West Virginia Puts Dance Dance Revolution in Schools

Posted on January 26, 2006

The Associated Press reports that West Virgina has come up with an interesting method for combating obesity and improving fitness. They plan to install the Dance Dance Revolution video game in all of the state's schools. Dance Dance Revolution requires students to get physical -- they have to move their feet on a dance pad in response to arrows displayed on the game screen.

Wikipedia describes the games as follows: "The game is typically played on a dance pad with four arrow panels: up, down, left, and right. These panels are pressed using the player's feet, in response to arrows that appear on the screen in front of the player. The arrows are synchronized to the general rhythm or beat of a chosen song, and success is dependent on the player's ability to time his or her steps accordingly."

The AP says the project will place the game in all of the schools at a total cost of $500,000.

The school project starts with the state's 64,880 middle school students and then calls for an expansion into high schools. By year three, state officials hope to have the project set up in the state�s elementary schools.

Overall, the game is expected to be available to 279,788 public school students statewide.

The statewide project is expected to cost $500,000, with part of the funding coming from PEIA and Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield. Game manufacturer Konami Digital Entertainment in Redwood City, Calif., has agreed to provide $75,000. The state is seeking private funding for the remainder.

Each school is to receive a game console, at least two dance pads and software at a cost of about $740.

It is a very innovative idea and hopefully one that will catch on with other states.

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