etc. etc. But then again, do we by being harsh and critical tend to succumb to the notion that appearances count. In the virtual world, the thing that really stands out is the equality factor as all individuals begin at the same level and have the same chance to win. According to the site below, we find this equality factor being the reason why children enjoy games so much, as it allows them to be equal partners with their parents/peers etc.

    Finally, you asked us all what a game is and, what actually makes a game a game? Well in regards to the first part, I consider it to be something that is done leisurely and ‘executed for pleasure and without conscious purpose’- says the German language and games journal (http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/WhatIsaGame.shtml). On top of that what makes a game a game is its ability to take a person from their current disposition and, sort of, transport them to a place of their interest. Though escapism is frowned upon by psychologists, who believe that we must- with a sober mind-, face our inner demons, it at times can be really necessary…especially when something traumatic has happened, as it provides a person with a purpose that is not normally evident in real life.
    Furthermore, from what is mentioned in that games journal, other requirements include game rules, goals, competition and chance.

    …ok I would go and blabber more about goals and chance, but I am really tired and close to falling off my chair, so I will leave it at that.

    Anushka ‘Chet’ De Mel.

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  40. everyone: read what nicholas says about "quality of exercise" and Ched about "what is a game". Ched: What is a 'computer game'?

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  41. That lecture caught me off guard! I was not expecting anything as interesting as this!

    We were dicussing how many people watch real-life sports because of the risk of injury. I'd have to agree with that because as much as I'd like my team to win, sometimes I wouldn't mind seeing a good brawl on the footy field. Does that make me a bad person? Don't answer that.

    Anyway, I'd like to add to that idea that real-life sports are also more interesting for the simple fact that physical activities allow people to express their emotions visually rather than keeping them to themselves when in a stationary position. A person's body language can tell you a lot about their feelings and mindset at a specific point in the game. I guess this links back to what Chet was saying about the ability to judge whether a person is going to win or lose by their appearance. If you're playing a computer game you're obviously not going to be giving away much about your thought process through your body language while in a tennis match, smashing your raquet on the ground is probably a good indicator that things aren't going your way.

    In terms of the quality of excercise mentioned by Nicholas, its definitely true that at this point due to the limitations of space in the average loungeroom, you aren't going to experience the same level of movement and excercise as the "real thing". At the same time, I've seen some ridiculous matches of Wii tennis where people are literally throwing themselves around the room to supposedly hit the ball. Someone even got injured! So I guess when dealing with something like the Wii, it's up to the user how much energy they put in, regardless of whether this is actually needed to win.

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  42. TLDR;

    jokes. Good reading everyones opinions and such.
    A suggestion though; I had trouble putting faces to a lot of those comments up there. We're still in our comfortable week one groups, to make the getting to know us ( the class) better, can anyone think of something, most or all of us could do?

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  43. This lecture was very different with my thinking.it's more focus on student's thinking, not real physics or math.

    maybe I was internation student, sometimes I can't suit the speed of Floyd speaking, but I think I will be fine during lecture study and I will try to discuss with Floyd and classmates about some question.

    we discuss the physical game during the lecture, in my opinions, what is physical game? very clear to see we have physics in the game. And very important thing for physics of game is energy.All the physical game will lose people's energy, and movement is why people will lose energy,such like potential energy it's all depend on movement. so, i think physical game is movement or lose your energy. I don't know my opionin correct or wrong, i just want to say.

    Floyd are very funny lecturer, it will be a very happy time of this 3 hours lecture

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  44. What a pleasent suprise of a lecture =D, when i first read the words "maths and physics for artists" the first thing that popped into my head was a paint by numbers chart, the kind you used to do when you were a kid! I also slightly panicked as maths and physics were never my strong point at school! But I seriously enjoyed this lecture

    After the lecture I started to think about what 'physical' games I knew about (other then the wii), and my mind went straight to the arcade! I'm not sure if whack-a-mole would ever be considered an exertion game (especially when you cheat by getting two people to play at the same time in order to earn more tickets), but it wouldnt be hard to make it one! Maybe add a treadmill so that you had to keep running foward to even reach the small mammals to whack, and as the game progresses it gets harder and harder... there are other arcade games that I guess could also be considered physical games,maybe the basketball game where you have to try and shoot as many as you can before the time is up! Though you are standing still the whole time... maybe another treadmill would make that more interesting. What makes arcade games physical I guess is that your actually interacting with 3D objects and rather then just clicking, your moving yourwhole body (or maybe just your arms.. depends how into it you get).

