Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Just Do It! for extra Lives in games, Nike says!

If Nike has its way, we'll have to start working physically for our in-game extra lives, The Guardian reports.
Just do it. One of the most successful marketing slogans of all time, the phrase conjures up images of young titans in Lycra running, jumping, hitting, kicking and splashing their way through life, all with a strange tick shape on their shoes.

Yet look for the champions of tomorrow and, we are told, they prefer to Just Sit, eat crisps and play video games. Especially the video games. The average school pupil fiddles with them for two hours every day and scientists have blamed this for the explosion in childhood obesity. Increased "screen-based entertainment" was highlighted as a pitfall of modern British childhood in a headline-grabbing letter signed by more than 100 experts last week.
Nike has filed a patent on the invention, which it calls "a system for promoting physical activity for video game players". The technology relies on a pedometer, pressure sensors or GPS tracking to record the amount of exercise, and a detachable memory chip to plug into the game console. Slackers and those tempted to cheat by driving their shoes round the block a few times should beware - the patent says the game pod chip could be configured to measure increased heart rate or even blood oxygen content instead.

In a neat twist on survival of the fittest, sweaty activity could be rewarded with on-screen changes to a user's video game character, with extra "virtual strength, endurance or speed" on offer. And games could be made impossible to play until the chip registers a specified level of activity.
So gamers, Just Do It!

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