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Apps For Healthy Kids — Where PC Meets PCs

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the what's-the-rda-on-sanctimony? dept.

Government 186

theodp writes "Put the Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and Madden away, kids! Over at Apps for Healthy Kids, First Lady Michelle Obama has a whole new slate of games for you to play with! Voting on entries in the White House-backed game development competition has begun, and you'll find exciting titles like Balanced Meal (6 votes), Blubber Blaster (9 votes), Calorie Quest (10 votes), and Count Peas (7 votes) — and that's just for starters."

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Surely the healthiest option (5, Insightful)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941586)

Would be to not let "Kids" near a PC.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32941614)

While you're at it, be sure to slap books out of their hands.

Anyhow, I'm just curious. Has anyone run the numbers on increasing kid-lard versus decreasing safe roaming distance around the home?

(Disclaimers: I read books, and grew up in an city-sized 60s suburb that was entirely safe to let kids roam.)

Re:Surely the healthiest option (2, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941686)

Of course, when it comes to killing children's intrest I think the whitehouse is using much more effective techniques than your suggested violence. I mean these apps sound about as tasty as brussels' sprouts with brown rice.

You can keep children away from books by forcing them to read moby dick just as easily. More effective than the death penalty they use in Iran, in my opinion.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941804)

(Disclaimers: I read books, and grew up in an city-sized 60s suburb that was entirely safe to let kids roam.)

Parents of the time thought it was safer than parents do these days. It may be that it was safe. It may still be safe to do now. Or it may be it was simply perceived as being safe.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (3, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941858)

As far as road safety goes, where I am in the UK, it's far safer than it was in the 1960s. Quite the opposite of parents perception:
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1208 [statistics.gov.uk]

It seems to me that one of the drivers of increased safety has been deliberate raising of the public's awareness. Increased awareness creates a perception of things getting worse, whilst actually causing things to get better.

I would imagine research into child abduction, abuse and murder would also produce results contrary to expectation.

I have no kids, but if I did, I'd give them as much freedom to roam as I had when I was a child. I certainly wouldn't be driving them everywhere.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942704)

Uh, you could get lower traffic accident statistics BECAUSE more parents don't let their kids out to roam.

Not saying that your point is not true, but to actually prove increased safety you'd also need to have the number of pedestrians+cars over the years. And for children safety you'd need the number of children roaming the streets per year.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942774)

Uh, you could get lower traffic accident statistics BECAUSE more parents don't let their kids out to roam.

Indeed, which is a result of increased public awareness...

to actually prove increased safety you'd also need to have the number of pedestrians+cars over the years.

Yes. Though one thing we do know is that the car part of that equation has increased a lot.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32943198)

Yeah... Then again if they're all stuck in traffic jams, if they hit a kid, the kid may not even notice :).

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941906)

(Disclaimers: I read books, and grew up in an city-sized 60s suburb that was entirely safe to let kids roam.)

Parents of the time thought it was safer than parents do these days. It may be that it was safe. It may still be safe to do now. Or it may be it was simply perceived as being safe.

There were pedophiles and druggies around... but there were less distractions and more supervision. 90% of the houses in our neighbourhood had a parent at home during the day. Fences were 3-4' high and you could see through them. Strangers in an area were easily spotted.

There was milk and bread delivery to most homes and it seemed like there was always someone on the back porch working a laundry line.

Virtually no one is home during the day in our present area.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1)

kainosnous (1753770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32941948)

Even though I wasn't around in the 50's, the world that my parents describe growing up in was a much safer place. There were criminals, but society didn't just give them a slap on the wrist when they were found. As you have pointed out, there was always somebody there who knew who should and should not be around.

Another factor that I think is important and have seen take a sharp decline even in my lifetime is the general morality. These days, I would be more concerned of the other children and the influences of society than the actual criminals. If I were forced to choose between wantoness and Halo, I think video games are the better alternative.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942716)

Even though I wasn't around in the 50's, the world that my parents describe growing up in was a much safer place. There were criminals, but society didn't just give them a slap on the wrist when they were found.

