Virtual help for real resolutions

Published: Thursday, January 6, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 5, 2005 at 10:10 p.m.
It's that time of year again. Stockings are being stored, presents are losing their novelty and holiday bills are arriving already. It's also time to make your New Year's resolutions. Why not use video games to help keep - or restart - those resolutions.
We resolve:
  • To lose weight. Video games such as Dance Dance Revolution and Yourself!Fitness actually will help you get in shape. And, you can play them from the safety of your own home.
  • To eat right and exercise. Sure, you could exercise with the games mentioned above, but you also could just do it vicariously through active game characters - Yoshi in Super Mario 64 DS, Kirby in Kirby and the Amazing Mirror and Carl "CJ" Johnson in GTA: San Andreas. While it won't actually help your body or your health, we think it's a lot more fun.
  • To learn a musical instrument. Why not start by playing along with Donkey Kong in Donkey Konga, a rhythm game that comes with a bongo drum? In the game, you can play along to classics such as "We Will Rock You" by hitting one or both drums or clapping, all while the game keeps track of your improving abilities.
  • To learn to play a sport. Learn game plays and manage special teams within pro football in Madden NFL 2005 or ESPN NFL 2K5. If you want a little rougher version, try NFL Street 2. Or, if you are like Cathlena and can't come close to a skateboard ollie, try Tony Hawk's Underground 2.
  • To clean up the neighborhood. Super Mario Sunshine puts you in Mario's shoes as he cleans up an island while on vacation after an impersonator sprays it with graffiti. If cleaning graffiti isn't your style, you could always try vacuuming up garbage in Blinx 2, where players vacuum garbage and then shoot it at enemies.
  • To clean out the closets. If your own closets are a bit too scary because, like Laurie, you've never cleaned some of them, why not play Pajama Sam? In this game, you travel into the secret closet world to fight the monsters that live there. If unknown closet worlds aren't your thing, you could always help out Mario's brother, Luigi, with his new house. In Luigi's Mansion, you vacuum up ghosts and bugs that are infesting our hero's new mansion.
  • To learn better money management. For those interested in developing better fiscal skills, the whole Tycoon series (Railroad Tycoon, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Theme Park Tycoon) is for you. In each, you manage your small business into an empire. If you're looking for something a bit more domestic, you can always try The SIMS, in which you can manage an entire family into wealth and luxury - or poverty and despair.
  • To save the city, nation, world or universe at least once.
    Metroid Prime 2 (GC), Star Wars Galaxies, City of Heroes, Medal of Honor and so many more video games put you in the hero's shoes. You can choose to save yourself, a few people, a city, a nation, the world or the galaxy. It's all based on what - and how well - you play.
    And finally, we resolve to play more video games in 2005!
  • Tomorrow is Female Friday at Gamers Asylum; girls play free all day.
  • Role-playing (LARP) groups play Thursday nights on the second floor of the University of Florida's Building 105 and Friday nights on the ground floor of UF's Matherly Hall. For more information, check out and
  • Every Saturday at noon, Mega Comics hosts a Magic Card playing tournament.
  • WYSIWYG Gaming is hosting a Half-Life 2 Deathmatch Tournament at 8 p.m. Saturday. On Tuesday, WYSIWYG and the UF Anime group will host an anime movie night.
    Laurie Taylor and Cathlena Anna Martin can be reached at
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