University of Western Australia Associate Professor to develop an Australian “exergame” rating system

The Age today reports that an Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia is hard at work on a ratings system for "exergames" -- titles like Wii Fit and Xbox Fitness.

The ratings system would function independently from proper Australian Classification guidelines and seeks to educate parents on the various health and well-being titles currently on the market.

The "exergames" rating system will be modelled on ANCAP safety ratings for cars and will rate a game based on energy expended and how social the game is.

The University of Western Australia's Michael Rosenberg has received a taxpayer-funded grant to develop the rating system.

Rosenberg plans to rate games such as Just Dance 4, Ultimate Sports and London 2012 Olympics. He's steering clear of games where there's an aim to physically hurt an opponent... so Wii Sports and its boxing might be overlooked.

Rosenberg's research suggests that children who played "exergames" for at least 15 minutes were less sedentary than those playing traditional titles.

We'd assume that those children were less sedentary for at lease fifteen minutes (science!).

Meanwhile, Sydney's Abbotsleigh school has discontinued a trial of Wii Fit gym classes as it "did not sufficiently match the PDHPE curriculum,'' according to the school's acting head of PDHPE, Jennifer Hurll.

What do you make of the ratings system? Or the term "exergame", for that matter?

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Steve Wright

Steve Wright, aka Stevivor: A Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, freelance journalist, sweet games blog owner, ice hockey player/fan, beer aficionado and tech trainer. Steve is proud to be the Australian iiNet TopGeek 2.0! Check him out on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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