Considering the amount of bad publicity gaming gets in relation to school children and specifically the negative impact games allegedly have on pupil's education this snippet of news may surprise. In addition to the more usual offerings such as football, rugby and hockey, Lea Manor High School in Luton, has been trialling popular game Dance Dance Revolution, as seen in arcades nation-wide, as a way to encourage greater participation in physical activities.
The program is intended to encourage pupils who normally shy away from PE lessons to become more active and get fit. The program is claimed to be working, with an increased number of pupils choosing to take part in after-school sports classes (if you call DDR a sport). Apparently many of them have even taking out gym memberships as a result of their new-found love of physical exertion.
Schools across the whole of Luton are now being given access to the scheme so clearly the local council are at least are open to the idea. On a wider scale, it is encouraging to see an official body accept the fact that gaming is not turning us all into unfit slobs, but rather the opposite (fit slobs...?... ed).
Personally, I would probably get more exercise running like the wind away from any teacher trying to get me to dance but I can't deny the appeal of the game, especially to my teenage sister. Now if we can just get Total War into history lessons and Trauma Centre into biology classes then I'll be happy.