Ah, the good old days. When were they, anyway? I forget those halcyon days when we didn't put up with no criminals, but put them straight into the pokey.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_incarceration_timeline-clean.svg [wikipedia.org]

Re:Surely the healthiest option (5, Interesting)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941864)

Hmmm, I grew up in the 50s and we roamed the neighborhood in relative safety, but there were also lots of parents around. Two income families were not the norm. My wife or I would take our kids (now teens) to the playground and we would be the only parents in the area.

There have been a number of significant changes in the way people spend their time and how they interact in the last 50 years. Entertainment content has changed as well. It is simplistic (but fun!!) to blame one thing or another for obesity and violence.

So here's my 2c: Up to grade 5 or 6, turn off the TV and limit computer time. Go outside and play with your kids. Talk WITH them for a significant part of every day, even if you have something more important to do.

Especially limit exposure to shows/games that use a lot of sarcasm or display/infer violence. Your kid isn't going to be a serial killer because they play violent games but they do model what they see and if you want them to learn how to interact successfully with others then make sure they see / hear / live in way that is what you consider healthy.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (5, Insightful)

nu1x (992092) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942106)

> Especially limit exposure to shows/games that use a lot of sarcasm or display/infer violence. Your kid isn't going to be a serial killer because they play violent games but they do model what they see and if you want them to learn how to interact successfully with others then make sure they see / hear / live in way that is what you consider healthy.

Not really, regarding modeling. Many (most ?) kids are capable of differentiating between modeling the internal vs. the external world, as in, they can take all the sarcasm, blood and gore, and still understand the "abstraction" part behind it. I spent a lot of time around certain kids growing up, and while they were certainly above the norm intellectually, by the age of about 12, every abstract thing you throw at them they can take just dandy.

What is much more dangerous, is not having the valve for gore and brutality - you may think it strange, but it is necessary. I've seen kids ruined by over-protective parents. In other words, I've noticed that true demons among kids are those who have not noticed pain and suffering in the world, and esp. those who have not felt pain and personal loss - not saying that you should traumatize your kids, far from it - what I am getting at is that kids need to go outside, for example, take a camping trip - and not experience comfort for once - but the mud, the hunger and hardship - these are the things that make kids appreciate it in others and become more helpful.

Also, boys (maybe I am coming off as sexist here, whatever) tend to naturally seek out sources of pain in real life while playing. But it is healthy - broad spectrum of experience defines us as persons.

Not sheltering them or making them "model" some behaviour on rote level, but rather, leading them to understand root causes and relationships of this world, is a better approach.

World-proof your kids.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942720)

> Talk WITH them for a significant part of every day, even if you have something more important to do.

Nah, if you really have something more important to do, do that first. The kids will survive.

But most things aren't that important. Even though they might be more fun or less tiring than talking with the kids :).

Re:Surely the healthiest option (4, Insightful)

Chowderbags (847952) | more than 3 years ago | (#32943358)

Talk WITH them for a significant part of every day, even if you have something more important to do.

They're your kids. Raising them is the most important thing you have to do.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#32941918)

does anyone have numbers about safe roaming distance ? my guess is it's ever-increasing, as is parental hysteria over danger.

from : http://pediatrics.about.com/od/childabuse/a/05_abuse_stats.htm [about.com]

"Although the incidence of child abuse and neglect has been decreasing in recent years, more than 1.25 million, or 1 in every 58 children in the United States, were abused in 2006."

Re:Surely the healthiest option (4, Insightful)

BlkRb0t (1610449) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941636)

That's not possible in the current scenario, PC's are everywhere and kids are going to see them and be curious about them. It's better that you teach them how to use it properly than making it a restriction. If you don't let them near one then they are going to seek it out from outside which maybe worse than what you intended to do.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32941644)

Sounds like boobs...

And we spend alot of time and money protecting children from the evil boobs...

^^

Re:Surely the healthiest option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32942132)

And we spend alot of time and money protecting children from the evil boobs...

And for good reason [rathergood.com] (NSFW)

Just feed them less (3, Interesting)

nten (709128) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941640)

The whole "get out and play" thing is backwards according to this study:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100707212127.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Its results would indicate that simply feeding children less will make them less fat regardless of activity level. The lower weight makes them more active. This is consistent with how I finally got the weight of and kept it off (calorie counting while sitting in front of a monitor all day), and its really quite intuitive.

