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DDR Coming To West Virginia Schools

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the mom-can-i-transfer? dept.

184

Next Generation is reporting that Konami is bringing Dance Dance Revolution to 765 state public schools in West Virginia. The move is intended to counteract the growing youth obesity problem facing the United States. From the article: "'Bringing the health benefits and enjoyment that DDR provides to school children is a great way to combat childhood obesity that is caused by the sedentary lifestyle of today's kids,' said Konami's Clara Gilbert, director of business partnerships. 'DDR has been a proven success in schools and this program with the State of West Virginia demonstrates the positive effects that can come from making DDR a part of one's daily routine. This first-of-its-kind partnership will help us continue to demonstrate the benefits of DDR to consumers around the country.'" On one hand, that's awesome. On the other, if I was still in middle school, I think DDRing in front of middle school girls would be a sure way to cause permanent psychic scarring. Update: 01/25 21:34 GMT by Z : HTML is hard. Fixed link.

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Link (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559812)

The story [sfgate.com] if you want it.

Re:Link (3, Funny)

fishybell (516991) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559875)

Oh, come on, you ruined it. Now I actually have to (feign) RTFA before posting...

Will the obese play? (2, Insightful)

fishybell (516991) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559827)

What's stopping the "cool" kids (who are already active) from preventing the obese kids (mostly uncool due to aforementioned obesity) from playing?

I say instead give a standalone DDR like machine to every obese kid. That way they can sweat to the oldies (or techno or whatever) in the comfort of their own home.

Re:Will the obese play? (3, Insightful)

csbrooks (126129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559942)

I play DDR sometimes at the local Peter Piper Pizza. I've seen some overweight kids going to town there. They were pretty good, too.

I don't think it'll be a problem. Yeah, you move your body, but it's all about reacting quickly to stuff on the screen. I mean, basically, it's a videogame.

Re:Will the obese play? (1)

michelcultivo (524114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560069)

Obese people are not so cool to play with this games, they prefer a hotdog and some books than this.

Re:Will the obese play? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14560704)

Worse.

The obese people I know who play DDR counteract it entirely by letting their diet go to shit.

"I played a song of DDR, so I can have two quarterpounders, a large fries, a large shake, and a large cola instead of a granola bar!"

Yeah, um, no.

Fat people are fat because they choose to be fat. Making them play DDR isn't going to change that. What needs to happen is that society as a whole needs to decide to make it be completely socially unacceptable to be fat and force fat people to actually decide to take action and lose weight. As long as society allows people to be fat, people will be lazy and remain fat.

The "cool" kids wont touch it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14560075)

The kids good at DDR won't touch a console version with the crappy pad they will be supplying.

Now if it was Stepmania with a couple of Cobalt Flux pads, then you may have a problem.

Re:Will the obese play? (5, Insightful)

mendaliv (898932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560452)

I'm a college student weighing in at over 300lbs., and I also play DDR. I own my own pad and play on occasion, though not nearly as much as I used to.

Honestly, if you gave each kid his own cheapo pad and SM... or even a PS2 and a pad, he won't play it. Before I started playing, I thought that DDR was some stupid game that losers with no life play (like I was one to talk).

It took some peer pressure to start, and I sucked badly. It takes some time to get the coordination before it's more a matter of speed. Obese kids are going to get bored or frustrated by that point, especially in high school. I can't imagine the ridicule that'd be directed at the "dancing bear" in gym class.

So what I'm getting at here is that these kids need a supportive environment to start playing in, much more than anything. DDR is most certainly not fun if you're new to it and uncoordinated.

Re:Will the obese play? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14561222)

What's stopping the "cool" kids (who are already active) from preventing the obese kids (mostly uncool due to aforementioned obesity) from playing?

In other words, will the obese be ASHAMED of playing? i.e. if you have to go DDR, it's because YOU'RE FAT! (Insert nelson quote here)

I think that what we'd need is to get more physical education classes and give those kids a healthy balanced diet.

Hey yeah, why not having a "nutriology 101" course at the first semester? :) That'd dispel all those best-seller theorists getting rich with people's fatness, and go straight to the basics.

for christ sake (3, Insightful)

ryanelm (787453) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559856)

whatever happened to exercising without a $500 machine, it might make America's youth less of technology addicts (current company excluded, of course).

Re:for christ sake (1)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560387)

Do you ever listen to music while exercising? DDR is just that, taken to a whole new level. This is coming from a former couch potato who now competes in Heavy level DDR tournaments. I have enough stamina to play for hours at a stretch, sweat streaming down my body. The best part? I completely lose track of time when playing. It removes the work from exercise, and makes it fun. What's so wrong with that?

Re:for christ sake (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560543)

whatever happened to exercising without a $500 machine, it might make America's youth less of technology addicts (current company excluded, of course).

I'll bite. I hated it.

The reasons are varied. I had no stamina, so of course I would tend to get picked last. Running was (and still is) a disaster whenever I try; I don't think I ever ran a mile under 10:30. Of course, early in my education, times were directly linked to grades -- they wisened up about 6th grade, or 12 years ago for me. Physical education to most geeks, present company included, was pretty much a place for the jocks to show off and get away with making fun of you because you can't catch, can't hit a ball, can't jump, or look stupid putting 100% effort into activities that have no educational value, when they can do "just enough" and be quite good.