    Another physical 'game' I thought of was that exhibit at the science musuem where you have to try and beat Cathy Freeman in a 10 metre sprint (i'm sure anyone who went to primary school in melbourne is familiar with this, especially how we all used to get a friend to stand at the end and set off the timer just so we could beat her). Maybe one day the olympics will all be over the net and racers will be wathing holographic footage of how their competiters are going?! What makes this game physical is the fact your actually sprinting, even for only 10m, but it wouldnt be hard to make this a 100m sprint, and then it could definatly be considered a exertion game! But is a race considered a game?

    Someone said above that they don't really think that wii's can't really keep you fit? I guess that is true in some respects, but the way technology is moving and how it is becoming more accessible for everyone I don't think we will be far off from having games that actually do keep you fit! Maybe if we work hard in class and then make them later when we are all famous game developers......

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  45. I think, physical games are games that give more options to their players. When I buy a Wii software, I don't care how physical that game is, but I look at how creative, unique and fun the game would be.

    Allowing the controller to be swung, shaken and turned to affect the game, simply gives more options to its players. And, more options means more different ways to play the same game, and therefore the players can be more creative.

    The example of exertion game in the lecture had only a few simple rules, and everything else about how to play the game was up to its players. So there were infinite options given to the players. The players can kick the ball with either right or left leg, and it does not matter. While many non-physical games restrict which buttons to be pushed to have a certain input, and that limits the play-style. This makes harder for the players to find different ways to play the game.

    The most important thing about exertion games is not only that it requires more body movement than pushing buttons with fingers, but that it gives the players opportunity to be creative.
    I am not saying that non-physical games can not give infinite options, but physical games seems to be better at giving chances to be creative.

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  46. Its group(D)from what I remember. Mr Floyd

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  47. A great lecture, I was expecting more physics and mathematics to be involved, but that doesn't bother me. After I got home I couldn't stop thinking about physical games. I've had a few epiphanies since then with some (what I think are) really innovative ideas that encourage (constructive) competitive behavior as well as strategy and above all "intense physical effort". Can't wait to start working on them.

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  48. The lecture was decently epic, I was relieved when I found out what the course actually involved, looking forward to future classes.

    I think the big issues for the near/current Physical (computer) Games are accessibility and technology. People don't have the facilities (large spaces) to support them.
    They aren’t ready for practical use yet, and it’s going to take some chunky breakthroughs in technology before it gets to the point where these sorts of games become practical in everyday use (playing Soccer with someone overseas). Natal seems like a good starting point though, let's hope it delivers.

    Hawh, some HoN fans in here :D you should all totally try out S2’s previous game, Savage (it's free), they also made a sequel but it was pretty bland.

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  49. Awesome Lecture Floyd. Absolutely love your teaching style!!!!
    It was a very interactive and interesting lecture compared to the other lectures iv had.

    I had a dumb thought that this class was going to involve numbers and letters. A mass relief after last night!

    You def got the ball rolling for most of us.

    Looking forward to the semester.

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  50. Awesome Lecture Floyd. Absolutely love your teaching style!!!!
    It was a very interactive and interesting lecture compared to the other lectures iv had.

    I had a dumb thought that this class was going to involve numbers and letters. A mass relief after last night!

    You def got the ball rolling for most of us.

    Looking forward to the semester.

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  51. Anonymous was me by the way

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  52. @steph Y
    and to anyone else who is interested
    Yeah beonde tommoro was a great show they did tones of stuff about about the future of games and technolagy i found a few vidioes that might give some people some ideas about fun exertion games
    this is about a interactive dance floor
    http://videos.howstuffworks.com/science-channel/5094-beyond-tomorrow-computer-floor-dance-video.htm
    this is the same idea but implimented for kids and is more game based
    http://videos.howstuffworks.com/science-channel/5096-beyond-tomorrow-computer-floor-games-video.htm
    i cant find the exact link for BTs report on games for disabled people but i found a site that has tones of information about games for the blind, handicapped, and people that have lost limbs and such
    http://www.e-bility.com/links/games.php
    it also has info on how the games can be contolled such as by the mouth or one handed
    if anyone has the beond tommoro series on dvd it would be great to look back on them cause their was tones more stuff about games that require interactona and pysical aspects

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  53. Well I'm not too sure really of what to say.

