wii fitness

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Bill Loguidice's picture

20th Anniversary For Dummies - All you ever wanted to know about the series

Publisher Wiley has made available an interesting PDF ebook done in their inimitable For Dummies format detailing the 20 year history of the popular series. As you know, both Christina and I worked on Wii Fitness For Dummies, which was released in 2010, and I'm presently at work with For Dummies pioneer Dan Gookin on Motorola Atrix 4G For Dummies, which is due out in July of this year. Even though I've been a For Dummies author for some time now, there were many interesting factoids in the PDF that even I wasn't aware of. If you have any interest in how the series and industry has evolved in those 20 years, it's well worth checking out.

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Jack LaLanne - Videogame Fitness Pioneer

Jack LaLanne's Physical Conditioning: Source: www.gamescollection.itJack LaLanne's Physical Conditioning: Source: www.gamescollection.itAs I'm sure you've heard by now, fitness icon and all around good guy, Jack LaLanne, died yesterday at the age of 96. LaLanne had an incredible career and was one of the true fitness pioneers, establishing the first major television fitness program in the 1950s, helping to spread the word on the immense benefits a healthy, active lifestyle can bring ever since. What you may not know is that among his laundry list of accomplishments, he lent his potent brand to the first ever exer-game, Jack LaLanne's Physical Conditioning, which was created in 1980 for Mattel's Keyboard Component add-on for the Intellivision. Unfortunately for the exer-gaming cause, the Keyboard Component only saw an extremely limited release before being pulled from the market and few of the 4,000 units produced remain in collectors' hands today. As with most of the rest of the Keyboard Component-specific software, precious few of the Jack LaLanne's Physical Conditioning cassette tapes remain.

Jack LaLanne's Physical Conditioning took advantage of the Keyboard Component cassette deck's impressive ability to synchronize both data and pre-recorded voice (this underrated feature was on a few other systems of the day, including the APF Imagination Machine and Atari 8-bit). As the graphical represenation of LaLanne would demonstrate each exercise, LaLanne's own voice would give instructions. Original music and sound effects from the system would also play. This was a wonderful way to bring a more interactive version of LaLanne's long running TV show into homes, and easily predated the videotape exercise craze started by Jane Fonda's Workout in 1982, and the next major exer-game in 1984, Spinnaker's Aerobics, for the Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64, which had fewer features and lacked speech.

You can see a brief glimpse of Jack LaLanne's Physical Conditioning, at approximately 44 seconds in from this 1980 Intellivision commercial:

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Wii Fitness for Dummies is now finished! Look for it February 2010.

The authors horsing around after taking photos for the book.The authors horsing around after taking photos for the book.Well, it's with great relief that I announce that Christina and I have finished work on Wii Fitness for Dummies, my follow-up book to Vintage Games. Even better, we delivered early so we can make the annual Dummies promotion that is run in March at bookstores everywhere. Ours will be one of the featured books. Wii Fitness for Dummies covers Wii Fit Plus, EA Sports Active: Personal Trainer, and Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2010 in great detail, as well as exercise theory, form and function. We also cover other Wii fitness products and accessories. Finally, there are plenty of screenshots, photos of us modeling key exercise poses to make it even easier to follow along, as well as a special color insert that details exercises you can do when you're away from your Wii. In short, if you're interested in fitness on the Wii, this book is for you. The book itself should be out February 2010 and will be shelved with other fitness books. Naturally, there's still much work to be done between now and then, but the bulk of the load (from our end) is complete. Now it's time to focus my energy back to the documentary I'm working on with Matt Barton, Lux Digital Pictures' Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution.

As always, I'll keep you all updated on the progress of those and future projects.

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Latest Update on Upcoming Book, Wii Fitness for Dummies (Q1 2010 release)

As some of you will remember, my wife and I were contracted to write, "Wii Fit for Dummies". With the recent announcement of "Wii Fit Plus", all work was stopped on "Wii Fit for Dummies" in lieu of "Wii Fit Plus for Dummies", pending that product's release. Well, long story short, its final form is now "Wii Fitness for Dummies", and will cover "Wii Fit Plus", "EA Sports Active: Personal Trainer", and "Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2010", all in glorious full color, coming in at approximately 250 pages. There will also be brief mention of 10 of the other top Wii Fitness programs in a chapter in Section IV of the book, Part of Tens, which any "For Dummies" book fan will be familiar with. We'll let you know as we know more, but right now the only product in our hands is "EA Sports Active: Personal Trainer", so that will be our focus in the mean-time. I'm in contact with both Nintendo and Majesco about the other two products, but whether we'll be able to get pre-release copies of their respective titles is still very much up in the air at this point, as they're not even finished yet.

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