DDR levels the playing field a bit because everyone looks stupid doing it, and suddenly hand-eye coordination — a skill that playing years of Super Mario Bros. happens to actually refine — becomes necessary. I'd be willing to bet that most geeks can last on a song in standard difficulty.

Okay, rant over.

Re:for christ sake (1)

Dastardly (4204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560982)

Plus, it is generally one size fits all. And, most of the time that means running. Which I was never very good at either, though not quite 10:30 bad. But, I had no problem with water sports. So, I got graded on how fast I can run, while heading to 1.5 hour swim practices every afternoon in high school.

Actually, I have a little trouble with DDR now due to two things:

1) Being out of shape and over weight.
2) Too many years in water sports developing the wrong muscles for high impact actvity.

Or, as I like to say... Land sports BAD. :)

"Pyschic scarring"? (2, Funny)

Matilda the Hun (861460) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559871)

On the other, if I was still in middle school, I think DDRing in front of middle school girls would be a sure way to cause permanent psychic scarring.

They would visciously abuse you with the power of their MINDS. I've always suspected females were capable of this.

Seriously, though, I think you're looking for the word "mental" there.

Re:"Pyschic scarring"? (1)

Powder_Keg_Monkey (681792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559972)

I think girls would probably go for the guys that can dance over the guys that are too "cool" to try.

On the other hand, standing in front :) (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560000)

On the other hand standing in front of a bunch of teenage girls doing DDR could lead to an awfull lot of handwork :)

DDR as a way to fight lardasses. Hmmm, okay. Wouldn't a live action doom be faster? Double shotgun in the blubber butt should cure them.

Re:On the other hand, standing in front :) (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560190)

I dunno. Personally, I think it's going to be alot more fun for the lardasses to watch the teenage girls play DDR than the other way around. I suspect this will be just another reason to sit around. Not a reason to get up and move.

Of course, I would prefer to watch women play RRR, but that's just me. :)

Re:On the other hand, standing in front :) (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560289)

Wouldn't a live action doom be faster? Double shotgun in the blubber butt should cure them.

The damage caused by a plasic slug in the face is severe. Even a bean bag in the face, at the velocities caused by crowd-control guns, is too dangerous for P.E. class.

Re:On the other hand, standing in front :) (1)

Steve525 (236741) | more than 8 years ago | (#14561112)

Wouldn't a live action doom be faster? Double shotgun in the blubber butt should cure them.

I've often thought that a combined action game/exercise machine would be a great (although expensive) product. Use a treadmill or bike as a controller - pedal or run to make the character move. Sounds like a more fun way to burn calories to me. (I should do a google search to see if anyone's done this).

Re:On the other hand, standing in front :) (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14561261)

I've seen this in the arcades... something with a flying bike. It cost a buck a play, though, so I don't think I actually ever went for it.

It is a surprising amount of fun... (5, Interesting)

Powder_Keg_Monkey (681792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559879)

My brother bought two pads and DDR Extreme something something over Christmas, and we tried it out over the holidays. It is surprisingly addictive, and gets you sweating in no time. I hate going to the gym and shoving weights around, or spending a half hour pedalling to nowhere. For me, there is no reward in that. But with DDR, I don't notice at all that I have been jumping around for half an hour, and the game aspect in my particular version pushes me to get to the next level in complexity.

Re:It is a surprising amount of fun... (1)

fishybell (516991) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559935)

Alright...now venturing into widely the offtopic AC realm to comment on your sig.

What about Bill Clinton?

Re:It is a surprising amount of fun... (1)

Powder_Keg_Monkey (681792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560049)

Yeah, I should change that. I am referring to practicing lawyers in private practice, as opposed to politicians who undoubted first consult their penis before making a decision. There are some pretty long hours: hence, no time for sex.

Re:It is a surprising amount of fun... (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559978)

"I hate going to the gym and shoving weights around, or spending a half hour pedalling to nowhere."

So instead you play Simon with your feet?

Re:It is a surprising amount of fun... (1)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560503)

Exactly! At speeds sometimes exceeding 300-bpm using muscles that support your entire body, driven by addictive music. Seriously, some of the harder songs I've played require 5 or 6 steps per second to pass them. You really have to have major stamina to play this game for more than a few minutes, and that's the whole point.

Re:It is a surprising amount of fun... (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560933)

I'm sure it's a good workout. Just like weight lifting and riding a stationary bike are good workouts. I was just making the point that DDR can be just as ho-hum as the other two. It just depends on your perspective. Personally, I think DDR is ok, but I'd rather get aerobic exercise riding a stationary bike. Then again, I can read on a stationary bike. I hear that some people can't due to motion sickness reasons.

The original article (2, Informative)

bignickel (931486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559900)

Here's the original article [next-gen.biz] . I wonder if Massachusetts will take up the case, but insist that Stepmania [stepmania.com] be used instead...