    What I am sure of is that is was certainly an interesting lecture, expecting it to actually be able maths and physics...rather than actually being kinda fun. Definitely a great way to start off the year in this class.

    While I may not have a lot to say, I have a lot of thoughts that I can't really put to paper, having so much it's hard to figure out what is relevant and what is just a crap thought. Hopefully I'll have more of a better opinion later on down the track, but this is just a start.

    Awesome lecture Floyd, keep it up!

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  54. Sarah, check out last year's final projects!

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  55. I really enjoyed this lecture, even though it went for three hours I didn’t lose interest in what we were discussing.
    Ah, as an attempt to make this post a bit longer I’ve just stated some different thoughts I had about exertion games and sport and everything else we talked about.

    First thing that comes to mind is the suggestion that kid games such as tag, hand slaps and thumb wars are going to be forgotten. Sure now kids are growing up with video games from a young age and they are much more common to be used a by a wider audience, kids still have a HUGE amounts of energy, and unless they can use that just by playing the wii or DS or what ever handheld console they’re going to keep running around playing kids games and sports.
    Not everyone plays video games. (Unfortunately) And it’s not like any day soon sport games are going to be completely replaced by video games. So why would we assume the children’s games would die out?

    Exertion games, sports and virtual games all have there good and bad points.
    Sports you can be more active and get more involved in a game, but in most cases you can’t pick your team. Or if you suck, and kick the goal for the wrong team it doesn’t go down well… with a virtual game you’re less involved in the game but if you’re antisocial you don’t have to deal with other players if you don’t want to, but still enjoy the game.
    If you want to be more active exertion games would be ideal as they involve both the physical activity and depending on the concept a virtual reality.

    Also in regards to Nicholas Sanders comment about the accuracy of wii controllers, I’d have to agree. It’s something you can either get really excited about so much that you accidently throw you wii controller out the window or something that you can sit on the couch and flick your wrists. But like most games there’s always room for improvement


    Ok, well I think I’ve rambled enough, sorta lost my train of thought. Hopefully I made some relevant points.

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  56. I've had a lot of stuff between Thursday night and now so my comment's coming in a little late.

    Firstly, like everyone else, I have to stay thanks to Floyd for a rivetting lecture. I had my doubts with that big 3 hour block of maths and physics for artists but you blew me away. It's nothing like what I expected.

    It's interesting, before this lecture I'd never really even considered the idea of video games that require physical exertion. Real exertion that is, I'm not talking about waving your arms widly with the Wii, and it's a fascinating concept. With society's growing concern for obesity and health I expect there's going to be a growing industry for these types of games.

    See you next week.

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  57. I never thought I would be happy to go to a math class, I suppose that University is a place for firsts. If you cant put name to face, I was wearing a black and pink floral dress at our first Math/Physics class, about 5”7 with black longish hair, If you had some of the panda cookies that went around they were mine :]
    I’m a girl of many consoles, however I have never thought to question the very meaning of “game” itself. Since, I have come to the conclusion, In my personal opinion, that “game” is mealy a means to entertain and involve.

    For example, say you’re watching your favorite television show, you’re certainly being entertained, but do you feel apart of the entertainment? Are you talking to the actors within the show and interacting with them? No. This to me is the defining point for games. Having said that though, there is NO defining point between real life games and computer games, simply a different environment for playing them. When I’m playing a Horror game (i.e. Fear, Silent hill), my hands will be shaking, ill take extra precautions to peer over every corner, I can hear my heart beating as there is a change in atmosphere, I’ll be jumpy and would otherwise FEEL every bit as involved if I was playing, say, hide and seek IRL, doing my best not to be found out.

