Exercise Fun: Getting down with Dancing Games

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Exercise is not the first thing you think of when you hear ‘video games.’. You either think of them as a fond pastime or something those guys play in computer class. However, these days video games are used for exercise too. Yes, you read that right. While many video games are still played with a contoller, nowadays the controller is your body. This new style of video gaming makes for a fun way to exercise. So, what games are there on market that can make you break a sweat and have fun at the same time.?

1. Dance Dance Revolution

Ah, yes. The legend that started the craze. Dance Dance Revolution (DDR as it is normally called) is a video game that was introduced in 1999 that pioneered dancing games today. Players stand on a “dance platform” and hit colored arrows with their feet to musical and visual cues. Players are judged by how well they time their dance to the patterns presented to them and are allowed to choose more music to play to if they receive a passing score.

Sounds easy, right? Wrong. DDR is a game that requires great coordination, especially when playing the more difficult songs. Either you are playing a very technical, interesting song that requires tricky footwork or you are playing a fast, trance song that requires quick maneuvering and fast steps. Either way, you are getting a great workout. DDR is a great form of cardio and has helped tons of people lose weight all over the world.

2. Just Dance

While still in the same genre as DDR, Just Dance is quite different. A game made for the Nintendo Wii, Just Dance allows the player to dance to their favorite pop hits of today, whether it be Lady Gaga or Brittany Spears. There are also a few songs that you wouldn’t normally expect, but are still fun like the Monster Mash.

Just Dance is not as taxing on your overall cardiovascular strength as DDR is, but it is quite a bit more difficult coordination wise. Now, instead of just focusing on what you are doing with your feet, you are required to watch your hands as well.

The gameplay centers around watching the avatar on the screen and matching the visual and musical cues it gives you. The character on the screen will perform a dance move and you will have to replicate it to the best of your ability. You will be scored on how well you performed the move.

3. Kinect Dance Central

Dance Central is a less known dancing game. It is one of the first few releases for the Kinect, an new hardware useable with the Xbox 360. With the kinect, your whole body is the controller. It will watch your every move and any move you make, your avatar on the screen will match the movement.

Dance Central is a game where you actually learn dance moves. There are dance classes in the game that will teach you how to perform certain routines. Once the game feels you have matched the moves perfectly, it will test you by making you perform the routine yourself and judge you upon how well you have done.

This makes the dance game much more of a challenge. While DDR and Just Dance are still a challenge, this takes it to a whole new level. Some may find this new challenge unwelcoming, however for people gifted in the way of boogying may find a lot of fun in it. Plus, it’s actual dancing so it’s a great work out.

Some may argue to just go out and learn to dance and do that for exercise. And that’s fine. However, being able to harness video game technology to lose weight and get in shape is awesome. And technology will just keep getting better.

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