"The second step that we can all agree on is to invest more in preventive care so that we can avoid illness and disease in the first place. That starts with each of us taking more responsibility for our health and the health of our children. It means quitting smoking, going in for that mammogram or colon cancer screening. It means going for a run or hitting the gym, and raising our children to step away from the video games and spend more time playing outside."
- Barrack Obama
The above quote is from a speech President Obama gave to the A.M.A (American Medical Assiociation) and of particular note is the last sentance about video games.
Now, over the last few years there has been alot of information crop up about wether gaming is healthy or not, but read that sentence again. At no point was there any hyperbole about how games affect kids, nor did he pass out any blame for a local shooting to gaming. No, this statement mearly states a fact, and it is a much welcome and very refreshing change.
Lets face it, sitting on your butt and doing very little but playing games isnt particularly healthy. About five years ago i trained twice a week for two hours a week in Taekwondo (big up to any fellow martial artists) and inline skated just about every where to get around. I was very lean back then (though not particularly mean) and was gaming alot as well. I eventually just fell out of skating, and my Taekwondo instructer got really boring (keeping it traditional is one thing, JUST doing patterns up and down the hall is another) so I quit that, and for the next three years i did no exercise at all, save for a brief flirtation with a friends Taekwondo class.
In that time I put on nearly four stone, jumping from a healthy 12 stone to 16 in three years. I decided to try and do something about it two and half years ago and ended up starting capoeira. I started to loose weight but not much, until a little thing called Wii Fit came along. It was a revelation, I was exercising for about an hour every day for about a month, before i decided i should just join a gym, which I did and now I am back to 12 stone (just waiting on the six pack).
The point to this story is that gaming while great, does make you fatter if you do nothing else, no exercise and eat rubbish for a bit. The refreshing thing about President Obama's comments is that he isnt trying to stop you and your kids from gaming, just that you should be encourage, especially the kids, to go outside and run about and play, on bikes or whatever, which from my own experience is definately a good thing.
The latest crazy however, is gaming that exercises you, and again from my own experiences, Wii Fit is a good thing, as Iimagine is EA Sports Active and all the other fitness titles coming out. So maybe, now gaming and fitness dont have to be mutally exclusive, andif you dont want the effort of going to the gym or indeed, theexpanse, then these titles are agreat starting point, and they really do work.
So President Obama, while your comments are refreshing,maybe you should give those titles a whirl and see what happens. But then again, nothing beatsa skate out doors or a playing with your friends on your bikes, sothere should be a happy medium and it is easy to find. Gaming for an hour an night is still gaming,and though it can take you awhile to finish your games, it means youhave time to go to the gym, or out with friends.
ThePresident, in my opinion, wants you to find thehappy medium and that my friends is sound advice.