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Virtual Fitness

based on 5 ratings
Author: Judee Shipman
Science Fair Project Type

Social Science

Grade

High School

Difficulty of Project

Medium

Cost

Under $100 if you have the Wii Sports package. $250-ish for Wii Sports package.

Safety Issues
  1. All participants must be physically able to engage in sports activities.
  2. Enough space is needed so not to get hit with a wii remote.
Material Availability

All necessary materials are readily available.

Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project

4-6 weeks

Objective

This project deals with virtual realities and their effect on the corresponding real-life activities they represent.

The goals of this project are:

  1. Determine the usefulness of Wii sports in terms of improvement of player performance in actual sports. 
  2.  Improvement in sports training methods and player performance, particularly in cases where standard facilities are unavailable.

Materials and Equipment

  1. Wii sports game (such as baseball or golf) with at least two remote controls; 
  2. Access to local sporting facilities (such as a batting cage or driving range)
  3. An appropriate number of volunteers
  4. Laptop (or any) computer
  5. Digital camera
  6. Typical office/craft supplies (such as paper, pens & poster-board)

All materials mentioned above can be found in Electronics stores, craft stores, office supply stores, or on ebay.

Introduction

We hear it all the time: "Oh, let them play their video games. It improves hand-eye coordination." But have you met any professional hand-eye coordinators lately? Me neither. Secretly we ask ourselves, "Is this really a productive activity? And if so, how?"

The purpose of this study is to see if it's true what "they" say about video games in general, and the ever-popular Wii Sports package in particular. 

Research Questions

  1. Does playing video games really improve any useful, real-world skills? 
  2. What are some of the practical applications of skills honed on video games?
  3. What (if any) additional evidence supports your theory?

Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research

  • A working basic knowledge of statistics and graphs would be very helpful in understanding and interpreting the results of this project.
  • Also crucial is understanding the basic concept of a random sample.

Experimental Procedure

  • Select a game for the project, such as wii baseball.
  • Recruit an appropriately-sized, random group of volunteers with little or no previous athletic training.
  • Have each volunteer fill out a questionnaire. Include questions about age, gender, athletic ability, physical health, and anything else that may affect results.
  • Reserve time at a local batting cage.
  • Engage volunteers in batting practice, all of them under the same conditions.
  • Record batting averages, as well as average performance overall.
  • Just before the Wii trials, weigh each volunteer and record the data.
  • Have volunteers play wii baseball for 2-4 weeks, 4 times per week, on a schedule similar to that of standard athletic training. 
  • Once again weigh volunteers and record their individual weights.
  • Return to the batting cage and repeat the conditions of the first session.
  • Record batting averages, as well as average performance overall.
  • Compare both sets of results for statistically significant findings.
  • Record findings in a detailed report.
  • Show results visually using graphs.
  • Display relevant photos taken throughout the course of the experiment.

Bibliography

Conceptual Statistics for Beginners (Newman, Isadore & Carol, 2005 reprint)

Wikipedia articles under "Wii" and "Statistics" for an overview of these concepts.

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