May I be the first to say.... Thermodynamics *works* bitches!

Re:Just feed them less (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941672)

Eating less worked for me, too.

The whole 'gym' mentality is broken. The problem is that people eating less doesn't make anybody rich. Gyms and diet products, OTOH...

Re:Just feed them less (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941782)

Yes, eat less* to lose weight.

Being lighter makes you feel good on its own as basic things like getting out of a chair and climbing stairs become easier - but getting some form of regular exercise (even just going for a 30 minute walk every couple of days) will make you feel even better.

I don't think there's anything wrong with gyms as long as you're not using them as an excuse to eat crap. I actually started going to the gym because I wanted to put on weight after losing 20lbs through trying various methods of eating and regular walking. I now eat a low GI diet, not just for weight control but because it helps keep my mood stable when I'm not going through sugar rushes and crashes all the time.

*eat less shit anyways - you can keep eating the same volume if you just eat less calorific foods. sugar+fat in the same meal is bound to pile on the pounds.

Re:Just feed them less (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941818)

The gym works perfectly. If you're prepared to continue that level of commitment for the rest of your life. Most people aren't. So for most people moderating your diet is more effective. Dieting however is not a good idea. Any change you make must be forever. If you can't handle doing it (or doing without) for the rest of your life, don't bother starting.

Re:Just feed them less (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941834)

I, on the other hand, used to eat like a navvy - but I burnt it all off riding a bike and playing Rugby [1].

[1] Not at the same time, but it sounds like a fun idea.

Re:Just feed them less (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#32943036)

The whole 'gym' mentality is broken. The problem is that people eating less doesn't make anybody rich.

Well, neither does running the trails in a several-year-old pair of Chuck Taylor knock-offs.

You don't need to join a gym to exercise. Second-hand bikes are cheap; if you want to go running, if you shun expensive, injury-producing running shoes [unreasonable.org] it's pretty cheap (and contrary to common practice, you don't actually need an iPod or other music player to go running); walking remains free, as do calisthenics [wikipedia.org] ; and you can usually find some sucker in your neighborhood teaching yoga or karate [seidomd.com] or something along those lines at little above cost.

It's certainly true that our massive caloric intake -- which increased 24.5 percent between 1970 and 2000 [usda.gov] , and I'm sure has only gone up since then -- tends to swamp weight-loss effects from exercise for many people. You won't burn off an extra 500 calories a day with moderate exercise. But exercise has benefits apart from weight loss; and once caloric intake is down to something more sane, it will help burn off minor excesses.

Re:Just feed them less (4, Informative)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941720)

There is a certain problem with 'get out and play' if your outside is a ghetto ridden with gangs, drug dealers and gun violence. Better to stay inside then.

Re:Just feed them less (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32941754)

There is a certain problem with 'get out and play' if your outside is a ghetto ridden with gangs, drug dealers and gun violence. Better to stay inside then.

See, now you're missing the point.
 
Ever been in a fight? You'll start working out muscles you didn't even know you had.

Re:Just feed them less (1)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942570)

How the hell is this modded troll? Seems like a legitimate matter of practicality to me. But (to the trigger-happy mod-) go ahead and live in your cozy comfortable world and assume that anyone can just "go out and play". Numbnut.

Re:Just feed them less (4, Insightful)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941786)

Backwards? But it isn't just about the exercise. It's also about social skills. Keep them "safely" indoors all day and, well, you know what happens... you'll have met kids like this in forums and online games. They are not pleasant to be with; they are rude, selfish people, and it's because they are poorly socialised. Some of them are technically adults - they are the saddest examples. We can get used to ignoring the flames, the trolls and the gamer rage on the Internet, but imagine how such people cope in the real world. "Not very well" is the answer.

Re:Just feed them less (-1, Troll)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941820)

So basically, what you're saying is that keeping kids indoors ensures that they won't hang out with the kind of people you disapprove of even when they're adults? Granted, it's because nobody tolerates having them around, but hey, whatever works, right? And as an added bonus, they won't be having any of that eeeevil sex either, for the same reason.

Re:Just feed them less (1)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942168)

I assume this must be a reply to a different post.

