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Free "exergames" designed for people with visual impairments.

As many articles in this journal have attested, lack of physical activity is a serious health concern for individuals who are visually impaired, as they have fewer opportunities and incentives to engage in physical activities that provide the amount and kind of stimulation sufficient to maintain adequate fitness and to

support a healthy standard of living. Exergames are video games that use physical activity as input and have the potential to change sedentary lifestyles and associated health problems. Since all commercially available exergames are not accessible to people with visual impairment, the VI Fit research project sought to develop exergames that can be played without visual feedback in order to increase the participation of users with visual impairments. All VI Fit games can be downloaded for free and played using a motion-sensing controller (the remote designed for the Nintendo Wii gaming system), which is capable of providing vibrotactile and audio cues. Three VI Fit games are currently available: Pet-n-Punch, inspired by whacka-mole, asks a user to protect a field of carrots by bopping varmints on their head; VI Bowling implements the game play of the Wii Sports Bowling motor learning feature that allows players to find the direction in which to throw their ball using vibrotactile feedback, and audio and speech effects are used to indicate the result of each throw; like VI Bowling, VI Tennis implements the game play of Wii Sports Tennis. To play these free games, individuals need a Wii remote and a windows PC with Bluetooth support or a USB Bluetooth dongle or adapter can be used. VI Fit is a collaborative research project between Eelke Folmer and Tony Morelli of the University of Nevada in Reno, John Foley of the State University of New York (SUNY) Cortland, and Lauren Lieberman of SUNY Brockport. For more information, contact: VI Fit; web site: <http://vifit.org>; e-mail: <feedback @ vifit.org >.

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Title Annotation:Product
Publication:Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Aug 1, 2011
Words:313
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