    Therefore physical, or ‘Exertion’ games are no different, they are just giving you a different kind of feeling, so I’m going to challenge you with something. Lets say that I have been playing, or raiding in WoW for a good 3 hours, im frustrated because I haven’t won any gear after all that hard work, and I am PHYSICALLY drained from having to go though the same processes in attempt to clear more. So what is the difference from me being physically exhausted from WoW in comparison to someone who has been playing Wii sports or a Natal game? I still FEEL tired, and who’s to say I didn’t put more effort physically as well as mentally into my raiding then someone did in one of these “physical” games? After reading Nicolas’ comment I’m even more positive that there is little to no distinction between a game I play with a controller, and a game I do not.
    The MAIN DIFFERENCE and I’m not going to avoid it, is that I (might) get a health benefit from playing these physical exertion games.

    But then again what about all the exercise I get from running from the computer to the toilet in between WoW raiding :p
    Got you there now don’t I?

    And P.s.
    Am I the only one who wants Floyd to say an extract from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie? Just a thought :]

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  58. Hey people I probably don't know! Sup?
    This lecture was really useful in lots of ways obviously, particularly because it was a precursor to thought on the topic of games beyond the controller. I also liked this instead of the informative ‘punch to the face’ which I kind of expected (again, it’s the name). I found it a lot more useful with the good level of interaction, which also seems to support the idea of exertion games. Makes sense I guess.
    My general impression of games like those based around the Wii (admittedly not much experience with them) however is that many of them seem like simplified, watered down impressions of the activity which they are trying to emulate. Although they are fun in their way and as impressive as the technology is, I find myself thinking that overall, people look to things like video games and films to escape the everyday routine rather than to experience basic imitations of those everyday activities.
    What I am getting at is that exertion games such as ‘Breakout for Two’ are heading in the right direction. They take activities still based on sports, (eg. Soccer, tennis, etc) but use the relevant actions in a way that is dictated by the context, instead of an already existing structure of a game. There is no way (generally speaking) that people might actually employ sports skills to attempt to shatter physical panes of glass located between the two players, because the risk which would be involved is so unneccessary, in ‘real life’ that is. What makes ‘Breakout for Two’ so ideal to me is that while it is similar to many sports, you would never actually play it any way other than exactly as it is. Even better is that with many people’s previous experience of sports, they would already have all the skills needed to play it. Another key element to it is that there is no save function or pause button, basically the decisions the player makes on the spot are the ones that stick. It would mean that people are more connected to the act of winning or losing because there are no alternatives or second chances.
    Basically, it makes much more sense to interpret sport into games like this, instead of attempting to imitate it exactly.

    Still, I think that games based beyond everyday reality will retain a lot of interest for a while, but new alternative forms of gaming seem to be doing the right things at the moment. Once again, the lecture was obviously a good starting point to branch out our ideas from.

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  59. Soooo many comments above!@@
    Where do I begin...
    um, this lecture is entirely a great success and turned out to b my favorite class in semester 1=) Thx sooo much! Floyd!

    Something made me thinking about over the rest of the week is why we all played childhood game when we were asked to play a phisical game...? If the definition about a phisical game is movement, why didn't I sit down and played with a magic cube??? Or stand up and walk out and skate?? Thus, I think a phisical game always involves interactivity and phisical communication between 2 or more objects. Like peoles, or people and a cube.

    I watched the project Natal video and just wondering if there is anyone dislike playing without a controller in hand? (thx for sharing the project anyway)I felt it just like I was holding a real sword when I was playing Zelda on Wii with the controllers.=)

    In short, I think people playing games do have reasons. For fun, taking advanture in virtual world...with higher risks and less detrimental consequences. Though games are currently being made more and more true to life, they are virtual. Anyway, the experience is real...

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  60. Although I've already commented I figured it would be alright to follow up, especially since my original effort seems to pitiful compared to some recent comments :(

    Anyway, I just have some questions posed at Mr Floyds first exertion game he showed to us called "Breakout" (I think). It seemed to me that while it was able to create a game that required intense physical effort from the players and was able to connect people from different places to play with one another the level of computer involvement in most respects was fairly basic. Basic enough to be recreated by imagination. As a kid I remember kicking soccer balls at walls at school in games not dissimilar to "Breakout" except that there was no computer involvement; just our imagination.

    And so the question I'm trying to ask is:
    Is the use of technology in breakout so rudimentary that it is almost pointless? Could the technology simply be replaced by one's imagination? Would one not gain as much fun from playing a game of one-touch or something of its kind with a friend outside?

