Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
 
A Revolution In The Schools: Not Quite What We Meant

Engadget points to a Guardian article which in turn points to the AP: all West Virginia Middle Schools will be installing Dance Dance Revolution consoles to combat childhood obesity in one of the most obese states. From the AP article, the pricetag breakdown:
The school project starts with the state's 64,880 middle school students and then calls for an expansion into high schools. By year three, state officials hope to have the project set up in the state's elementary schools.
Overall, the game is expected to be available to 279,788 public school students statewide.The statewide project is expected to cost $500,000, with part of the funding coming from PEIA and Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield. Game manufacturer Konami Digital Entertainment in Redwood City, Calif., has agreed to provide $75,000. The state is seeking private funding for the remainder.
I suppose $500,000 for more than 50,000 students is a pretty cheap price tag, but I have to wonder about the efficiencies. Have we really reached a point where it is cheaper to buy a game console than, say, taking students hiking or teaching them how to dance the old-fashioned way?

I don't really play video games, but Dance Dance Revolution has struck me as one I'd play if convenient opportunity presented itself. I know that the topic of addiction and gaming is a bit of a touchy subject with the geek crowd--I think the addiction angle is of much greater concern than the violence and sex angle--but I couldn't help but remember this Pitch.Com article from a couple years ago about a DDR "addict." Don't have time to reread it right now, but thought I'd share the link. Engadget's linking to the heart-revival incident reminded me of a story Toasty blogged a while ago, about a man in Korea who died after gaming for 50 hours straight.

Given the revolutionary title of the game I was amused in a very black-humor kind of way with this comment on Engadget by atomb:

1. this will probably result in a massive increase of dancers from that state that can follow directions really well....hmmm where to employ that trait?

maybe a special division of the armed forces


 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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