Sunday, January 27, 2008

Implications towards exergaming at ATEi

Another interesting thing was to find notions towards exergames at ATEi 2008. Don't get me wrong -- that was not really a huge trend there. Most of the "exergames" were different variations of DDRish dance pads. Anyhow it was interesting to see some concept visualisations at the Sega booth of cyber sports promising "Great rides, sports, amusement and more in our all-weather facilities".

Different sporty arcade machines from DDR to boxing have existed for ages already. It was anyhow interesting to see Sega's vision of more overall sports entertainment center. So far DDR, novel fitness controllers for games (e.g. Powergrid fitness Kilowatt games and exerbikes) and Wii Fit have been brought up when talking about novel ways to motivate teenagers to exercise. West Wirginia schools have got a lot of press for utilizing exergames in the school. In the wave of the trend also fitness center for teens was opened in California a few years ago. Though soon they realized that they need to expand their target group and now Overtime Fitness is open for all.

It has also been interesting to see different activity and adventure centers like HopLop in Finland spreading to shopping malls or dedicated rooms. Casual exercise at shopping malls or other hangaround places is worth considering and as far as I understood Sega's Cyber sports just that.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Shooters and weird music videos at ATEi

I got myself immersed with amusement park, arcade and casino games at Earls Court where ICE, ICEi and ATEi expos were held this week.

The first floor was bling-bling casino games and slot machines. My favorite ones were Big Tony's Casino (Texas Hold'em), Aristocrat's Zorro and Aruze's Lucky Frankie. There were not many mind blowing innovations but some novel features at least.

At the second floor Sega, Namco and Konami and a number of smaller companies were present but Sega pretty much stole the show. There were a lot of shooting games of different sorts at the arcade section. One of the coolest ones was dinosaur shooter Primeval Hunt by Sega.
The main innovation of Primeval Hunt was to utilize free roaming environment. A player would control his path using a touch screen placed near the gun holsters (Ref: ArcadeHeroes). That way it was possible to plan out the entire path at the start of the round. Another cool thing was the way the promoted the "love seat" game see the image :)

Another game which got a lot of attention was UFO Stomper (TrioTech) with its interactive touchscreen floor. ATEi was also full of different types of music and dance games where you could personalize animated characters like in LoveAndBerry or attach your face to animated characters and make a music video out of it. I made a few and they are pretty hilarious! Also guys in green and one guy shooting the "Let me Dance" screen (first two photos) are laughing their heads off with the dance/music video games. Besides cool games different touch pads and screens were vastly used.

Yep you got it - we had a lot of fun at ATEi, ICE & ICEi :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Friday!

Before getting to more serious issues -- let's have pancakes (or waffles) :)