    I don't mean to attack "Breakout" - rather I think it looks like an enjoyable game which does get people moving and I wouldn't mind playing :)

    But I was just pondering Mr Floyd's definition of an exertion game and the fact that it is a computer game makes me wonder if in a game like "Breakout" the technology actually makes the game more fun than simply kicking a ball with a friend and a little imagination?

    However, I'm sure it would definitely make basic training for athletes more fun :)

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  61. Christian Dirk:

    Hey sorry for the late reply but i have been living life. Although why the class was entertaining and any class named maths and phsyics that differs from writing equations off a blackboard is refreshing i think the class structure has a few limitations. First and foremost the topic of discussion on the blog is meant to be the last lecture we had and then discussion of tangents that are brought up in relation to the lecture which is definitely good and gives great insight into somethings however, Floyd is still our teacher and i believe this gives a strong bias to everyones opinion, i don't think anyone is going to say "tbh that lecture was pretty bad" or discuss negatives (not saying that the lecture was bad) and generally you can learn far more from people discussing why something sucked than talking about why something was good.

    The second flaw i see with the blog structure was highlighted by the 2nd year students to me, when asked "what was something you would do differently" almost all of them responded "would have written more on the blog" not would have wrtitten more in depth answers but simply more in length. Most definitely there are people striving for HD's in this and all of there classes and i'm afraid that their mindset for obtaining that in this course is just going to be something like "write a shitload get phree marks, winnnn." from reading the posts above me i think some of the best insight came from small posts that were straight to the point and not loaded with filler words.

    Just my thoughts if i have offended you Floyd i'm sorry because that was far from my intentions i just thought that this should be explored.

    Christian dirk.

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  62. (s3286591)


    Just on what I think makes a physical game, and what makes them fun to play:

    While, the risk factor of sports can be appealing to some, what really gets me into a sport is the competitiveness, the opportunity to show off and be physically the best.

    This I think stems from primative instincts because as cave men and women, it was desired more skilled and was key to our survival. An aspect which has become redunctant in our modern society, hence we play sports and why they're satisfying when we win, but also why they can be distressing to lose.

    I think there are two main reasons why the experiance of playing sports doesn't translate as well into games:

    ONE, its not really your reputation at stake. Usually its an avatar or character your using, which has much the same physical qualities as every other character, thus proving nothing about your own physical abilities by winning.

    And TWO, games (especially computer/controller games) don't use any muscles (this is because in the fingers there are no muscles, only tendons) thus no strength, stamina or co-ordination is required to play - qualities which I think are key in evaluating one's physical ability.

    Therefore I feel winning mariokart is about as satasfying as winning chess - its gratafying to feel more mentally superior so someone, but it doesn't measure up to the bonding through team spirit and primtive feeling of dominance that winning a game of soccer or baskeball has.

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  63. @ Candy G
    You mentioned you didn't think it was that difficult for someone with a 9-5 job to simply go to the gym to get excercise. That's true for some of us. But the problem with the gym is that it isn't fun. They have televisions in there, showing only mildly distracting content, but it isn't enough to motivate you into exercising more. The reason you go to the gym is because you told yourself to go there, and you stay there for the amount of time you allocated yourself. Nothing about the gym entices you to stay or go there when you don't "need" to, whereas you are enticed to play games. How often have we told our parents that we can't come to dinner until we've finished a level on a computer game? If a physical game is fun enough, we feel less inclined to stop.

    Also, I'd like to restate that I don't think screen-less games or sports will disappear completely, just that some of them will evolve. If you told someone they would be playing "solitaire" on a computer thirty years ago, they would have said they'd rather play it with physical cards, and what would be the point of it being on a computer? My mother plays half a dozen games of FreeCell a day, in her leisure time. She never opens a deck of cards.

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  64. Woah, now I know what the second years were talking about with the blogs, do it straight away otherwise you have a whole bunch of comments to read. Next time I make sure I will get in early.

    I really enjoy this lecture, it got me thinking a lot about future assignments and ideas, also about topics we talked about. First I thought this class was about maths and physics and I was scared because I am really bad at science and I really did not want to study about physics. But when the class started, I knew i was going to be fun and very interesting (and I am happy to hear that I don't have to write formulas).

