The project started earlier this year and is testing children in the University’s state-of-the-art exer-gaming lab. Researchers are hoping to recruit another 500 children aged from 10 to 15 to play Xbox Kinect, Sony PS3 Move and Nintendo Wii games for five hours over a five-week period during the school holidays.
Results will be used to develop an online resource for parents to access health- related information on a wide range of movement-based video games prior to purchasing them for their children.
Western Australian data shows that more than 80 per cent of children play computer games and exceed Government-produced guidelines for the number of hours spent participating in screen-based activities.
“Parents make decisions about what content to expose their children to, and rating scales exist concerning the level of violence in computer games, but there is not a health-related rating system available,” project organiser Amanda Derbyshire said.
“Movement-based game technology provides a more immersive experience to playing computer games than the traditional joystick-operated games. We observed that while games may be designed for lots of body movement, children soon learn how to operate the game with minimal movement, reducing the benefits from a health perspective.”
Anyone interested in having children participate in the study should contact Ms Amanda Derbyshire.