Video Game the Resolution to Active Children Through Out the Country?

Ashley Klaiss
Katie Gardner
Jessica Farrell
Sam Quirin
Lindsay Freitag
Frostburg State University
Spring 2009

The problem of childhood obesity in the United States has grown considerably in recent years. During the same period in which childhood obesity has increased so dramatically, there has been also an explosion in media targeted to children: TV shows and videos, specialized cable networks, video games, computer activities and Internet web sites. “Children today spend an average of five-and-a-half hours a day using media, the equivalent of a full time job, and moiré time than they spend doing anything else besides sleeping. Even the very youngest children, preschoolers ages six and under, spend as much time with screen media as they do playing outside.” (Roberts, D. and Foehr, U., Kids & Media in America (Cambridge, MA: University Press, 2004) Although most video games are moving your fingers on the controller, schDDR_in_WV.jpgools are now experimenting with the video game, Dance Dance Revolution which is a video game but requires movement of the body.
Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is a new video game like no other because the person playing it moves around on a floor board dancing in time to the arrows on the TV. This game was first produced as an arcade game in 1998, and it became so popular that Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., the company that made DDR programmed the game to be played in the home in 2001 (“School Program,” 2006). This game incorporates not only physical movement, but also great songs to dance too! This game is perfect for any body type because there are different settings in which a person can set their player on. The price of a DDR set, which includes the TV game console and the actual DDR game, is $500 (Schiesel, 2007).

DDR is starting to be used more in high schools around the country. Where most DDR’s are being place are in the Physical Education classes. John Timmer wrote on how PE classes in West Virginia are planning to install DDR equipment in every school. “There was a study done, which suggested that even at beginner settings, a little over an hour would be sufficient to help children lose weight without feeling like they are performing an activity.” In Abigall Beal’s article she says that DDR can help students learn balance and grace. She also states that Physical Education teachers are using this video game to help students stay physically fit. Teachers are sayDDR_spring_fest-1.jpging that students learn that exercising is fun. Most students are playing video games when they go home after school or before they go to bed. This is a way to get students to find alternative exercises. They can do this at home and for the rest of the students life.

Dance Dance Revolution has any advantages, not only is it fun, but it is another form of exercise. DDR is used in many physical education classrooms because it gets the students up and active. When the students are active they are getting their heart rate up, and have a good cardio workout. DDR can be used in a way to lose weight. Since DDR can have more then one player at a time it can be a great way to socialize, and have fun. DDR can also create positive attitudes towards school, reduce anxiety, and enhance a students coordination.Overall, DDR is a healthy way to strengthen not only you mind, but also your heart. (Games For Health 2006: Dance Dance...Revolution in Fitness!.(2006).)

As future physical educators, we have noticed that there has been a huge increase in interest for using the Dance Dance Revolution system. It has truly helped the students of all backgrounds and lifestyles, a chance to take part in physical activity that anyone can do! School systems that have added this DDR program, have showed a substantial decrease in student’s weight, as well as changing some of the students overall eating habits. They have also encouraged the students to continue to stay physically active not only now, but also throughout life. With the system being considered a video game the students are more willing to take part in the activity.


Date Finalized: March 18, 2009

Groups Work Cited
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Dance Dance Revolution in Schools: A New Approach to Physical Education. Marin Health and Human Services. Retrieved February 2, 2009, from http://marinonthemove.org/fitnesshealth/DDR/DDR%20in%20Schools-MOTM.pdf
Dance Dance Revolution Used in U.S. State School Program. (2006). Gamasutra: The Art and Business of Making Games. Retrieved February 2, 2009, from http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=7917

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