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30 Genres of Christmas
Exercise Games
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 11, 2009   |   Episode 16 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're counting down the days until Christmas by looking at 30 different video game genres. From the most popular games to the tiniest niche titles, everything fits into a genre and we're going to be there to shed absolutely no new information about that genre in this month-long feature. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 30 Genres of Christmas!



He's just happy that he's not sitting on that hideous couch!
How Do You Know You Are Playing an Exercise Game? Does your favorite game require you to limber up before jumping in? Are you often out of breath by the time you beat the first level? Is your special power-up an asthma inhaler? Are you sweating? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then either you're playing an exercise game ... or you're a really fat man who is a little too excited playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Patron Saint: Jogging, swimming, mountain climbing, push-ups, spinning classes and pretty much anything else that can be considered real exercise. Oh, and that Tai-Bo guy, I'm sure he played an important role, too.

Typical Story: You're fat and now you need to get in shape. In order to do this you need to exercise. But forget about going outside or to an expensive gym, these days you can stand in front of your television watching paper-thin polygonal characters teach you how shed the pounds and buy more fake plastic workout crap. Unlike most games, the only

For my mom, World Class Track Meet was enough of a reason to buy me a Nintendo Entertainment System!
way you'll beat this game is when you have successfully earned the washboard abs you've been dreaming of. Either that or you decide that it doesn't matter if a game calls you obese, you should be happy with who you are no matter what.

What Your Gym Says: "I'm sorry sir, I don't care what video game you bought, this is not the proper way to cancel your gym membership. As was stated when you signed up, the only way to cancel is to call this phone number on the first of every month. But remember, that phone number is only open for three random hours of the day, and if you don't talk to somebody in that time you will need to try next month. Also, remember, there is a $300 cancelation fee,

Funny, this isn't how I pictured it in my head!
as well as a $50 filing fee. That does not include tax. Actually, it's probably easier if you just keep the gym membership. Even if you don't come, it will be cheaper than cancelling."

Not an Exercise Game: Skate It, Electronic Arts' disappointing skateboard game for the Wii, uses the WiiFit Balance Board, but that doesn't make it an exercise game. The same holds true for Tony Hawk Ride. The only calories you'll burn playing Tony Hawk Ride are when you pick up the board and throw it through your television set. And just because Street Cop used the Power Pad, that definitely didn't make it an exercise game.

Then vs. Now? Think that WiiFit invented the Exercise game? Think again, because people have always looked for ways to make exercising fun. Back in the 1980s, Nintendo released the Power Pad, the one accessory that gave children enough ammunition to convince their stingy parents to invest in a real video game console. Is WiiFit better than World Class Track Meet? No doubt about it, but let's not pretend like that (as well as arcade games, DDR, etc.) didn't pave the way for EA's Active line of games. I don't care if it's new or old, I say that exercising to a video game is the very definition of lame.
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