Finally! Video Games for the Anti-Couch Potato! On a daily basis now, we read, hear and view a constant barrage of messages about how our habits are turning us into a fat nation whose children can't pass a basic physical education test. Videogame makers have really taken a beating by everyone from parents to psychologists to fitness experts. You see, we're actually a nation of blamers, too, and it's much easier to target something or someone than take personal responsibility for bad choices. Well, I'm delighted to see the videogame industry is strategically striking back. The latest popular videogames from Sony, RedOctane, Nintendo and others are now selling games that actually require the player to move around. My own 16-year-old daughter is a huge fan of DDR, short for Dance Dance Revolution. Despite the fact that she's in great shape, a few sessions on the interactive dance pad is enough to cause even a fit teen to break a sweat. (I've tried it too. Not only did I break a sweat, I darn near broke an ankle. It's not easy. And it sure ain't pretty, at least not my version of it.) Some of the newest offerings, called Exer-games, are intended to help gamers get fit through sessions like kickboxing and other exercises. Some even offer personal training programs and opportunities to practice soccer kicks, martial arts and even juggling. Finally, parents are praising the videogaming industry and school officials are even considering adding some of the activity-boosting games to physical education programs. Wow. What a difference a little time and a great strategy can make, huh? What is your company doing to remain relevant? Do you have products that have been hugely successful, but may need a refresh in order to create a new trend or counter criticism in some way? And if you do refresh, how will you roll out the new product? Take a tip from the videogame manufacturers, who took their new products to health conferences, doctors and fitness experts to get their input and endorsements before unveiling the products to consumers. Meanwhile, get ready to see a barrage of advertisements and even TV news spots about the new trend in videogames, just in time for the holiday season. Pay close attention and chances are, this new trend will stimulate some interesting ideas for your company as well.


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