Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Get Your Game On

An Iportion interview with GLEN RAPHAEL
of videogameworkout.com
By VH Melville
I am a big fan of alternative workouts such as working out while working on the home office, listening to a good audio book, or doing a video game. During a webs search on fitness video games I discovered glen's site.
I've talked about videogameworkout.com before and was pleased to get this interview.

Iportion: When did you start getting into fitness video games?
Glen: In 1998-99 when I was working in Hong Kong - I discovered Dance Dance Revolution in the arcades there. Later I bought an import PlayStation so I could play the Japanese version of the game back in the United States, a few years before it finally made it here. So I've been playing fitness videogames for about 8 years.

Iportion: What's your favorite healthy snack?
Glen: I love braised broccoli or asparagus. Apples and carrots are good too. Oh, and mushrooms of any sort.

Iportion: An Eye Toy game you'd recommend besides Kinetic?
Glen: EyeToy:Play2. I especially like the minigame "Kung2" in which you swat tiny ninjas and the minigame "Secret Agent" where you stay absolutely still except where the cameras and laser beams aren't watching.

I've heard good things about Eyetoy:Antigrav but I haven't played it yet.

A few versions of DDR have EyeToy features, but I haven't yet tried one that was fun - they all seem like a tacked-on afterthought designed to add a bullet item to the marketing copy on the box.

Iportion: What do you feel makes a good fitness video game?
Glen: It should have an aerobic component, it should exercise some major muscle groups, and it should have enough variety that you don't get bored. Music is important - it helps you get into the flow. The quality of the graphics is not nearly as important.

Iportion: My favorite fitness video games right now are yourself fitness and Eye Toy Kinetic for different reasons. What other games would you recommend for people looking to train?
Glen: Dance Dance Revolution is a good aerobic exercise and is addictive - once you get started it's hard to stop. -You'd be well advised to get a soft pad and play some DDR version a few times a week if you want to lose weight.

I tried the new XaviX game "Jackie Chan J-Mat" at CES and it seems like a good change of pace, especially if you use the hand weights and try to follow Jackie's goofy hand motion routines. You should be able to try it out at Radio Shack pretty soon.

Iportion: What is your favorite splurge food?
Glen: The banana-nut muffins at Happy Donuts down the street from where I live.

Iportion: I seem to be so clumsy doing Dance Dance Revolution. I love the music and I think the game is really cool. I might be the only one, but I would be cute to do music and retro games on lit like Mrs. Pac man. What etro game would you like re done as a fitness game?
Glen: I could see doing Donkey Kong or Frogger using the J-Mat or a DDR pad. Of ourse, if you get a Kilowatt strain-guage controller then /every/ game you play can be a fitness game. I've played Bubble and some other retro games that way.

Be sure to go all the way through "training mode" on DDR if you haven't already; it might help with the clumsiness.

Iportion: Thank you so very much.


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