    When we first did the activity of physical games, all of us went back to childhood games. I believe we went back to these games because one, games are most likely to be associated to children more than adults, so we automatically think of a physical game to be childish, probably that's why we thought of thumb wars or that hand clapping game (sorry, I forgot what it's called), two, we couldn't really play a football or cricket game inside a small lecture room so we probably thought of a game that could easily be played inside. Honestly, the first game that came into to my mind for that activity was tag, but I really didn't want to run around a small lecture room and might trip on the stairs. Though I did find it interesting that we resorted to innocent childish games, I thought someone would have a mini wrestling match instead of thumb wars.

    To me a physical game has to require physical energy, so for that one person who said standing still in a stare off is a physical game, I have to disagree. A staring contest to me is not a physical game, you are not using any physical energy, all you are doing is standing still, staring at someone in the eye until they blink. It's still a game, and you can play it indoors, outdoors, in reality, but you are standing still doing nothing. Therefore I will not call it a physical game, only a game. Musical statues on the other hand I will say it's a physical game because, as the rules go, you have to dance when the music is on, but once the music is off you have to freeze in that position. You use physical energy to dance and in some cases, if you freeze in an awkward position, like standing on one leg, you have to use that energy to keep a perfect balance. But this is my opinion, so if you are disagreeing with me, I won't force my opinion on you (but I will love to hear your say).

    When it comes to sports, I do believe that we can become very emotionally involved. I have watch in football where players risk anything to win, even if it meant getting injured. And, even though I hate watching soccer, when I play it, I have so much fun and become extremely competitive. I have seen people get like this in computer games as well, even I have. When I can't pass a point in the game and keep failing, I get frustrated and start yelling at the screen, one time I turn the game off and returned it because I was so angry. And I'm sure when someone finishes an epic game, they feel relieved, or upset, like one time when I finished a game I loved so much, I was very upset because I finished too quickly. Of course, this is not everyone, we are all different and not all of us are emotionally connected to a sport or computer game. To be it depends on the type of person you are, as i looked at images of sport stars winning the grand final, to me it looks like they were able to achieve a longtime goal in their life, they won something that they were so passionate about.

    Overall, this lecture was very interesting and I am looking forward to the next one.

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  65. As a result of last Wednesday's lecture, I believe it should be apparent by now that the term 'physical games' is redundant. All games engage us physically. Whether we are using our legs to kick a ball, our hands to manipulate a control pad, or our brains to consider our next move, a level of physicality is inherent in games, regardless of the level of physical exertion involved. After an hour or more of discussing what makes a game a 'physical game' in class, nobody - not even Floyd - was able to provide a solid definiton. What Floyd did provide for us, however, was a working definition for computer-based games that involve a high level of physical exertion. That definition was, 'exertion games', and I feel that we need to move on from attempting to define what makes a 'physical game', as I believe the term was essentially just introduced as a tool to help promote discussion about physicality in games.

    That said, why is it that the general populace seems to prefer watching sports, rather than video games? I believe the answer lies in human psychology and social factors, rather than something merely related to physicality itself. Sporting events tend to take place in a group atmosphere, while video gaming tends to take place in relative isolation. Even playing online with multiplayer games, the mere lack of a physical presence in the room is enough to dampen one's instinctual human responses, as well as those that are socially-ingrained. This is assertion is backed up by the research that was conducted by XEODesign into the emotional responses of gamers. Their research states that, "Players in groups emote more frequently and with more intensity than those who play on their own. Group play adds new behaviors, rituals, and emotions that make games more exciting." (Why We Play Games: Four Keys to More Emotion Without Story. Page 7. - http://www.xeodesign.com/xeodesign_whyweplaygames.pdf)

    In the comments above, Chester G provided us with some fantastic footage of a fans cheering wildly during a tense Street Fighter 3 battle, that ultimately resulted in a spectacular comeback victory (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtuA5we0RZU). This is clear evidence that strong emotional responses can be evoked from video gaming, and within the context of a spectating crowd as well. Despite the fact that the actual 'sportsmen' were seated in front of a screen, and that their exploits were being represented and appreciated outside of their physical being, they still managed to raise the crowd from their seats.