Re:The original article (1)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560513)

the flexibility and downloadability of stepmania is awesome. I usually pull out the dance pads for parties... and my friends are much more likely to do a Daft Punk song than that godawful Blow My Whistle song.

Great.... (4, Funny)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559914)

I suppose this will lead to DDR being a sport in WV like Soccer and wrestling - not quiet on the level of Football, track and basketball, but up there.

Will you be able to 'letter' in DDR? Will there be state championships?

Or will this be more like just a machine in the middle of cafeteria that no one will touch for fear of peers' redicule. I would have tried it back in the day because I had pretty much maxxed out the peer redicule I could get.

OR will it be like racketball played against a gyms collapsed bleechers for two weeks during the required PE class?

Of course, if the machine is not on free play and/or not well maintained.... I actually expect both. I'd be surprised if K didn't expect kids to dump their change into the machines like they do with the soda/snack machines next to them.

Re:Great.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14560110)

>Soccer and wrestling - not quiet on the level of Football, track and basketball.

Ah Yes. Will it simply be as popular as those two small insignificant sports, soccer. Which is played nearly everywhere. Or Wrestling which has been around since the first olympics.

Not quite as popular as Football, an American invented sport that has just been inveted in the last 100 years and is a derivative of a hugely popular world wide sport.

Nice analogy.

Re:Great.... (1)

CoderBob (858156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560344)

Considering that the place in question is in the States, and that over here soccer and wrestling are not followed as avidly as Football, Basketball, or Baseball, I don't see what your point is. I'm not even sure of the last time I saw a soccer match on a TV station that wasn't dedicated to sports- but I see football games on public channels all the time.

I'm not sure track should be there, but from the standpoint of teens and school sports, wrestling and soccer (if you even have a HS soccer team), Football is pretty farking big.

Re:Great.... (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560706)

I'm not sure track should be there

I listed track (track and field) because is it the sport that is most common to all American HS - more so than Football - and is typically where football players (and Cross country guys like me) were required to spend their off-season.

Re:Great.... (1)

the chao goes mu (700713) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560740)

Our football team all seemed to pick up lacrosse in the off-season, but that may be a regional thing.

Re:Great.... (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560873)

I don't think the sport is played in WV HS. It wasn't played in SC HS. I don't even know what the game looks like or involves- likely a regional thing.

Re:Great.... (1)

CoderBob (858156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560846)

Ahhh. Our football guys were required to be somewhere off-season, but could choose baseball or track. It was always assumed if you ran CC, you were a distance runner in track.

Re:Great.... (1)

engagebot (941678) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560921)

Why does everyone in a country other than america get so upset in a discussion just because america is not like ?

news flash: football and track are the two most popular american highschool sports here, and it just so happens that american schools are what we're talking about. period.

Hate to break it to you, but over here almost nobody cares about soccer. If you think that just because soccer is popular internationally that americans will give up football, then don't get it. Apparently you've never watched american college football. It's followed on a militant religious scale here.

Re:Great.... (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560137)

I played lots of sports in high school gym class that were not available as varsity teams, such as dodge ball and archery.

Re:Great.... (1)

Supurcell (834022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560725)

I never had archery in gym class. I'd expect that to be pretty popular in the post-LotR movie era. Of course most schools are too worried about having a zero-tolerance weapon policy to ever have something like this. And if there ever was an unfortunate mishap, I've no doubt video games would be to blame, given the large number of Hunters in World of Warcraft.

Re:Great.... (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560994)

If your school gives you a day off for the first day of deer season (definitely a regional thing), it can safely be assumed that archery will be regarded as a perfectly acceptable sport, regardless of the presence of zero-tolerance weapons policies.

Heck, my HS had a shooting club and zero-tolerance. A cased long gun wasn't considered a weapon.

Re:Great.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14560170)

soccer not really up there? bud... soccer is the world's most popular sport. why don't you get rid of your american-centrist view of the world.

Re:Great.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14560453)

Because WV is in America? He's wondering if it will be as popular as football or basketball is in a typical American high school not as popular as they are on a worldwide level.

In my high school soccer was actually more popular than track but I agree with his distinction in general. In high school there are sports that tons of people try out for, that nonplayers like to watch in droves, and that are to many people almost a status symbol to play for. Then there are other sports that have a small niche following and pretty much only parents go to watch those games.

In most American high schools basketball and football fall into the former category and soccer and wrestling in the latter. In American culture that just happens to be our preference. It is in no way a snub to other countries. It's just what's popular the US. So when wondering how popular something will be in a US state of course you compare it to the popularity of other things in the US.

Re:Great.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14560512)

Soccer is the world's most popular sport. But here's a secret. In the US, it isn't as popular. American schools have soccer teams, but they don't get the attention or the funding that football and basketball does. How is it American-centrist to recognize that in West Virginia (an American State), soccer is not as big as football?

Re:Great.... (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560189)

I suppose this will lead to DDR being a sport in WV like Soccer and wrestling...


More in the, um, realm of figure skating, synchronized swimming, and that gymnastics thing with all the twirly flags on sticks.

