You got to move it, move it.

EA's Sports Active

EA's Sports Active

(Reuters) – Videogames were once blamed for rising obesity rates but are now being championed by the medical industry and for use by government departments for their health benefits.

Games like Electronic Arts’ “EA Sports Active” and Nintendo’s “Wii Fit” have got players of all ages moving, and game developers and investors looking for hot new titles to cash in on this booming segment of the market.

Big John Games’ upcoming “Butt Kicker” Nintendo DSi game will provide an action-based environment in which players fight against cigarettes and “Karate Bears” for Wii teaches players real karate routines using the Wii’s motion-sensor controllers.

With interest in health games rising, the fifth annual Games for Health Conference in Boston expanded to 390 people this year from 100, including developers, investors and medical experts, while numbers at many other conferences are down up to 40 percent.

“Healthcare is 18 percent of the GDP of the United States and so games for health is probably the largest sector of activity in the serious games field long-term,” said Ben Sawyer, co-founder of The Games for Health Project.

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