    What is the cause for this phenomena? I believe that the answer lies in the social dynamic that occurs between the members of a crowd, and not just the interaction between a crowd and the subject of its adulation. I am talking about what is commonly referred to as 'herd mentality', or 'mob mentality'. When you watch the footage in question, you notice that it is not only the performance that is electrifying, but the atmosphere provided by the audience as well. When watching this footage, I found my emotions were heightened considerably by the mere addition of a roaring crowd. I believe this is a natural human response, and it is what I believe to be the source of excitement between both sporting and gaming crowds alike.

    Social triggers and psychological techniques can result in predictable outcomes, and I believe the future of video gaming as a sport will be highly dependent upon the way they are marketed to the general public in the years to come. You need only look at the popularity of Starcraft in Korea to consider the possibility that video games may become popular as a 'sport' anywhere else in the world. Perhaps Blizzard's 'sports commentary' approach to their teaser trailers for Starcraft 2 was a step in the right direction? Or not? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSwqDPNS7dM) If anything, I at least found it amusing... albeit, in the same way that I find Iron Chef amusing.

    Til next time.

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  66. @ Steph: Why is it that people think going to the gym is the only available way to exercise? There are plenty of other things you can do to exercise, some fun some not. I like your point about added motivation, that is certainly a big plus for exertion games. However there are lots of fun AND more social ways to exercise that also happen to involve being social which is obviously and additional health benefit on top of the actual exercise. Has anyone played tag since they were little? Trust me it's still fun. Real life capture the flag is also awesome. What about the parkour trend that is happening all over the place at the moment? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkour. Again it seems to me that exertion video games are some what unnecessary and the product of modern lifestyles which no one seems to want to fix (or we think there's nothing wrong with them). I would never encourage/endorse an exertion game as a complete replacement for other forms of exercise.

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  67. Thanks again to Kane for getting Team D’s blog organised…www.publicdisturbance.wordpress.com

    As most people have said, the lecture was excellent and certainly a refreshing variation from other lectures, congrats Floyd. I left motivated to start work on the team projects and throughout the entire 3 hours I felt engaged in the class discussions even though I didn’t voice my own opinion on what constitutes a physical or “exertion” game.

    It was very interesting to see the different opinions and mindsets of my fellow classmates and I am looking forward to getting to know each of you much better throughout the year.

    Like many others, coming into the lecture I had a completely different view on what “Maths and Physics for Artists” would involve. I pictured a lecturer going through various pieces of art and evaluating the use of geometry and mathematical pattern. I actually do enjoy some extent of maths so this did sound interesting to me however I am still very pleased with the structure and topics presented in the class.

    During the “What is a physical game?” talk I was thinking something along the lines of…a game that results in energy being exerted, other than that used when at rest, to complete a function and achieve a goal. With this in mind, my first image of a physical game was Hamish and Andy’s hilarious 3 step hiding game. I am sure most of you will have seen this but for those who haven’t… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyRrInqg-R0&feature=related.

    Having said that, when asked to play a physical game with the person beside me my first idea was the classic rock, paper, scissors. To my surprise the game that resulted was actually quite fun and we were both laughing within 3 or 4 rounds. Much like in the video of the exertion game, through a physical game that evokes emotions we became more socially interactive. Perhaps being face to face with your opponent and being able to view their reactions to defeat and victory gives a more compelling aspect to a game.

    At the moment my head is spinning with the ideas of physical games and after reading the above posts I noticed some talk of the Nintendo Wii and Natal for 360. I personally agree with Nicholas Sanders in that at crucial moments of motion games, player actions are often not read correctly, for me this is very frustrating and probably the reason why I chose to buy an Xbox 360 over a Wii.

    Outside of games and education I am a competitive swimmer and see myself as a fairly active person. As a result video games are a form of relaxation for me and personally I don’t want to see physical games, or certainly ones that involve jumping around my living room to escape enemy fire, replacing the handheld option.

    Also sorry about the late post, in the future I plan to post earlier and hopefully give a more in-depth opinion on the topics covered in class.
    Cheers everyone.

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  68. It was a very good lecture for me as international student to learn again about "what is game" and the lecture has broght me brand new world of game in my eyes.
    It also a difficlt task, to create a game without a screen, but i still interset the task.

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  69. Until recently, a game was viewed by society to be something that could only be played in front of a television or computer screen involving little to no physical player interaction besides hand movement on a controller.

    Today, we see games being made and targeted for a much broader range of age and gender demographics.

    No longer is the target audience for a particular game limited to children or teenage males.