Re:Great.... (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560669)

Yeah, somewhere in there possibly.

Re:Great.... (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14561219)

You mean, kinda like this? [10kcommotion.com]

Psychologically scarring (1)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559920)

On the other, if I was still in middle school, I think DDRing in front of middle school girls would be a sure way to cause permanent [psychologically] scarring.Scarring for whom? Perhaps both?

All kidding aside, I don't think it matters what middle-school-aged boys do in front of girls. They'll be embarrassed in any case. This is just a good way to burn a little energy and be entertained at the same time.

Yay. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14559927)

You can never have enough RAM.

Back in the day.... (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559928)

There was this game we used to play what was it called?

Oh, right, kickball.

How much did it cost to play this?

The cost of a ball or nothing if you had a butcher shop willing to give you an pig's stomach.

Thank god West Virginia has been blessed with DDR. Were it not for this half a grand machine, they might go down in history as morbidly obese like their forefathers.

What? Their forefathers weren't morbidly obese? You mean, it may be possible to have fun and excersize without some company cashing in off of you? Blasphemy!

Re:Back in the day.... (2, Funny)

david duncan scott (206421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560185)

I think their forefathers avoided morbid obesity more through working really, really hard all the livelong day, mining coal and farming rock and like that. Kickball was probably how they caught up on their sleep.

Re:Back in the day.... (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560578)

I think their forefathers avoided morbid obesity more through working really, really hard all the livelong day, mining coal and farming rock and like that.
Child labor it is then! We'll solve both obesity and a lack of a sugar fed workforce in one fell swoop.

Just mix those gradeschoolers in with the convicts on the chain gang ...

Re:Back in the day.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14560852)

Yes kickball...

The athletic kids take the pitcher position, and man the bases with a few scattered in the outfield. The rest stand around in the the outfield doing nothing.

And on the other team, the athletic kids do all the kicking, maybe giving the non-athletic kids and the girls a single chance to kick the ball and get out.

How does that do anything for obesity? Standing in the outfield is not exercise. Kicking a ball once a day is not exercise, not even if you try to run to first afterwards. In fact, even for the athletic kids doing the actual playing, I wouldn't really call kickball excercise.

Re:Back in the day.... (2, Interesting)

Supurcell (834022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560954)

Kickball only works until about middle school. After that the kids are so strong that most of them are kicking homeruns(I wasn't one of them). Kickball, baseball, and softball are not very engaging sports, especialy when they are only played for about 40 minutes. Half the kids are sitting on the bench waiting to kick, and the other half are in the outfield waiting for the ball to come to them. With class sizes the way they were when I was in high school, there was even more waiting. Not much excercise going on there.

Ultimate Frisby is probably the best option for an all-inclusive sport. With a few frisbies you can break the class up into smaller groups, so that more kids can actually play the game. It requires the good hand-eye coordination that we nerds have built up through years of computer use and masturbating. It is also a lot of fun to play( that is coming from me, some one who generally doesn't like sports).

Re:Back in the day.... (1)

engagebot (941678) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560984)

Agreed. Ultimate Frisbee is easily the most popular rec sport here at LSU.

Too Lazy (1, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559930)

If the kids are too lazy to play real sports (soccer, football, baseball, general active play rather than watching tv) then what makes these people think that the kids won't be too lazy to play DDR? Also, you can be really thin, but if you're eating junk food all the time, then you're still going to be unhealthy. They are fighting the problem in the wrong way. They should be getting kids to do more real activities, rather than relying on expensive equipment to make them healthy.

Re:Too Lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14560010)

What is not real about DDR?

Re:Too Lazy (1)

jclast (888957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560043)

I agree with your sentiment wholeheartedly, but I know that if I had an overweight child that either wanted to lose weight or had been told by a doctor that they should, I would try everything to help them.

If that means exercising together, great. If it means buying a DDR game and a dance pad, that's great, too.

I'd rather have a healthy child that got that way with a video game than an unhappy and unhealthy child.

Re:Too Lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14560269)

Because DDR is more fun than baseball or (11-a-side) soccer, less likely to get you injured than football, doesn't require big teams of people (specifically people willing to play with you, which is a problem for some kids, and also the people have to be of your approximate skill level making them more difficult to find).

I'd say that DDR as a sport is right up there on the fun scale, probably only basketball and 5-a-side soccer beat it. And for convenience it beats everything short of jogging or push-ups. It is absolutely the most fun sport you can play on your own.

Re:Too Lazy (1)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560440)

News Flash, but DDR is a real sport, even if not recognized as one. Anything that regularly runs tournaments, and has participants playing so long and hard that they're glistening with sweat is more than a mere videogame. Most people who play also cite how addictive it is. I was too lazy to play "Real Sports" myself, yet I'm one of the better players in the DDR community, and that really takes years of practice.

Any activity is better than sitting on your ass, so why not encourage it?

Re:Too Lazy (1)

Steve525 (236741) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560615)

If the kids are too lazy to play real sports (soccer, football, baseball, general active play rather than watching tv) then what makes these people think that the kids won't be too lazy to play DDR?