Re:Just feed them less (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32941986)

Keep them "safely" indoors all day and, well, you know what happens... you'll have met kids like this in forums and online games. They are not pleasant to be with; they are rude, selfish people, and it's because they are poorly socialised.

no u h0m0

Re:Just feed them less (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941808)

Its results would indicate that simply feeding children less will make them less fat regardless of activity level.

That is so insightful. I thought people gained weight by eating less food. That explains why my diet hasn't been working.

Re:Just feed them less (3, Informative)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941872)

"Diets" don't work. In particular crash diets that just send your body into starvation/storage mode leaving with zero energy. Increase the quality of your food (no pre-prepared food and stop eating out) and pay attention to the calorie totals. Eating less more often and earlier in the day helps too. The magic ingredient is to start getting some exercise to increase your metabolism and burn more calories. If you're well over 200lbs, you can burn up to 200 calories fast walking a mile. Don't expect huge changes in weight. A slow steady and _lasting_ improvement takes time.

Re:Just feed them less (2, Insightful)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941856)

Yes, it can be as simple as weigh change = calories in - calories burned. The complications are that the type of foods and eating habits make a difference and that cutting back on calories alone can't affect significant weight loss. A starvation diet going below 1200 calories a day with zero exercise (which usually backfire, btw) can only drop 1 lb of weigh a week. The best best is diet improvment and getting mild to moderate exercise.

Besides, there is more to health than simply weigh. Percent fat and cardio health are just as important. Dieting your way to a skinny body doesn't imply that you have either. You might just be an out of shape, weak hearted thin person. That 200-lb guy that runs ironman will probably outlive you.

I agree on the commercialization of weight loss. Too many diet products on the shelves when the answer is get off the f-ing couch, do a bit of exercise, and stop buying crap food that puts on lbs like Doritos, Taco Bell, McDonalds.

Depends on initial weight (1)

nten (709128) | more than 3 years ago | (#32943170)

I was losing 2lbs a week every week for 2/3rds of a year doing nothing but sit at my sedentary job and count calories of crap food. You shouldn't lose more than 2lbs a week no matter what you do, its unhealthy. I didn't go below my BMR (around 1460 at the time), I didn't eat better, I still ate plenty of carbs, just less over all. I did use portion control for dinner by purchasing prepackaged meals. And I avoided foods I knew I would have trouble eating sensible portions of. After loosing the weight I had tons of energy and couldn't help but go running, with less fear of joint problems this time.

The first time I tried to get the weight off as an adult my workout buddy told me that I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I was exercising. That was terrible advice. I work a full time sit-still job, work out an hour, and eat the appropriate calories. I can (and have) eaten an extra 4000calories a day without even feeling stuffed, there were times when I averaged that occasionally eating an extra 6000 calories over my needed intake. If I eat how much I *want* to eat I'd have to do ten hours of cardio a day. I could cut that down by doing weight training on large muscle groups, but still, there are quite literally not enough hours in the day to burn off the amount of food I want to eat, if I keep my job and sleep healthily. That isn't even accounting for the fact that working out that much would make me want to eat even more.

But yeah, you can still eat crap food (good food is better obviously), as long as its not the sort you are addicted to and can't stop eating, cause you got to eat less than you want to. The physical activity will be a result of the weight loss just like the study said.

Re:Just feed them less (1)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 3 years ago | (#32941934)

Sure, but they go together. Feed healthy and act healthy. Let the ozone sniffers (sci guys) figure out if the chicken or egg came first.

Re:Just feed them less (2, Informative)

plastbox (1577037) | more than 3 years ago | (#32941954)

As Gary Taubes, author of "Good Calories, Bad Calories" says, workout out makes you hungry. Everyone has heard about "Working up an appetite" but for some strange reason forgets it when they talk about exercise. If you just eat based on hunger, working out will do nothing to lower your weight. It will of course help cardiovascular health, and weight lifting helps keep your metabolism and good hormones up, your stress hormones down, helps your mental health and staves off the debilitating weakness of ageing.

