Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Exergamefitness & XRTZ join forces!

10-13-08: Check out the press release by Exergamefitness on a new partnership between our two companies. We're looking forward to working with Tommy and Ed to spread exergaming to families who need it!

XRTZ officer lands spot on Oprah

10-15-08: Sheila Hodgkin, Development Officer, made it in the news this AM with her selection in an Oprah-sponsored women's leadership contest. You can read all about it in the San Bernardino Sun online article.

It mentioned her work with Andre Agassi, and here are some pictures from our recent trip to his gala for his schools.

Here's Sheila, hard at work with Andre, telling him how his school can benefit from having exergaming in it. Notice the XRTZ business card in his hand...great job, Sheila!

Also got to meet some other celebs there, like Dr. Knowlton here with David Foster....
Sheila and Judy Peterson (wife of COO Joel Peterson) with Nick Cannon and Mariah!
Sheryl Crow was very nice...
I was able to get in one picture with Steffi, one of my fave female tennis players...
Coach K was very friendly, shaking our hands and asking our names. I asked him how it was dealing with all of those NBA-sized egos and he said it wasn't hard at all because, "...they really wanted it (the gold)."
This was for Kim's 3 sons, who love watching Emeril on TV.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

3rd XRGames Olympics

We had our own "Michael", who had an impressive haul of medals. Picture with him is Summer, who didn't do to shabbily herself, even though she rarely gets to play any exergames! (Even though she is the daughter of the Exergaming Evangelist.)

8-24-08: As the Olympics were winding down, we had a chance to hold another tournament in celebration of the Olympics, and to also raise some funds for the Redlands Swim Team.

For this tournament, we had some of our usual games such as the Makoto, DDR, and the bouldering wall, and we also tried some new games--Guitar Hero while on the Gamercize and Wii Olympics (track and field, swimming, and fencing), and Wii Fit (ski jumping). Check out the pictures to see the action!

All in all, the kids had a great time playing the exergames, winning medals, and winning cool raffle prizes. Stay tuned for our next tourney!

Monday, July 14, 2008

XRTZ debuts on Telemundo!

7-14-08: Last night, XRTZ was seen on Telemundo on the weekend show, Al Rojo Vivo. Conchita Portilla, NP, are spanish instructor for our Family Fit Zone class, was the main feature of this segment. She did a great job, even though she was quite nervous. Here we (Conchita, her daughter Natalie, my daughter Summer, and my wife Keri) watching it in the multipurpose room of the XRTZ (neither of us have cable!). And here's a screen shot of Conchita!

Drayson Center Zone now open!

7-14-08: Last week, XRTZ's first "extension" site opened on the the world-renowned campus of Loma Linda University. With a full schedule of summer day camp activities in the Drayson Center, LLU's fitness center, it is now up and running, even though we're waiting for a few more pieces of hardware to come in. Now, more people can enjoy the benefits of exergaming!

Tim Cruz (center), is the leader of this new Zone.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Airing this Saturday, July 12, 6:30 PM PST...don't miss Teacher Conchita Portilla NP's debut, speaking about her Spanish Family Fit Zone class on Telemundo (Ch.52).

If you miss it, you can see it later on their website: Telemundo

She did a great job!!! Here are some shots of her during her interview...

Freelance producer Vanessa Zuniga and cameraman watch correspondent Guadalupe Vicon interview Conchita
Conchita even does the difficult "walk and talk" for the first time without tripping on anything!
Guadalupe plays the Wii Bowling (she's definitely not a newbie!)...
...then explains about her experience on camera. I have no idea what she's saying as it's in Spanish, but I'm sure it's all good.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

XRTZ wins business award!

7-3-08: Xrtainment Zone Receives 2008 Best of Redlands Award

U.S. Local Business Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

WASHINGTON D.C., July 2, 2008 -- Xrtainment Zone has been selected for the 2008 Best of Redlands Award in the Exercise Programs category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA).

The USLBA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2008 USLBA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USLBA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA)
U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USLBA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USLBA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Local Business Association

U.S. Local Business Association

Saturday, June 28, 2008

XRTZ in the news again!

