Media research and disability

Exergames are new video games based on using the Wii. They use physical activity not sight as input and have been developed for use in the fight against obesity. Now they have been adapted so that children with visual impairments can play them, important because these children as a result of sight problems do not find it easy to take healthy exercise and so are at a higher risk of obesity.
Research team leader Eelke Folmer says the modification that enables the games, such as tennis, to be played without visual feedback use audio and vibro-tactile feedback. Like standard Wii games these new ones can be played against other people or the computer. So far these games have been very successful in getting sight impaired people to exercise vigorously, though the sample sizes have been very small.
To play the VI Fit games, a user would need a Wii remote and a Windows PC with bluetooth support or a USB bluetooth dongle. The games can be downloaded using instructions at www.vifit.org. The games are not affiliated with or endorsed by Nintendo.

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