As Mr. Taubes says in the book, it's not all about the calories though. A huge part of the problem these days is the massive consumption of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar, which raises insulin levels, which promotes fat storage, inhibits release of energy from fat tissue and promotes inflammation, associated with next to all our "western diseases" like heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, fibromyalgia and so on. If you eat bread/pasta/rice/etc. 5 times a day because many small, supposedly healthy meals will help you loose weight, your insulin levels will be chronically high and it will be exceedingly hard to burn off any fat.

Re:Just feed them less (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942022)

I would say they go hand in hand. Kids just need to be outdoors more, playing with other kids -- rather than spending that time eating. Just cutting the snacks out of their diet would make a huge difference, and an easy way to do that is to just not have them stay indoors all day, with snacks readily available.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941822)

If keeping kids away from computers makes them healthy, then I guess the healthiest kids in the world must live in some African country.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32941842)

Well, they're not overweight, they can't afford drugs, many of them are devoutly religious and willing to die for their beliefs. Sounds like model citizens to me.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 3 years ago | (#32941940)

the healthiest kids in the world must live in some African country.

Well the village girls always look best!

Re:Surely the healthiest option (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942164)

Surely the healthiest option Would be to not let "Kids" near a PC.

1) Please stop putting the first part of your sentence in the subject line without replicating it in your comment. It's bad form in any medium.

2) Yes, surely it will be healthy to keep children ignorant of computers so they can grow up disadvantaged unlike an acquaintance's two year old who is plugging and unplugging USB devices (and not just for fun, but when necessary) and is able to start and use programs. What a brilliant idea in education you have stumbled upon!

1) (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942514)

No, it's accepted in this particular medium.
2) A "Kid" is a young goat & should definitely be kept away from a PC.
3) My youngest (just turned 10) can build a PC from components, install dual boot Windows/Linux & can touch type (I signed him up to the PICA course when he was 8). I've been in this game for 35 years, but I now get him to do the 'support'.
4) He comes home from school complaining that in his ICT lessons they are teaching him how to create a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet.
5) That's it!

Re:1) (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32942626)

No, it's accepted in this particular medium.

No it isn't. People only do it because they're retarded.

Re:1) (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32943046)

No, it's accepted in this particular medium.

No, it isn't. You only think it is because you have poor netiquette.

2) A "Kid" is a young goat & should definitely be kept away from a PC.

"Your honor, we all agree that my client ran this lady down with an Impala. But I believe that I can show that it was actually a quadruped, one Aepyceros melampus." Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. Go back to first grade with these masterful debating tactics.

Re:Surely the healthiest option (1)

jduhls (1666325) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942984)

Good luck with that, n00b.

frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32941592)

healthy kids are pants

Somebody tell 4chan! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32941610)

Since I'm sure the local trolls are already hard at work with some stealth-goatse games, it's only fair we give the /b/tards a heads-up so they can get working on the pedobear side of things.

Because who doesn't wanna see a game featuring "the adorable teddy bear who loves to play with kids" win this contest? Especially if it has a suitably loliraeptastic kill-screen, which you can bet none of the judges/voters will make it to.

Re:Somebody tell 4chan! (3, Interesting)

neumayr (819083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941618)

I'm sure they've already got their own plans..
But honestly, there is no real danger. What kid would voluntarily play games with such titles, games designed not for fun, but for indoctrination?

Re:Somebody tell 4chan! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941788)

You mean titles similar to "Wii Fit" and "Wii Sports"? There's no guarantee that a game is not fun just because of the title, it has to be judged on its own merits..

Re:Somebody tell 4chan! (2, Insightful)

neumayr (819083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941880)

My judgement isn't based on the title alone, rather the whole context in which they're produced.
Comparing a US gov't project to something Nintendo pulled off doesn't work very well..

The only vote I'll cast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32941616)

Is from a clock tower.

Re:The only vote I'll cast (2, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941650)

Anonymous Coward's frustrations with his dysfunctional family were complicated by abuse of amphetamines and health issues including headaches that he reported in one of his final notes as "tremendous."
A glioblastoma, which is a highly cancerous brain tumor, was discovered during autopsy that experts on the "Cowards Commission" claimed may have conceivably played a role in causing his actions. He was also affected by a court martial as a United States Marine, failings as a student at the University of Texas, ambitious personal expectations and psychotic features he expressed in his slashdot post.