There are lots of reasons a person might not want or be able to play the team sports you listed, but still enjoy DDR. Most real sports require opponents and teammates, and they aren't always available. You can force this issue in a school, by making people play together, but that's not terrible fun if the people don't get along. In addition, sports require that all the players be at similar skill levels, or else it doesn't work as well. In general, the overweight, uncoordinated, not social kid is not going to find team sports all that much fun.

As you alluded to, there are other sports and activities that don't require many other people (jogging, biking, hiking, throwing a ball against a wall), and really all this activity is, is another option. Notice that most of the activities I just listed are pretty boring to lots of people. Someone might find DDR more fun, or simply more accessible than the other options. If someone becomes more active because of this, then I consider it a good thing.

I guess what I am really trying to say is that some people are inactive because thay are lazy, and some people are inactive because they simply don't enjoy any of the active options available to them. It's not necessarily obvious who is who.

As far as whether this will work, despite what I said, I'm skeptical. I just don't think one game alone is going to have enough appeal to have much of an effect.

Now for a related rant...

My honest opinion on the subject of fitness in kids is that we've screwed them over by over scheduling their lives. It doesn't help that they are swimming in junk food, and plenty of non active activities (TV and video games), but I don't think this is the real problem. The real problem is no one just picks up a ball and plays in the street anymore. Instead we are driving our kids from one activity to the next. And we are overloading them with homework, too. So, the only exercise kids get is through organized sports. As I mentioned above, this doesn't work well for many kids who aren't athletic to begin with. So, we end up with a society were the athletic are pushed to be more athletic, and the rest become sloths on the sidelines.

Re:Too Lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14561146)

A big reason that kids dont like sports is that jocks are gigantic egocentric bullying assholes that have the support of the school, and they know it. It often has little to do with the activity itself, but the people they are forced into dealing with.

Re:Too Lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14561255)

I have extra pounds. I don't like sports. I don't like sports where people can keep the [puck, ball, whatever] to themselves or their friends. I won't do a thing to burn some fat.

I DO like DDR, and I DO play it sometimes. Of course I have to go to arcades and that's why I don't play more than that, but, if I had acess to one machine, freely, you can be sure that I would be there often.

Of course, that would mean that I would lose weight and that I would reduce all the associated health risk, but I would not be playing because of those goal. In that way, by being fun, I end up having fun exercising.

Why then buy this for kids? Because then most kids will do some exercise. The goal is to get them to exercise. And because some, like me, love this game, then, some, will exercise.
Does this machine + maintenance cost more than the salary of the guy who used to supervise kids when they played kickball (+ inflation) or not, I don't know.

All that I know is, DDR is fun, and thus people play. Also playing DDR is a good cardiovascular exercise, and cardiovascular exercise are good for your health.
Thus:
DDR is good for your health.
Kids, they like to play DDR.
Health of kids gets better.

Re:Too Lazy (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14561540)

Hmm... Soccer, football, baseball... I love how you listed all team sports... I'd have been hard pressed to find more than four people to play with growing up. That's some really simple soccer and football (I should know we did try both). Even at school it was hard to do unless forced. Even then little was ever done...

& dear god a girl would ever have to play a sport in PE... They may break a nail or stub a toe...

As it stands I see DDR being a better option since it requires fewer people and a girl may not think of it to negatively...

I have to say though, while I was never one for sports, I was a fairly active kid and still considered by most to be 'obese'. It tends to make me feel this will have no real effect, no matter what really happens.

DDR? 2/3 wrong letters (3, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14559977)

The proper role of education is RRR - Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. The idea that a school (a public one no less) should be enforcing diet or exercise or moral structure or anything other than a basic education is crazy.

How about we stop funding these nutjobs who want to be parents to our children, no educators?

Re:DDR? 2/3 wrong letters (1)

szembek (948327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560120)

Yeah, we should just cut out all physical activity during the day in preperation for that desk job their bound for after college.....

Re:DDR? 2/3 wrong letters (3, Informative)

CaptainPinko (753849) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560128)

Well this is health education and I think if it can make a difference in people's lives its worth it. Frankly, I'm using it to get back into shape and am beginning to see results and lose weight.

Also, if we take the 3Rs strictly that precludes the teaching of algebra (algebra being beyond the scope of arithmetic), computer science,and trade class, art class, geography or any other science, literary criticism... and just about anything else worth knowing.

Frankly the only nutjob here is you.

Re:DDR? 2/3 wrong letters (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560187)

Art class and history can be fun electives -- electives that are chosen by the student and paid for by the student. I don't see the need for a state funded 8-3pm education. Grammar/spelling/reading, mathematics (up to pre-algebra) and writing/typing are all I want to see the public system doing. Basic bare education, and let the parents fund the rest.

I don't want to fund kids jumping up and down, that is the parent's job to make sure their child is healthy, not my job.

Re:DDR? 2/3 wrong letters (1)

szembek (948327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560362)

I suspect somebody was always picked last for kickball and still holds a little grudge toward phys ed in public schools.

