Game publisher to partner with distributor Pulse Fitness; product shown off at BETT

DDR Classroom Edition: Konami gets UK schools fit with dance mats

Konami has produced a Classroom Edition of its popular multi-million selling dance arcade game DanceDanceRevolution, targeting schools and fitness centres in the UK and Europe.

DDR Classroom Edition runs from a PC-based system, which allows up to 48 dance mats to be synchronised wirelessly with one PC. Users have to match a series of on-screen arrows with the correct corresponding icon on the mat.

Game publisher Konami showed off the product at the education tech show BETT 2014 this week. It plans to partner with UK distributor Pulse Fitness to deliver the product to schools and fitness centres.

The system allows teachers to track vital information such as steps taken, Body Mass Index (BMI), and the calories burned. Each user is also given an individual card that allows them to store their progress and monitor their efforts on an ongoing basis.

It features a charge rack for compact and easy storage, a smart card system to monitor progress and programmable sessions, which can determine time and add breaks for tailored use.

Konami said in a statement: "Our DDR series has long been recognised by leading researchers and doctors as an innovate and fun way of promoting a healthy lifestyle and combating obesity, with studies showing that playing DanceDanceRevolution Classroom Edition for 40 minutes is the equivalent to a 5k run.

"The system – termed ‘Exergaming’ – has enjoyed huge success in the US and Canada."

A Konami spokesperson told PCR: "DanceDanceRevolution is a massively successful arcade game, so we know it’s fun to play. Our ambition with DanceDanceRevolution Classroom Edition is to encourage children to live active lives people through what is essentially a fun activity, so schools are the obvious fit.

"It’s been available in the US since 2012/13, and the results have been very positive. It would be great if all children in the UK had the opportunity to try DDR CE, but our targets are modest (we’re only just starting).

"Pricing and availability will be announced very shortly. Schools can get involved by speaking with us directly at BETT or contacting our UK sales office, or Pulse Fitness."

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