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Health games big business, experts push for exergaming in schools


Thanks to the success of games such as Wii Fit, EA Sports Active and Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009, the medical community is starting to take games seriously as a means to pump you up keep us healthy. Reuters reports that at this year's fifth annual Games for Health Conference in Boston, a bolstered attendance brought health experts together to talk about these games, and you'd be surprised how much money these titles generated last year.

"Healthcare is 18 percent of the GDP of the United States and so games for health is probably the largest sector of activity in the serious games field long-term," said Ben Sawyer, a co-founder of The Games for Health Project. He added, "If you add up the 18 month sales of Wii Fit and the sales of EA Sports Active, Konami's Dance Dance Revolution and other healthy games, the worldwide retail numbers are over $2 billion." That's not a bad slice of the $22 billion pie that gaming lovingly prepared last year, if we may say so.

Some experts think the government should look into offering these types of games in schools to help kids learn the importance of exercise, while others think that a public service campaign should be started and backed by the president, Congress, and other federal agencies. We'd comment, but we really only play Wii Fit for the hulahoop game.

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