Re:DDR? 2/3 wrong letters (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560390)

Actually the football coach begged me to join Freshman year (I was hard to tackle when we played smear-the-queer at recess) but I hated football. I also held records for some stats for almost a decade after I graduated (pull ups, climbing speed, and track). I'm no jock, but I'm very athletic.

Re:DDR? 2/3 wrong letters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14560451)

Well, fuck you.

Re:DDR? 2/3 wrong letters (1)

egburr (141740) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560372)

The proper role of education is to teach people how to think (not what, but how) and how to learn. It should also teach useful skills. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are only some of those skills. Basic health, including diet and exercise, are others.

Morality is a hard one. The problem lies in figuring out what should be common to everyone and what should be left to the individual's family and culture.

Most teachers don't want to be parents to their students; they want to be teachers. However, way too many parents either don't have the time or inclination to be parents, so often the teachers end up filling that role as best they are able. The government sees what is happening and tries to take on some of that itself instead of leaving it up to the already-overworked teachers. I'm not saying this is right, only that it is what is happening. If more parents would take responsibility for their children, this wouldn't be an issue.

If parents weren't so quick to anger when someone else disciplines their children for doing something wrong, this wouldn't be an issue.

For example, just yesterday while we were at a restaurant, my two year old son was punched by a 6-8 year old just because he was in the way while walking toward the game room. He's got a nice bruise on his cheek now. My wife didn't do anything but pick him up, because she didn't want to cause a commotion. She wouldn't point the kid out to me either. If I'd seen it, I'd've grabbed the other kid and made him take me to his parents to let them know what he'd done, and hope they'd agree that was wrong.

Re:DDR? 2/3 wrong letters (1, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560470)

Basic health, including diet and exercise, are others.

So you want the same government that promoted the Food Pyramid death trap to teach your kids how to eat and exercise? Sorry, but I'm a pro-fat pro-protein anti-sugar anti-starch kind of guy, and I know that the teachers are teaching kids that bread is good, butter is bad. It is the other way around, friend, and you're going to poison your kids with that garbage.

The problem lies in figuring out what should be common to everyone and what should be left to the individual's family and culture.

There is no common morality as I see it. The only rule I can think that needs to be taught to kids is "don't hurt anyone else, don't hurt their property." The side comment of this is "if two adults share cooperate voluntarily with each other, no one should stop them from transacting any barter or trade." That's it. The parents teach that, the schools teach education. I'm against public funding of education entirely, but stretching it to cover morals or health is ridiculous.

However, way too many parents either don't have the time or inclination to be parents, so often the teachers end up filling that role as best they are able.

In 1980, the household tax burden was under 30% of total income to government at every level.
In 2005, the household tax burden is over 50% of total income to goverment at every level.

You want to know WHY parents don't have time? They're too busy paying off the bad decisions the voters made 20 years ago. End the public education system, dump the property taxes that pay for it, and you'll be able to return mom (or dad) back home to take care of the children. Don't tell me to pay for your bad voting decisions.

The government sees what is happening and tries to take on some of that itself instead of leaving it up to the already-overworked teachers.

Overworked? When teachers have to teach homosexuality, AIDs, exercise, diet, government-written history, and economics to children, of course they are overworked. These are subjects that should come from family-paid higher education or the home, not from teachers. We can cut education to 3 hours per day, refund 70% of the money people pay in taxes for education, and fix the problem in 1 year or less.

If I'd seen it, I'd've grabbed the other kid and made him take me to his parents to let them know what he'd done, and hope they'd agree that was wrong.

I'd have grabbed the kid and called my lawyer. I also wouldn't let my 2 year old be wandering around without me. I wouldn't let my 6 year old or 10 year old do so either. It is the parents' job to monitor their child completely until that child is a major, at which point that adult (no matter the age) is responsible for themselves. If an 8 year old is wandering around alone, he's an adult in my eyes.

Re:DDR? 2/3 wrong letters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14561161)

You want to know WHY parents don't have time? They're too busy paying off the bad decisions the voters made 20 years ago. End the public education system, dump the property taxes that pay for it, and you'll be able to return mom (or dad) back home to take care of the children. Don't tell me to pay for your bad voting decisions.
Bull-fucking-shit wages take taxes into account, drop taxes, wages will drop as well.

Re:DDR? 2/3 wrong letters (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14561433)

And I believe wages are lower because both parents work. Once women entered the workforce en masse, they increased the supply of available workers, lowering the demand, and therefore lowering wages, too.

The mess starts with government, it ends with government, and it has government in the middle too.

Re:DDR? 2/3 wrong letters (1)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14561390)

Like it or not, schools are effectivley daycares for children. Unless, of course, you plan on sitting with your children in each class. There's something to be said about home schooling here, but in its absence, yes, schools do provide "parenting" (in addition to education) for kids while mommy and daddy are working/etc.

DDR != aerobics (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560012)

Bringing the health benefits and enjoyment that DDR provides

Health Benefits!? Seriously! Has society dropped that low. Whatever happened to PE class and casual sporting. Doctors should be to blame too for not telling their patients to lose weight miraculously solving many health problems without a pill.

Less coddling more ass kicking!

