wii

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Bill Loguidice's picture

20th Anniversary For Dummies - All you ever wanted to know about the series

Publisher Wiley has made available an interesting PDF ebook done in their inimitable For Dummies format detailing the 20 year history of the popular series. As you know, both Christina and I worked on Wii Fitness For Dummies, which was released in 2010, and I'm presently at work with For Dummies pioneer Dan Gookin on Motorola Atrix 4G For Dummies, which is due out in July of this year. Even though I've been a For Dummies author for some time now, there were many interesting factoids in the PDF that even I wasn't aware of. If you have any interest in how the series and industry has evolved in those 20 years, it's well worth checking out.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Bill's 2010 Holiday Buying Guide - Console Edition

Since other media outlets have had to fulfill their apparent obligation this holiday season like every holiday season to recommend what to buy and why, I thought I would join in on the fun, with the big difference with my guide being that I actually own and use all of the systems in question, so I'm not just talking out of a hypothetical butt like some others do. Allegedly. Now here's a bad cell phone photo of my three consoles as evidence (you're welcome in advance for the bikini snow angel):

Bill Loguidice's picture

First Impressions of Microsoft's Kinect - It's a hit!

Well, chalk me up as surprised, but my first impression of Microsoft's new Kinect is that it's a rousing success for what it's intended for, much moreso than Sony's PlayStation Move or Nintendo's Wii Motion+. I had preordered the standard Kinect bundle, which comes with "Kinect Adventures", from Amazon, along with "Dance Central", as part of a special promotion. It arrived yesterday, which was the official street date when retailers were authorized to actually sell the thing (there were only a few cases of a broken street date). As is usual for a Microsoft product, it's a rather convoluted and bulky setup, but since it actually works, I can't be too critical of that aspect of the device. By the way, as a point of full disclosure up front, as luck would have it, we probably have the ideal family room setup for motion games, with a generous amount of space between the TV and any other obstacles, like our sofas, so, unless you want to move furniture to make the necessary 6 - 10 feet or so of clear space (you want a generous rectangle), know that your mileage will definitely vary from mine in terms of hassle-free play (you'll generally need a less space for Move and Motion+).

I have the old style white Xbox 360, and, as such, I was required to plug the Kinect into the rear USB port and then plug in yet another (albeit small) wall wart (this is necessary, because, among other things, the camera can turn on its own). If I had the new style Xbox 360 slim, it has an accessory port that the Kinect can draw power from directly. Anyway, for those of us with the old style Xbox 360's (which is probably most of us), they also give a small USB extension cable so the wireless networking card dongle can plug into the front USB port, since the rear USB port is a requirement for Kinect. Ugly. However, in my particular setup, both my 360's still have HD-DVD drives attached to them (yeah, I admitted it), which is where I have my wireless dongle attached to, so in fact I didn't need the extender as I could just plug the USB cord from my HD-DVD drive to the front USB port. Needless to say, with the old style white Xbox 360, a USB plug sticking out of one of the two front USB ports and the HD-DVD drive next to it (along with an old style memory card that keeps my sign-ins portable), it's hardly a sleek looking setup, though my launch ("fat") PS3 hardly looks much better since I have the PlayStation Eye camera always plugged into one of the front four USB ports. Looks aside, plugging it all in was logical and went smoothly.

Christina Loguidice's picture

It's Fun to Play at the Y.M.C.A.

Bill and I recently received a flier in the mail from our local YMCA and went to check it out yesterday. The facility is about 3 miles from our home, and having membership there also gives us membership to a facility about 10 miles away. Both facilities have the typical YMCA offerings, including Olympic-sized pools, basketball courts, exercise room with strength training equipment and free weights, and various exercise studios, where you can take a host of classes. As we found out yesterday, their Zumba class is extremely popular. If you do not know what Zumba is, which we did not, it “fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program that will blow you away” per the description on the official Zumba Website. Many people showed up just for that class and left immediately after discovering it was canceled for the holiday weekend; forget about getting physical activity any other way, sadly it was “Zumba or nothing” for them!

The YMCA a little further from our home is slightly nicer and also has an indoor track and a small exergaming studio, which contains a few interactive gaming bikes, one DanceDanceRevolution or DDR (see Chapter 3 of Vintage Games) set-up with medium-grade dance pads, and one Wii console set at an angle by the doorway. While the studio was a little underwhelming and it would have been nice to see a bit more equipment, some exercise accessories (such as weights, step risers, etc), and a slightly larger room, we appreciate the fact that the facility offers an exergaming option. Certainly, it is possible that their set-up is more than adequate. The room was empty when we were there and the equipment looked to be in very good shape, so we would love to know how much traffic it gets. Regardless, its presence is an indication of the ever-growing exergaming trend.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Christina Unboxes an Ubisoft Party Pack

Christina Loguidice unboxes a free www.houseparty.com Ubisoft package, entitled "Fun, Fit & Guilt-Free House Party". This package is sponsored by Ubisoft's Your Shape, JELL-O, and House Party. This follows Bill Loguidice's earlier unboxing of the Windows 7 Ultimate party pack. The two most interesting items (assuming you don't REALLY love JELL-O mousse) are the Your Shape bundle and the Just Dance game, both for the Nintendo Wii. Your Shape is a direct upgrade to My Fitness Coach, sort of like Wii Fit Plus is the direct upgrade to Wii Fit. Of course My Fitness Coach is itself a follow up to the earlier Yourself Fitness. "Celebrity" branding aside, where Your Shape trumps them all is with the addition of the camera peripheral (it's also available on PC), though of course lighting conditions and other factors will affect tracking. Finally, Just Dance is an original game for up to four players to dance either for fun or as a workout, with no need for a dance mat.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Wii Fitness for Dummies (2010) - Table of Contents

Wii Fitness for Dummies (2010), by Christina and Bill Loguidice, through Wiley.

We just finished primary author review on the book, so it's now considered at 100%, though there are still a few minor things to do. Since it's at that point, I'm now able to release what should be the final Table of Contents. Check it out here: http://www.armchairarcade.com/neo/node/3046 . As always, any questions, ask away. We're still looking at a February/March 2010 release.

Wii Fitness for Dummies, available from retailers worldwide, is THE book on the Nintendo Wii fitness revolution. Part 1 covers Nintendo's Wii Fit Plus, Part 2 covers EA Sports Active: Personal Trainer from Electronic Arts, and Part 3 covers Majesco's Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2010. There are two parts of ten at the back of book, as well, which cover ten Wii fitness accessories, and ten other Wii fitness games, respectively. You'll not only get to know all of the games inside and out, but also learn proper exercise form, theory and methodology to maximize your fitness experience, all in the inimitable friendly and approachable for Dummies style.

Matt Barton's picture

Wii Fit Plus Review by WiiFitNizzle

I thought you guys might get a kick out of my students' latest YouTube video. These guys and gals are having such a blast in my English 403/503 class (Computers & English), and I'll be damned if they aren't making videos that are just as good if not better than most anything else on Youtube. Check it out, and please give them a comment or two if you like what you see.

Matt Barton's picture

Wii Fit is the Shizznit

I thought you guys might get a kick out of one of the projects my students are working on this semester: Wii Fit is the Shizznit. I draw your attention to this video:

Now tell me you how much you'd like to be in this class! :P They've also made a podcast.

Why not make a few comments on their channel or join their ning site? It's a great group.

Here's another of the student projects:

Freeware Chronicles
Here's their video and podcast.

One more: Anatomy of a Comic. Great stuff.

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