6-28-08: This past week, XRTZ was featured on Fox 11 news. Check out the video clip, featuring kids and seniors into exergaming at the Zone!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New equipment; on Fox News again!

6-24-08: We recently just put in some new games in the Zone. Come in and check it out!

The first thing we recently added was this stepper called the Gamercize Pro Stepper. Richard Coshott, out of the UK, is the founder of Gamercize and definitely "European Exergaming Evangelist"! Here you see one of our senior staffers, Vicky, trying it out. We'll report back in a little bit to see how the response is to it.
Another game that we just got installed yesterday is called "Dogfight", a flight simulator combined with a recumbent bike. Check out their website, Electronic Sports and see a demo video of how it works. It's a blast! I played it this AM against Joel and within a minute or so, he blasted me out of the air and I had to eject and parachute to safety.

Here's a shot of Joel and his daughter, Cassie, putting it though it's paces.
A close of up what Cassie is seeing on this huge screen. You use the handles to turn and bank your plane.

Joe Dean is the creator of this cool game and it's being developed in the beautiful island of Cebu, Philippines. We are fortunate to be the 2nd facility in the US to have a pair, and will give it a good workout here in the Zone. Here, Joe and Joel are doing a dogfight.

The crew, all the way from the Philippines, pose for one final shot before they head to Utah for some R & R.

Both games are connected to the Internet, allowing for online competition with players anywhere in the world. Hopefully, we'll soon have competitions with players from other states and countries!

We'll be utilizing both of these games, along with the Wii Fit and other games, in our upcoming 3rd Annual XRGames in August, so stay tuned!

In other XRTZ news, we are making progress on our first extension location, the Drayson Center, Loma Linda University's fitness center. Here you can see the display we have at the entrance promoting the summer day camp and the July Grand Opening, and the 2nd picture is where this will be located (behind the wall). We're excited about this collaboration, not only to bring exergaming to more people, but to also further research in medicine at LLU. (The Drayson Center is my regular gym where I play r-ball, lift weights, and swim, so I'll be able to check in on this on a regular basis.)

Finally, XRTZ was featured on Ch. 11 Fox News last night and this AM! Joel Tivo'd it and we'll soon have the segment on our website. They did a great job on the piece in getting our message out there, and if you notice my voice, you're not hearing things--it does sound strange because I was just getting over a head cold! (This was shot shortly after I had returned from my 5th conference in 6 weeks and it finally caught up to me.)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

XRTZ & US Dream Academy

5-21-08: Some of us from XRTZ took a whirlwind trip to Washington, DC, to attend the gala for the US Dream Academy. Dr. Steve and Sheila Hodgkin (far left) and XRTZ were one of the major sponsors. Wintley Phipps (middle man) is the founder of this non-profit org. that helps kids break the cycle of incarceration through an after-school program, giving them the skills and vision necessary to lead productive and fulfilling lives.

XRTZ is looking to collaborate with US Dream Academy to bring in the health and fitness aspect into their centers. We hope to open up a center here in the San Bernardino area.

(L-R) Steve and Sheila Hodgkin (XRTZ Advisory Board Chair & Chief Development Officer), Keyshia Cole, Wintley Phipps, Cynne Simpson (gala co-emcee), Judy & Joel Peterson (XRTX COO/Co-founder)

The XRTZ team!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

XRTZ in Senior Centers

5-23-08 Check out the article in the Press Enterprise today on how XRTZ is working with the Dept. of Aging to get exergaming in 35 seniors centers!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

On the lecture circuit...

5-18-08: May has been a busy month! I've been flying to various conferences, talking about the clinical work we've been doing at the XRTZ. In May alone, I've spoken at 5 different conferences! The last two was in Kansas City (sports med conf. for DO physicians) and the 4th annual Games for Health conf., in Baltimore. You can read more about it on my exergaming evangelist blog!

Have one more to present at, the Amer. College of Sports Medicine conf., in Indy, where I'll be presenting with our main exergaming researcher from CSUSB, Dr. Bryan Haddock. Stay tuned for a report from there!