When I was a kid... (3, Funny)

gravos (912628) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941646)

When I was a kid I was writing my own apps. Now get off my lawn!

Re:When I was a kid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32941680)

Writing apps is for old people. Now days, kids have apps to write apps for them.

Re:When I was a kid... (1, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941734)

Well, I also use apps to write apps for me. Those apps are usually known as compilers. I give them a description of the program I want to have, in a language they understand (usually known as programming language), and then they write the program I described for me.

Re:When I was a kid... (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941910)

While your comment is kinda 'meh', you'd get +1 from me for your sig alone ^_^

What the hell???!!! (1, Insightful)

flajann (658201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941702)

Now the government wants to start influencing our kids at the gaming level? Eeeewwwwwww! How creepy is that?

Government, leave our kids the hell ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:What the hell???!!! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941740)

Didn't they get the message that computer games are harmful? Just wait until we have the first case of balanced meal amok!

Re:What the hell???!!! (1, Troll)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941792)

Indoctrinate the children when they are young and they are yours for life. Even Hitler knew this. Not the same thing obviously, but I still don't like any political party working so hard to program children with their version of "wisdom".

Re:What the hell???!!! (2, Informative)

neumayr (819083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941894)

Even Hitler knew this.

Yes well, so did a great many people before him.

Not the same thing obviously

So why bother bringing it up? Wasn't there some kind of law [wikipedia.org] against that?

Re:What the hell???!!! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942016)

Came in to see Republi-rage, ideally with Godwin, leaving very satisfied.

Re:What the hell???!!! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32941920)

Hey, give peas a chance!

Re:What the hell???!!! (1, Insightful)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 3 years ago | (#32941976)

you'll find exciting titles like Balanced Meal (6 votes), Blubber Blaster (9 votes), Calorie Quest (10 votes), and Count Peas (7 votes)

Notably absent is "Stay Safe - avoid being sent to fight wars for your government".

Re:What the hell???!!! (1, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942798)

Government, leave our kids the hell ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, how dare the government want to make children healthier.

Perhaps your rage would be better reserved for the fast food companies who use similar tactics to influence kids to eat shit.

Re:What the hell???!!! (2, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942842)

Now the government wants to start influencing our kids at the gaming level? Eeeewwwwwww! How creepy is that?

About as creepy as The Oregon Trail. [wikipedia.org]
1971. Still in print after 39 years. The Oregon Trail [amazon.com]

Physical games (3, Insightful)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941718)

What they should reaally do, is physical games. I.e. like Wii Fit, but not really boring. E.g. something like whack-a-mole, but with boxing instead of a hammer!

Re:Physical games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32941766)

I think most kids when they get old enough would prefer to play whack-off with their favourite porn sites...

Re:Physical games (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941796)

They could introduce martial arts into school PE sessions, and encourage fighting in the schoolyard? That would be awesome.

Re:Physical games (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942188)

They could introduce martial arts into school PE sessions, and encourage fighting in the schoolyard? That would be awesome.

My school experience suggests that they've already done this. Except, you know, without any martial arts training beyond hard knocks.

Re:Physical games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32941814)

Coming soon to Kenect.

Re:Physical games (2, Interesting)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 3 years ago | (#32941926)

Bring back Prop Cycle [coinopexpress.com] ! That thing got me to exercise!

Re:Physical games (1)

srothroc (733160) | more than 3 years ago | (#32941972)

What about the educational aspect of it? I played the crap out of the Oregon Trail and enjoyed it when I was a kid. It seems to me that you could do the same thing in a different setting -- say, captaining a ship across the Atlantic in the Age of Sail, or even from Earth to Mars. Put the kid in charge of outfitting his ship with radiation shielding, balancing between fuel/engineering tools/plants/dried food/vitamin supplements, and let him go. I would play the hell out of a game like that, too... and it would be both relevant AND informative!

Re:Physical games (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942060)

Yeah that is a great idea. E.g. I haven't played it but dwarf fortress could easily teach you about geology.

It has to be fun, plus informative though. I think many times they don't bother with the fun.

Re:Physical games (2, Interesting)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942250)

> What they should really do, is physical games.

