You know, I'm getting a little bit fed up with the way that public opinion seems to wax and wane so quickly. One minute all the Daily Mail readers of the world are in a twist because computer games are awful and are slowly spoiling the youth, the next minute everybody wants to see Sim City
integrated into the national curriculum.
Today, it's not Sim City
which is reaping the praise though, but an arcade rhythm game called Dance Dance Revolution
According to the BBC
, the game is being tested out in schools in Bedfordshire as you read and has met with tremendous success.
The game, which involves using a dance mat for pupils to stamp on as they try to keep up with the music, is being used to entice girls who may not be interested in traditional sports and to help combat obesity in the UK.
"You tend to burn about 400 to 600 calories an hour in these classes. You are working on coordination, balance, cardio vascular, stamina. You can vary and change the intensity so it matches other sports quite well.
" Said Daniel Gill, of Active Luton, a trust which runs local sports centres in the area.
"There is no segregation on ability. Even if they know they can’t do all of it, they can try anyway. And it's a good way of introducing them to a gym.
The classes, which last for 45 minutes, have proven very popular with pupils, many of whom use it as a way to stay fit whilst advancing at their own pace thanks to selectable difficulties.
Speaking as someone who has used these dance mats in the past thanks to pressure from my girlfriend, I'd have to agree that they are both entertaining and strenuous enough to provide a moderate workout. That said, I tend to prefer Elite Beat Agents
or Everlasting Love
for my daily dose of rhythm games.
What do you think, do games like this have a place in schools or should we try harder to motivate children through conventional means? Drop us your thoughts in the forums