Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Peek into the future: Senior XRGames!

6-5-07: Erin H., from the San Bernardino County Dept. of Public Health, invited me to speak during the last class of her 6 week senior program at the Community Senior Center. Here is Erin giving a nutrition lecture on eating healthier.

When it was my turn to speak, I first started with why it was important to exercise, and then went into the new form of exercise called "exergames". After that, we divided them up into 3 groups so they could play the 3 exergames I brought and set up.

Here they are reading the instructions to Window Washii on the Eye Toy.

Once he figured out how to play bowling on the Wii, this gentleman started knocking down spares and strikes. Check out that great form!

Being a lefty, we adjusted one of the "Mii" characters so he could golf and again, once he figured it out, he could do it without any guidance from us.

We had the seniors sit on a chair while they did the 10-second Dash on the Xavix box. Some of them got into the 80's!

This lady had a difficuly timing the roll and release in the Wii bowling. I told her to follow the movements of the ghost-like character on the screen and she said, "I can't see it!" No wonder! (Maybe Nintendo needs to make a "senior option" where you can darken the character....)

I told her to address the lane like normal (that's why you see her left hand holding her imaginary bowling ball), then take a normal swing and release the trigger to release the ball. She rolled her first strike!

This lady employed a "push" technique to roll the ball. She was able to get some strikes and spares this way!

Once most of the seniors went next door for lunch, the staff from the SB Sun newspaper tried out the games themselves.

Now they want to do a field trip to the Zone so they can try out more exergames. How cool is that? I emphasized how exergames not only benefit their physical health, but also stimulates their mental/cognitive health as well (good for Alzheimer prevention!), so they get a double-benefit. Plus the social benefit--you should've seen them cheering and clapping each other on!

Soon, we'll be hosting the first-ever Senior XRGames. Who said video gaming was just for kids? I can see them challenging their grandkids on these exergames.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

I really enjoyed this post. I think that remaining vigilant about mental health is essential to living a long and active life. On that note I found a great resource with connections to new brain fitness programs. It is called the Brain Fitness channel
bfc.positscience.com
and it really is an awsome site filled with brain games and information on how to stay sharp. I hope you find this helpful!