Check out HopeLab, which is a hardware & software shop doing pretty much that, as a public benefit.

They started with clinical trials of software that was anecdotally doing cool things for cancer patients (Chemo Warrior, or something like that, that roleplayed nuking cancer by taking meds. Results: kids took their meds on schedule.)

From what I've seen of them (I saw their CEO present once) are committed to a) making the games attractive to kids by doing really good behavioral observation and dialogue and b) doing real clinical trials to evaluate results. Their latest effort is a suit with accelerometers that logs activity then downloads it, earning points, rewards, unlocking levels, etc. They aren't making much noise yet, but they're pretty far along with the hardware (one of their testers took it surfing). I believe the goal is a commercially successful product, perhaps in partnership with another platform.

http://www.hopelab.org/innovative-solutions/gditty/ [hopelab.org]

Also, they say the name will change before launch.

Re:Physical games (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942508)

Normal games but where you have to keep the laptop charged with pedal power.

Good night moon (1)

Trivial Solutions (1724416) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941736)

Stick to good-night moon.

Technically (1)

ninjacheeseburger (1330559) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941774)

I would expect that in an intense game of halo you probably burn off more calories than you would playing these "healthy games".

Re:Technically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32941852)

But the goal is to get the kids to put the games away and do something more active, right? Most kids will stay healthy by not playing the healthy games than by playing Halo.

Simpsons... (2, Interesting)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941778)

Ah this topic reminds me of when Bart Simpson gets bought, by Marge, a golf game named "Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge" instead of the hip and happening "Bonestorm" which is a Mortal Kombat style beat em' up that all the kids play.

Keep it up! (4, Insightful)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 4 years ago | (#32941848)

No seriously, good job. You're sure to reel in the fatties with titles like "blubber blaster". I'm sure the most popular game is going to be something like "Lardass Limbo" and "Stop eating so much fatty". With titles like that, I'm sure the kids will start playing them by the droves. /sarcasm

Do they think kids are that stupid?

Re:Keep it up! (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32941978)

Do they think kids are that stupid?

Yes they do.

Re:Keep it up! (2, Insightful)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942018)

And why shouldn't they? Look what the parents have been putting up with from their politicians for the last ten years.

Re:Keep it up! (4, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942082)

They're not marketing them to the kids: they're marketing them to the parents. The parents will buy "Blubber Blaster" and "encourage" their kids to use it. Of course, it'll probably stay on the shelf but the parents will feel good that they "did" something - kind of like the folks who buy the exercise equipment, use it once or twice, and give up.

In the meantime, the parents still buy the kids Coke, potato chips, crap from fast food joints (if it has a takeout window, it's crap), and they watch their parents sit in front of the TV all night.

I saw this guy buy his little pudgeball one of those 20oz Cokes the other day. She was 8 years old and already a fatty.

Oxymoron inside (5, Funny)

nu1x (992092) | more than 3 years ago | (#32941988)

Why oh why would healthy kids require games such as blubber blaster ?

They should be called apps for big boned, sensitive kids.

And now what ? You're trying to blast their blubber away ? Seems like recipe for insecurity ... :/

Better to create a game called "Life Challenged" wherein the object is to increase the worth of society by stopping being an oxygen thief - and there's only one way to do that. Achievement points for creative solutions ! :P

Or instead... (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32941996)

On the one hand, we can continue to encourage kids to play video games and be antisocial, and hope that games with anti-fast-food themes will out-compete games like Halo. On the other hand, we can encourage kids to not play video games, and spend their time outdoors socializing and engaging in physical activity with each other, and hope that such activity will out-compete video games. Gee, which plan is going to be more effective (not that either one will be enormously effective)?

Of course, if we devote as much effort to telling kids that hang out with each other and play outdoors as we do to telling them that there is something wrong with enjoying the effects of drugs, we will hurt the profits of the corporations that produce video games. Since "the business of the United States is business," any plan that involves hurting corporate profits is a plan that will never actually happen.

You're right. Mod is ignoramous. (3, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942110)

Modded "Flamebait" eh?

Well, rest assured that you're right and at least I know it.