Re:DDR != aerobics (1)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560572)

Yes, health benefits. Can you maintain 90% of your max heart rate for a sustaned 4 hours or more? Without that pesky stitch in your side? Can you do this in a competitive environment? I can, thanks to DDR.

The lower levels may be coddling, but you don't start out on the hardest step-patterns. Once you get there, and it's addictive enough to encourage advancement, it's seriously good exercise.

Get rid of "high fructose corn syrup" (1)

Sri Ramkrishna (1856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560028)

When I was in high school, we used to drink coke/pepsi/pop/soda whatever a lot and we never gained a lot of weight. I really believe that the switch to high fructose corn syrup is a big cause of obesity IMNSO (non-scientific opinion). Obese kids back then were few and far between unlike kids today. I don't really see what kids are doing today that was different in high school in the 80s. So diet may have changed but this country needs to make a stand on what they feed their kids.

Perhaps, we should tell the corn lobby to screw itself and go back to sugar. Sugar is used in Canada, is obesity a problem there?

sri

Re:Get rid of "high fructose corn syrup" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14560286)

Sugar is used in Canada, is obesity a problem there?

According to a quick Google search [google.com] : Yep [secure.cihi.ca] .

Personally, I'd blame videogames more than sugar. More and more kids spend their play time sitting in front of these machines than they do outside playing physical games. That's the entire reason they're getting DDR machines, the concept is to somehow combine videogames and physical activity.

Given that all the fat people I know who got DDR based on that theory are STILL fat (if not fatter) I doubt this will actually work. You can lead a fat horse to water, but you can't get them to stop eating Twinkies and sitting on their duff... (In fact, I know one fat bastard who's probably up to a good 400 pounds and "plays DDR" - his diet got WORSE because he thought he was "doing something healthy". I wondering if he realizes you have to use the pad, not the controller...)

If you really want to lose weight, WALK DAILY! It's easy, FREE, and actually works!

Re:Get rid of "high fructose corn syrup" (1)

Sri Ramkrishna (1856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560627)

Then I guess it has everything to do with exercise or lack thereof. Pity. Not being active makes us poor competition when we get out into the workplace. Sports and competition is a critical part of an education I feel.

sri

Re:Get rid of "high fructose corn syrup" (1)

Rac3r5 (804639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560435)

umm.. unfortunately it is... obesity is a big problem in Canada. There are too many ppl here who would rather stay at home and watch TV rather than go outside. And the fact that its freakin cold all the time doesn't help too much either.

Low-fat foods make you FAT (1)

NuShrike (561140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560831)

If you've seen Frontline's Diet Wars [pbs.org] a lot of it could be due to the "Low Fat" craze. Low fat foods are not low calorie foods. In fact, they're only a few cals different from the full-fat foods. The food makers make up with something else when they remove one ingredient. Low-fat could mean high sugar/carbs instead for instance. Full-fat salad dressing is healthier than low-fat, because veggie fats are good for you, etc.

Dieting is actually all about restricting caloric intake instead which hasn't been the focus. If the Earth 2 biodome results were any indication, restricted caloric intake extends your life too.

Seen that can of soda? From 100 to 160 calories right there.. Then you have a big 1000 cal lunch and dinner (Carl's Jr?), and you're already beyond the normal 2000 calories males should be intaking a day.

This is why Atkins and South Beach seem to work because they're all about low-calorie meals (meat is slow-burning, low-cal, and high fat), and at least South Beach seems to be about eating healthier too.

Get rid of the soda machines, make the kids walk to school (with 5 pounds on each foot preferably :), would be just as effective. Then you DDR for the Olympics. :)

Disclaimer: I'm a former DDR addict also, but I've lost more inches through just pilates and a no soda diet. Still 160lbs.

Re:Low-fat foods make you FAT (1)

Dastardly (4204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14561417)

Well, that depends... You are correct it is about calories. The way I look at it is this way though.

1 tablespoon of fat (oil, butter, mayo, etc..) 100Cal
1 oz dry pasta 100Cal
1 slice of bread 100Cal
1.5-2.5oz of meat (depending on animal) 100cal (40-70cal/oz)
5-10 oz vegetables (depending on fiber content) 100Cal.

The way I see it all diets that work control calories the differences are about making it easier to eat less calories. Atkins works because it easier to eat 800 calories of pasta, than a 12oz steak. Of course vegetables are a better way to go, since it would take a couple pounds of most vegetables to equal the steak or pasta. Even giving 200 calories for 2 tbls of full fat dressing.

And soda is a problem just because it is really easy to drink 500 calories without really noticing. That is only about 3 12 Oz cans. 1 at lunch, 1 atmid-afternoon, and 1 at dinner. Then, you have to only eat about 1500 calories in solid food which I think tends to be very unstatisfying, so if you are not paying attention you actually eat say 1800Cal of food and 500Cal of soda and start gaining a pound every 10 days. (assuming you don't exercise the extra 300/day calories away).

Is our children learning yet? (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560115)

No, if schools are wasting time focusing on stuff other than learning

Re:Is our children learning yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14560168)

"Is our children learning yet?"

It would seem that you skipped subject-verb agreement day in English class. Let me fix that for you.

