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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.

Matt Barton's picture

A Treatise on Videogames

Author: Matthew D. Barton
Artwork: Elizabeth Katselis
Online Layout: Buck Feris
Notes: All screen shots used within the article were taken directly from the author's copy of MAME.
Special Thanks: Bill Loguidice

The CriticWhen most people use the word "critic," they have in mind someone who makes and explains decisions about why a certain movie, book, or videogame is or isn't worth buying. This connection to money is one reason why so few critics earn the public's trust, especially in cases where the critic is "owned," either directly or indirectly, by the corporations which make the products they are criticizing. In other words, most "critics" produce little more than ad-copy, and we encounter their work mostly as endorsements--for instance, phrases mumbled by some well-fed critic may appear in the trailer of a movie, or on the back of a new novel. This problem has long plagued the videogame industry, in which most videogame journalists lacked professional backgrounds and had little sense of traditional journalistic ethics.

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