January 07, 2005

Exertainment Exile!

There is nothing entertaining about video games that make me sweat. Ew, gross!

Why would anyone want to sweat while playing a video game? I'll admit there were many a time in 1987 while furiously pumping quarters into Gauntlet, "Valkyrie needs food, badly!" my forehead did shine with the briefest glistening of perspiration, but today's video games make you move your body in ways unknown to my generation of video game aficionados!

Take for example the granddaddy-san of the “exergaming” craze, "Dance Dance Revolution". This game is a work out! I nearly twisted my ankle as flashing indicators and a little pixilated pixie told me where to step and how to turn.

For those in the dark, or not in Japan, "Dance Dance Revolution" is a dancing video game where you score points by correctly mimicking the dancing child on the screen. All you do is climb onto a colorful platform and bust a move. It sounds simple right? Wowsa, was I shocked when the only thing I nearly busted was my corduroy-clad ass. It didn't help my concentration that six year olds began to jeer me as I grooved and jumped. I nearly spilled my martini for crying out loud!

From dancing the next logical step is sports themed movement games, or "exergaming" as it's been branded by the devilish PR demons selling to this new niche market of gamers who apparently like to huff and puff while playing their video games.

The only “huffing” and “puffing” I do while playing video games leaves me as coordinated as a sponge. I’m lucky if I have the agility to turn the television off, much less play real time tennis against a digital opponent.
How about nachos? Yeah man, I’ll eat nachos with a digital foe, but tennis? Fuck that.

These “exertainment” warlocks gathered for a four-day coven at the International Consumer Electronics Show were a sweaty tent of moist consumers danced up a nice array of armpit circles.


Yeah, believe it or not, apparently we are a nation of nacho-eating couch potatoes. So the solution is to marry the video game with the equivalent of an aerobic work out. Yuck! Even if my Sega Genesis had had such a game like “Dance Dance Revolution”, at the age of 14 I didn’t want to dance. I wanted to slay goblins and devilish PR warlocks and find treasure and eat nachos.

These sweaty games aren’t limited to dance; there is one for golf too. Golf? GOLF?! I don’t know how a golf “exergame” is going to solve our nation’s obesity problem; but as far as fun factor goes I’d certainly prefer jeering children and a twisted ankle over two hours of tedious, living room golf any day.

All this exertainment technology scares the shit out of me. The next logical step is holo-deck technology, and anyone who has seen any episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” knows that you stay the fuck out of the holo-deck!

Just hand me a pile of quarters. I like my arcade games old school. “Gay man needs martini, badly!”

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