    Now, there are dance games, pet games, brain training games, a list of all the types of games that are being made are almost endless.

    This is where I believe the physical or 'exertion' game has a place in today's society.

    People are working longer hours then ever before and often don't have time available to go out and play a sport or work out at the gym.

    Obesity is constantly talked about in the media, and physical games give people the opportunity to be fit and healthy with the added convenience of not having to leave the home.

    In addition to the health benefits, physical games aim to mix fun and interactivity with convenience. Because of this, working out and exercising will no longer feel like a chore.

    At least, these are the aims or goals that many physical games set out to achieve.

    I do believe there is a fair way to go before these games take the place of playing the real thing, however there is little doubt that is the direction we are heading towards with the continual rapid development and improvements in motion sensing technology.

    Thankyou very much Floyd for the first class last week and I am much looking forward to this week's class.

    Kind regards
    Jayden G

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  70. Sport captures that primal contest of pitting ones physical finesse against that of another person. As such it’s hard not to have at least some sense respect, admiration or awe for an elite sports person as instinctually we can recognise them as being impressive. Though sports is more sophisticated than simple primitive brawling to prove superiority with rules developed reflecting humanities cultural evolution, there is still that element of primal struggle for physical dominance. I think it’s this element that is so hard to capture in video games that means they lack appeal to some audiences. I think exertion games bring more of that primal aspect to computer games and will appeal more in a competitive way than say the Wii which due to the simplicity of the control is more appealing for fun (shits nd gigs).

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  71. this is a little late... actually way late...

    i did like what was presented, but i think i definitly have a different point of view, i don't mean anything negative of my point of view, its just more of how i view it.

    well during the lecture we discussed about exertion games, basically where we use actions in order to play a computer game. but to me i don't like the definition, because to me any kind of game has some form of exertion whether mentally, physically or both. yes i know the way i see it leave it quite broad, but i guess thats what allows me to expand. because as much as we like to put a lot of effort and detail into an idea, then suddenly you've just narrowed your self, but of course you can't just have a cloudy idea and expect it to form itself. but why is it that people can't seem to keep to the KISS principle.

    i know its very hard, even myself i can't seem to follow it, but constantly i always try to start with the mere basis of my idea, then suddenly you think you its a good idea and do you know what you do next. talk to someone else about it, then you tell them and then they'll give an opinion and that may or may not change the concept but its a factor that will have a subliminal or even open effect because its there. i mean take a look at rock paper scissors, its its simple and its almost impossible to ever change the way its played, but then people wanted to add variation of alternatives outcome which would lean toward the players favour. eg. like putting you hands together as if praying for god, a thumbs up for dynamite or even the dreaded round house kick from chuck norris. but even trying to change the game to reduce certain flaws of the game have also been attempted, eg. adding a 3rd or more players creates stalemates and so people tried to change it to rid the flaw, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iapcKVn7DdY

    anyways it seems I've drifted away from the subject a bit, so back to exertion games. we know that anything that requires some sort of effort, we exert energy. what annoys we it the 'computer' games part of that definition, because of the way i think i don't immediately think of technology, i mean its i nice thing to help allow your game to flourish amongst other people. i mean the idea of someone being able to play my game because they have the technology accessible by anyone is brilliant, eg a mobile phone. but it doesn't help exert the amount of energy that people would want to. because when i think of exertion, i immediately think of exercise which isn't always a positive thing, but its something we should all be doing, i mean we are now known as the 'obese' country instead of the 'sport mad' country.

    so with all the games coming out on wii relating to sports, especially like wii fit or wii resort and then there are games that are based more on a sport competition environment, eg virtua tennis or ricky ponting cricket. its good to see that there are something that could be possibly recreating us into a sport mad country again. As floyd was saying if we could in corporate games into training regiment and if is what allows the players to become the best in the world then i could see a new market opening, just like military are now training people just playing games and some games also help teach people thing they never thought they'd ever learn, eg. ds have brought out language coaches and people can learn, japanese, chinese, french and spanish. yes most of my references have een mainly nintendo but thats how well they've marketed themselves.

    anyways thanks again, hope you have fun reading

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  72. The blog for our team (Team B):
    http://team-macjr.blogspot.com/

    Do I just post the link here for you? or is there something else I need to do to get it in the list?

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