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Gamers Get Off Their Butts at E3

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Gaming

After a frenetic couple of days racing from meeting to meeting at the annual E3 Expo trade show and free-for-all in Los Angeles earlier this month, I'm still exhausted. But there was a lot of interesting stuff to see, and thousands of gamers flooded the halls in anticipation of playing the games they may not see in stores for a year or more.

There were some very interesting trends at the show. The most significant trend seems to be the incorporation of movement into gaming. Game companies, aware of the spreading size of their customers' rear ends, seem to be building more games that involve the player standing up and doing something.

I wrote about a few of these so-called fitness gaming accessories last year. This year, there are more games--and more game controllers--that demand more than twitchy thumbs to get a high score.

Among the new, physically demanding games are Konami's latest additions to its incredibly popular Dance Dance Revolution series, in which you have to hop or stomp on a dance pad controller in sync with a rolling set of instructions on your TV screen. Konami also makes Karaoke Revolution, which requires you to sing along with a virtual band, and awards you points based on whether you sing on key and in the appropriate places.

The new game, Karaoke Revolution Party (available this fall for Sony's PlayStation 2), combines the footwork from Dance Dance Revolution with the singing of Karaoke Revolution. No longer will gamers merely be able to zone out in dance mode. Now they'll be forced to concentrate on two activities at once, and it looks like the hardest game I've ever watched someone else fail at.

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