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Active Gaming Research Adademy

“Active games are technology driven activities that require participants to engage in physical movement in order to play the games.  A noteworthy aspect of active gaming is that participants do not realize they are exercising; they think they are simply playing video games and having fun.  It is desirable to examine and understand the experiences and health benefits for both children and adults while participating in active gaming.”
(Witherspoon & Sanders, 2008)

Academy Mission
The mission of the Active Gaming Research Academy is to serve as an incubator for exploring the health benefits of technology driven physical activity.  Specifically, the Academy conducts research related to the use of active gaming (including product testing, physiological effects, instructional methodologies, and sustainability) and provides consultation and educational direction to schools and fitness facilities related to creation of contemporary active gaming environments and use the appropriate curriculum and instructional methodologies.
 
USF Active Gaming Research Labs

Currently the Academy supports three distinct active gaming labs.  Each lab provides a different model where beginning and experienced teachers, as well as other practitioners, can explore the pedagogical strategies and contemporary curriculums/programming used in an active gaming environment.  The labs also provide opportunities for researchers to investigate the potential of active gaming as a method of increasing fitness levels, affecting cognitive and social development, and decreasing childhood obesity. Academy research labs include:

          XRKade Research Lab—Located in the School of Physical Education & Exercise Science on the campus of USF this lab is a collaboration with multiple active gaming equipment manufacturers who have provided and continue to provide the latest active gaming technologies for research and instructional use.  

·         Belle Witter Lab—Located two miles from the USF campus at Belle Witter Elementary School the lab is an ongoing collaboration between university researchers and the local Hillsborough School District.  The Witter Lab gives researchers the opportunity to observe active gaming in a real life setting as elementary children use the active gaming lab facility as part of their regular physical education program.  The lab also serves as a site for teacher preparation activities.

·         USF/Patel Partnership School Lab—On the USF campus in the Patel Partnership School research on active gaming is conducted in the academic classroom.  Active gaming equipment and software enable researchers to focuses not only on the physical aspects of active gaming but also on use of active gaming to promote academic learning and performance.  

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