"Are our children learning yet?"

Jail the parents! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560196)

Look. I'm a father of two and soon to be three. I watch what they eat. I criticize and take an active role in their appearance, health and nutrition. I do this because somewhere in my past, my parents were like this and back in THEIR day, your children were viewed as an extension of yourself... and god forbid I ever embarass my parents by being fat or not being properly cared for.

Perhaps fear of humiliation is not the best motivation, but it certainly worked for my parents and it works for me. I'm proud of my kids and the results of my efforts. I'm proud of my ability to apply my mind to overcome the current environment (where virtually all food is bad for you thanks to competition and efforts to increase shelf-life). I feel shame for all the parents of obese children and pity for the children -- it's not their fault!

I've ranted on this before and I guess I am again. If a parent was "neglecting" a child in some way that causes bodily harm, usually, the kids are taken away and/or the parents are criminally prosecuted. Why, then, isn't childhood obesity not considered bodily harm?

Maybe, maybe not (1)

eXonyte (842640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560203)

While I'm all for the promotion of my favorite video game genre, I don't think this is the way to go about it. A lot of people (myself included) will not be able to enjoy the game because they are being told to play it. If they had picked it up on their own it would be fun in addition to a good workout.

Also, why are they paying $740 bucks for this? I could get the same thing for less than $500 per setup, thereby saving over $200,000 in the process. They're more than welcome to forward that extra $200k my way and I'll hook 'em up.

Ah well. I prefer Pump it Up [piugame.com] anyway...

Re:Maybe, maybe not (1)

avageek (537035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560327)

Also, why are they paying $740 bucks for this? I could get the same thing for less than $500 per setup, thereby saving over $200,000 in the process. They're more than welcome to forward that extra $200k my way and I'll hook 'em up.

From the picture in the article it appears that they're using the red octane metal pad [redoctane.com] which usually costs about ~$200 each. Makes sense, when we're talking about middle and high schoolers it's best to get something that can hold up to a bit of a beating.

Re:Maybe, maybe not (1)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560593)

In that case, they should pick up Cobalt Flux [cobaltflux.com] pads instead. I'm not a shill; I've played on my two Flux pads for almost a year on the hardest songs in the game, and my pads still work great. Without modifications, the Red Octanes can not say the same. Also, Cobalt Flux makes pads especially for fitness clubs which are even more robust, though they also cost over $1000 each.

Wow, it's not dead yet?! (2, Funny)

uradu (10768) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560253)

Fifteen years after its demise, the East German communist state is infiltrating a US school system--talk about sneaky and resilient.

Re:Wow, it's not dead yet?! (2, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560802)

"Fifteen years after its demise"? Where have you been? The US school system has been the East German communist state for *years* now.

Chris Mattern

Re:Wow, it's not dead yet?! (1)

uradu (10768) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560970)

LOL, touché!

great idea (1)

AK__64 (740022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560459)

They also need to find a way to allow students to get DDR credit as a way to avoid the useless and largely unnecessary PE classes. Usually only athletic students really participate, to everyone else it's just a junk class to be avoided and ignored as much as possible...

Not efficient (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560563)

Only one person can be on a dancepad at a time. How many will be in each school?

The real news. (1)

CCFreak2K (930973) | more than 8 years ago | (#14560999)

I think the REAL news here is that Konami still gives a shit about DDR anymore.

This isnt rocket surgery. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14561033)

If you want to lose weight then eat less, eat healthier and exersize more. Thats it. Thats all there is to it.

Its not complicated or difficult, its just easy to be lazy and buy mcdonalds and feel full instead of buying a salad and being hungry. If you change your lifestyle (because temporary diets are a joke) you will feel hungry, you will feel tired, you will feel different and upset. You have to deal with it.

Stress and Malnutrition are the ONLY ways to lose weight. If you consume only 1700 calories a day, you will eventually be down (or up) to 170 pounds.

Its simple math.

My Highschool Has been doing this for a while .... (2, Interesting)

neomage86 (690331) | more than 8 years ago | (#14561069)

I graduated from HS 3 years ago, and they had DDR and some kind of bike hooked up to a playstation for my Junior and Senior years (the HS is in a western suburb of Chicago).

The thing is, that almost no one ever used them ...
The kids who really wanted to get into shape used the weight room, treadmills, and other 'traditional' excercise machines and the kids who didn't want to get into shape weren't going to be fooled by such an obvious ploy.

We were required to wear pulse monitors and our grade depended on our average bpm (I think something around 170+ was an A ...). They were easily 'hackable,' so the lazy kids just had them display the last person who got an A's statistics when the teacher came around to collect scores.

No amount of technology is ever going to get people into shape who don't want to be. Working out, almost by definition, involves hard work. People who want to get in shape will manage to regardless of how few tools are available, and people who want to avoid it will always be able to do so (in fact, I think these high tech toys are easier to cheat with).

Why is it... (1)

NeuroManson (214835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14561128)

I have an image of an entire generation dancing like the DDR Asian kid in the "You Got Served" episode of South Park?

The horror... The... Horror...
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