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Friday, August 29, 2008

FootGaming! More than just playing Footsie...

A bunch of us techie types gathered at our local McMenamin's brew pub the other night to listen to Judy Shasek talk about her latest invention, FootGaming. I said wow, and cool and this will change the world of casual gaming, in a good way. Plus, we got lots of good shoe pictures out of the entertaining evening, too.
BendTech Shoes! Lewis tries out AstroPop Cheers from bend tech!

We are a game geek family at our house. The husband was a video game designer for years, until he figured out the biggest game of all, the stock market. He began applying the speed, accuracy and kick-ass user interface skills he learned in the game world to create software based on behavioral finance theory and modern portfolio theory, to help you figure out your 401K. He makes it look way easier than beating the boss at the highest level (patent pending, available soon, commercial over, but feel free to contact me if you want to invest!)

So anyway, our kids got the game gene, and spend far more time than their mother deems necessary in front of screens absorbing flickers of light through their eyes, which are controlled by their hands. I know their brains are activated, but their bodies just sit their, quietly while they stare at their games in a trance like state. They probably burn more calories in their dreams. But if they're dreaming of video games? Argh.

Thank goodness for Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Fit, and Eye Toy, all games which get them up and moving, and help ease my mommy guilt somewhat. Of course, I say all of this as I sit here typing on my screen, when I should be running up some hills outside. The guilt is alive and well, everywhere.

Judy gets this mommy guilt, and she gets the bigger problem too: we are all getting lumpier and lumpier while we sit and stare at screens all day. Judy is an educator at heart, she spent years in the classroom, and years doing research on how kids and adults learn. Turns out they learn better when they're active. Something about blood flowing to the brain and movement connecting the learning dots. What a surprise. Who'd a thunk? It's like rocket science, I tell you.

Judy and her resident geek guy now hold the patents on FootGaming technology, which let's people turn their hand mouse into a foot mouse for playing games.

So, instead of sitting in front of your game, you stand up on this pad, and you use your feet to move the mouse to play games. You engage your brain in a different way, and you burn more calories, too. Kids, adults, and old people can all use this technology. It's easy and fun.

Judy says "Everything a mouse can do the FootPOWR pad can do. In addition, it can log your steps, translate your moves to calories used, miles "walked" and even deliver extra FootGaming points to your favorite casual games. Imagine really "walking, running or flying" using whole body activity while in Second Life. Imagine kids exploring Club Penguin or Webkinz while logging the equivalent of miles walked. Bejeweled, Peggle - even Solataire - become calorie using opportunities with FootGaming. Comments or questions? E-Mail us."

This is cool stuff. Judy's going for first round VC funding now, and hopes to take this to the masses. She's already partnered with Clearchoice Health Care and other folks interested in getting FootGaming into the schools and the work place for better health and fitness for students and employees.

Check out FootGaming, and use your feet for good, people!

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