My wife is in medical and it's a HUGE problem among kids because they're not getting enough exercise and the biggest culprits are video games and lack of greenspace for kids to run around - suburban American life is making kids fat. She asks the kids what they do all day: sit in school, go home and do home work and then sit and play video games - all of them have that story.

And being fat at such a young age leads to horrible health consequences later on: diabetes and all the issues with that, heart disease, high blood pressure and all the issue with that, etc....

Our health costs are just going to continue to balloon because of this and we're, of course, going to blame the insurance companies, big pharma, and everyone else but ourselves.

Re:You're right. Mod is ignoramous. (2, Informative)

Eevee (535658) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942742)

...and lack of greenspace for kids to run around - suburban American life is...

Umm, isn't suburbia the place with all those lawns? There's a lot more (and bigger) backyards to run around in when you're out in the suburbs compared to the city. It's not the lack of space, it's the rampant paranoia that the precious darlings can't be left to their own. <getoffmylawn>When I was a kid, we'd disappear after school--we'd all meet at somebody's backyard and play without parental control. I could bike around the neighborhood on my own; wander up to the playground, maybe play a pickup game of kickball; even go to a local shop and spend my meager allowance.</getoffmylawn> It's today's fear culture that's keeping kids indoors.

Re:You're right. Mod is ignoramous. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#32943178)

Nice theory, but when I was growing up (late 60s/early'70s) in da 'burbs we did the SAME FUCKING THING except we watched TV. (It sucked, computers and video games are far more mentally stimulating. TV is still shit.)

The difference? Modern FOOD is mostly good for fattening livestock (hooray for corn byproducts!) and turns youngsters into hambeasts.

Want to fix (some of) this? PT, every school day, in gym class.

Re:Or instead... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942468)

What we seem to need is a reality overlay video game, that way you can make the kids run around in meatspace in order to play a game. And you make the game boundaries exist in the safest possible locations so they're not running into the ghetto to pick up an epic drop. (I got a baggie of magic powder!)

Yeah...no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32942128)

This is not going to work. I'm sorry, it was a cool idea, but it will not work.
I really cannot imagine kids going on this site and playing the games, unless their parents force them, which kind of defeats the purpose of games.

Winning Concept (4, Insightful)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942152)

If you want to make a game to encourage kids to be healthy, make a really shitty game like the orginal E.T. for Atari. Kids will play it for about 2 minutes before turning it off and going outside to make a tree-house.
In my opinion, making a good game and encouraging physical fitness and healthy eating are mutually-exclusive activities. I can tell when I have bought a really good game by the amount of time I have been stuck in the house glued to the game and all the garbage food I eat while playing it because I'm too busy to get up and prepare a healthy meal.

How about have good food in school. Not low cost h (3, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942442)

How about having good food in school. Not low cost high fat stuff? also give the kids time to eat so they use the full 30 min lunch standing in line to just have 10 min or less to eat it. NO MORE recess time shared with launch. Make it it's own time.

Re:How about have good food in school. Not low cos (2, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 3 years ago | (#32942554)

How about having good food in school. Not low cost high fat stuff? also give the kids time to eat so they use the full 30 min lunch standing in line to just have 10 min or less to eat it. NO MORE recess time shared with launch. Make it it's own time.

Yes, this. Also, have a class that teaches kids how to cook. A lot of kids move into adult life not knowing how to prepare any food more complicated than macaroni & cheese, so it's no wonder they go to McDonald's when they're tired of their diet of mac&cheese, ramen noodles and ordering pizza.

30 minutes is enough time to eat if you brought your lunch from home. Otherwise, it's insane.

Get real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32942458)

Inactivity isn't healthy, but Mrs. Obama has her priorities out of order.
Why doesn't she focus on the real problem, diet?
Perhaps she could lead efforts to tear down the corn subsidies.
These are the root of the problem, the ones that make it very hard to avoid products that aren't chock full of high fructose corn syrups, etc.
Video games don't make people fat, food does.
And besides, no one wants to play the games she's putting out.

A Mandate For Games (1)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 3 years ago | (#32943052)

Note that under the new health care law, if it stands, the federal government claims the right to order you to buy stupid propaganda games, play them, and write a report on how wonderful they are. IRS is the new DRM!

you know what they say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32943330)

an app a day keeps the doctor away!

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