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Playstation

Children's exercise boosted by fitness device that locks on to Playstation controller

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 by: Jerome Douglas
Tags: Playstation, childhood obesity, video games

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(NewsTarget) A new device that connects directly to the Sony Playstation 2 gaming console could give gamers a workout while they play. The Step2Play step exercise machine links directly to the Playstation 2, and will only work if the game player keeps up a constant pre-set rate of exercise.

Dr. Ian Campbell -- medical director of Weight Concern in the UK -- indicated that the device could be useful, but said the need for such a device was "a terrible indictment on society."

The new Step2Play controller system only connects to the controller itself and not directly to the game in play, so it can be used with any Playstation 2 game available. Two separate players can use two separate Step2Play controllers to play a two-person game.

Although this product is aimed at players under the age of 12, Dr. Campbell stressed that children still need limited access to playing games for extended periods. "We know children are not as active as they need to be," he said.

Dr. Campbell went on to add that "Anything that encourages them to exercise has to be helpful. However, how sad that we have to bribe children into physical activity. It's a terrible indictment on our society I don't think this is a bad invention but I don't think it's ideal."

Dr. Colin Wane said he was in favor of the new invention, claiming that it could help prevent children from becoming obese when they reach adolescence. Rick Dalton -- director of Gymkids, the company which makes the Step2Play -- said that "Unfortunately, the reality is that I don't think we are ever going to totally convince children to put away the Playstation in favor of running around outside."

While this new device may be helpful in keeping kids engaged in some kind of physical movement instead of sitting dormant while playing Playstation games, Dalton went on to add that "Step2Play combines both activities and, while it isn't an alternative to outdoor play and exercise, it is one way of combining a previously sedentary activity with a bit of movement and exercise."

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