Shape Up

LQ: 8

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Brain grade: 8
Fun score: 8

Game Type: , ESRB Rating: Everyone Platform/Console: LWK Recommended Age: 8+ Other Requirements: Xbox One Kinect Thinking Skills Used: , ,

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Shape Up is an active game playable exclusively on the Xbox One system with Kinect. Shape Up uses the Kinect’s camera to place a player’s likeness within the game environment, measuring their heart rate as they compete against AI trainers, real people online, and even themselves. Shape Up is bright, colorful, and fast-paced, more like an arcade than a boring gym setting, with plenty of humorous effects and visuals that make the rather grueling workouts a lot more fun. Shape Up is rated E for everyone, though it does contain mild cartoon violence and a reference to alcohol (a piña colada to be exact). Parents might also take objection to the game’s exploitation of cultural stereotypes (namely a Harajuku girl and a luchador). We recommend Shape Up to players 8 and older.


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THIS GAME IS GOOD FOR KIDS WHO NEED HELP WITH:

Focus

Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

Shape Up’s arcade-like game environment is frankly rather chaotic. Detailed backdrops full of giant sneakers, flying zeppelins, and dancing animals make the game interesting and fun. But while these humorous details are beneficial for taking a player’s mind off of a strenuous workout, it can also be distracting when it comes time to pay attention to the commands on the screen and synchronize one’s movements. This makes Shape Up an excellent tool for practicing the focus skill. Every activity requires a player to watch for the next move and act accordingly, from punching ice blocks to mimicking an aerobics workout.

Additionally, exercise produces a brain protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Because BDNF increases brain plasticity, practicing the focus thinking skill after a workout can help train the brain.

Self-Awareness

Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings and empathizing with others.

The exercise in self-awareness that Shape Up offers players is about as literal as it gets. It can be jarring to see one's likeness within a video game environment, but it's also helpful when it comes to objective self-reflection. Players see themselves working toward a challenge in real time, so there isn't any mystery when a final score is revealed. There is, however, an opportunity to challenge one's past in-game self to a new contest, which is exceptional motivation for self-improvement.

Time Management

Being efficient and aware of our use of time and effort.

The exercise in self-awareness that Shape Up offers players is about as literal as it gets. It can be jarring to see one's likeness within a video game environment, but it's also helpful when it comes to objective self-reflection. Players see themselves working toward a challenge in real time, so there isn't any mystery when a final score is revealed. There is, however, an opportunity to challenge one's past in-game self to a new contest, which is exceptional motivation for self-improvement.

 

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