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Video games as Phys Ed.?


rustyjaw
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From here

 

Fort Walton Beach High School wanted to use a PlayStation as part of a team sports course in the next school year as a way of motivating more students to take physical education, said principal Alexis Tibbetts.

 

I don't buy it. I doubt playing a sports game is going to entice kids to go out and play the sport for real. Maybe some kids would be, but I'll bet most of the kids already play sports-related video games, if they don't go outside and play now they probably won't.

 

But the idea is not without merit, it seems to me it might be more successful if you had to be physically active to play the game (ala DDR). In fact, it could be a great thing for a game company to develop games with DDR-type input to get more kids into exercising.

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The course would have included one day of classroom instruction in football, baseball and basketball, two days of physical activity and two days of PlayStation tournaments.

 

I'm with you, Ed. Sounds like some silliness to me. I do believe that some games can give a deeper appreciation of the certain sports (the NFL2kX series helped me a lot with football). But that doesn't seem to be the driver here.

 

-j

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Actually, after re-reading the story more carefully, I think maybe the school's plan might have been worth trying:

 

The course would have included one day of classroom instruction in football, baseball and basketball, two days of physical activity and two days of PlayStation tournaments.

 

I can see that if you can get the kids interested in the rules of the game, and the nuances of how to play, by showing them the ins-and-outs of the video game, and then require them to put what they've learned to the test in real-world play...maybe it could work.

 

I'd certainly give it a shot, but they seem to have gotten skittish about the idea and canned it before it got started.

 

In any event, I still think games that are played with vigorous physical input might be a great way to get kids exercising.

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I don't buy it, either. Sounds like a child's poor excuse when nagging for a Playstation: "Mommy, I'll play all these sports games and I'll get motivated to do real sports! C'mon!"

 

They're just entirely different. Real sports usually involve lots of physical pain before the reward and satisfaction is had. Video games, on the other hand, provide largely instant gratification. If anything, the kids will prefer the virtual variety.

 

The most it'll do is spark some interest in watching the sport on television.

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Originally posted by FreakTornado@Feb 20 2004, 02:44 PM

I agree Jay, but isn't two days better than none? From the sound of it, the kids just aren't doing anything as it stands.

Two is better than none.

 

But it reminds me of disorganized people who purchase a PDA, thinking it will magically make them more organized. Or a company that doesn't know how to manage itself or compete in the marketplace, so it spends millions on an ERP implementation.

 

In other words, none of the ideas are necessarily bad (a PDA or an ERP), but they are indicative of a different/bigger problem that would be better served by addressing it directly.

 

The person they interviewed said that the students would rather take an F than do any physical activity. If this is true, wouldn't the students sign up for the course, play games and then bag the actual physical activity? It sounds to me that they have a different/bigger problem than making physical activity "fun."

 

-j

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In other words, none of the ideas are necessarily bad (a PDA or an ERP), but they are indicative of a different/bigger problem that would be better served by addressing it directly.

 

But, in this case, what directly addresses the problem? Kids don't want to exercise, they refuse. Maybe this isn't directly addressing it (I don't know) but it's a novel attempt that tries to link exercise to something that most kids are interested in.

 

The person they interviewed said that the students would rather take an F than do any physical activity. If this is true, wouldn't the students sign up for the course, play games and then bag the actual physical activity? It sounds to me that they have a different/bigger problem than making physical activity "fun."

 

That's entirely possible, maybe even probable, but it seems like such a low-risk thing to try, it can't cost much and there's at least a modicum of theory behind it.

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