Kansas City, Osteopathic Sports Med conf. Dr. Tedd Mitchell (far left), spoke on the medical perspective of pediatric obesity while I spoke on the clinical applications of exergaming. Dr. Tedd is the medical director at the Cooper Aerobic Center in Dallas, TX, and is a columnist in the USA Weekend.
4th Annual Games for Health Conf., Baltimore, MD, sponsored by Humana and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. Over 300+ people there this year!!! Awesome!!!

We get a Wii Fit!

5-16-08: There was this big white box in my office at the clinic for the last few days, and I finally took a closer look at it, and it was addressed to the "Wii Research Headquarters". I opened it quickly and it was a Wii Fit!!! These are due to come out May 19, so we were lucky to get one before then. Thanks to Rob Wheat and Golin Harris for making this possible. ;-)

I took it over to the Zone where, yup, it's him again, Dr. Thin!, helped us set it up since it had come out in Europe a few weeks ago.

Here is Alasdair getting us all set on our Wii Fit:

Getting ready for the downhill ski long jump...

Showing some of our Zone members how to head the soccer ball.
Nice Warrior pose there, Dr. Thin!

BTW, after G4H, Alasdair has been on tour of the US, visiting exergaming hotspots. From Baltimore, he visited Lisa's XRKade lab in Tampa, then went on over to visit Biray in Phoenix, then came to CA to visit us and also Belinda and Sheryl at USC, before heading up to speak at a conf. in Banff, Canada. He'll have a lot to report on when he heads back to Scotland!

Newsflash! Alasdair just posted a review on his blog about his visit! Check it out at!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Survived the storms!

4-13-08: Last week, I was at the AAHPERD conf. in Fortworth, TX. Amid all the thunderstorms, hail, and tornadoes, we had a good presentation. I was part of a session with several others, speaking on the clinical aspects of exergaming. Here are a few shots from the conf.

These were the other folks I spoke with at our session (click on the picture to enlarge; you can see our listing at 3:15 PM on Wed). L-R: John Foley, PhD (Cortland College) spoke on adapting exergaming for the disabled; Andrea Oh (iTech) spoke on the economics of adding an exergaming area in your facility; Steve Yang, PhD (Cortland College) spoke on some of the exergaming research; and myself, where I spoke on the clinical and practical applications of exergaming for kids, seniors, and disabled.
Unfortunately, Lisa Hansen (PhD candidate) and her faculty advisor from Univ. of South Florida (Tampa) were booked on American Airlines...and due to their flight being canceled, they were unable to make it--watch for her presentation at Games for Health!

In the expo, this was my first time to see Sportwall's new dance game in person. Very nicely done--wireless, and able to handle up to 32 people playing at the same time!

I wasn't sure how that would look on the screen with all those players...till I saw it in person. The 3 columns are easy, normal, and difficult arrows. Players 1-32 can choose which difficulty level they will play at and follow those arrows. Their score and info are at the top black bar. Pretty out-of-the-box thinking! The best handling of true group DDR that I've seen yet. The cost may be a bit prohibitive, but that's what it takes when you are developing a new type of game!

After my 2nd speaking gig this year, I'm here the rest of April. Next stop, the Amer. Osteopathic Sports Medicine conf. in Kansas City the first couple of days in May!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Coming to a RWJF video soon!

We started off March with an exciting event: being part of a Robert Woods Johnson Foundation video production! Thanks to Serious Games and Digital Mill, we were recommended for this video project. Seth and his crew were great in coming out and doing a day of taping at the Zone. They videod our Senior XRGaming Workout class and our Homeschool Zone. Watch for the URL of this production soon!

Taping a nutrition session in our Homeschool Zone.

They taped several interviews--here they are interviewing Erin Haugh, of the San Bernardino Public Health Dept. who works with seniors. They also taped Christopher Burton, MD, from Loma Linda University School of Medicine, who is involved with rehab and looking to get into exergaming as a treatment modality. And of course, I had to say a few words on exergaming and health! ;-)