Getting Fit for the New Year 2.0
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
January 16 2013 8:00 AM ET
Dance Central 3, an Xbox 360 game that works with a Kinect attachment that scans your body, makes you move and rewards you with points and other validation when you’re doing the moves correctly. Dance Central is the top-selling dance franchise, and it works both in solo mode and in party mode, with up to eight people.
The thing is, when the kid popped in Dance Central 3 to show it off, I had no idea how thrilling (and subtextually queer) exercise could be. The soundtrack has 40 new tracks (you can combine songs from all three version of Dance Central if you want) and offers a wide variety of music, including classic disco (“Turn the Beat Around” and “I Will Survive”), cheesy dance faves (“Macarena,” “Sexy and I Know It,” and “Ice, Ice, Baby”), and modern club hits (“Wild Ones,” “Boyfriend,” “Firework”). Yes, even “Gangam Style.” And as soon as the music came on, everyone — from the toddlers to the not-so-young blue-collar dads at the house that day — wanted in on the action. We danced for maybe six hours before dropping, sweaty and exhausted, onto the sofa, only then realizing we were “exercising.”
I figured if Dance Central 3 was that fun, perhaps getting fit with the Kinect for Xbox 360 games might be worth a test run. And it was. Essentially, the Kinect, for anyone unfamiliar, is like a video camera that scans your body and monitors your movements as you follow along with the characters or images on-screen. In Dance Central, you literally do the dance moves of your mirror image; in others you workout alongside yourself.