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Konami Hosting Childhood Obesity Summit,  DDR  Tournament In West Virginia
Konami Hosting Childhood Obesity Summit, DDR Tournament In West Virginia
July 15, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

Video game publisher Konami will be hosting its first ever Childhood Obesity Summit alongside a Dance Dance Revolution tournament in West Virginia later this month.

The summit, taking place at the Embassy Suites in Charleston July 27 and 28, will include representatives from the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and other state-level speakers, as well as Dr. Michael Dansinger from NBC's "The Biggest Loser."

Konami is joined by the West Virginia University Extension Service and West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency in hosting the summit, which will also include the second annual tournament gathering school-age Dance Dance Revolution players from across the state to compete for scholarships and other prizes.

"The popularity of Dance Dance Revolution in West Virginia is reshaping our youths' mindset regarding what constitutes physical activity," West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said in a statement. "I am proud of the positive impact Dance Dance Revolution is having on family time with children and adults across the state."

Konami's Dance Dance Revolution has been used in West Virginia physical education programs since 2006. A 2007 study by West Virginia University found the program led to measurable improvements in arterial function in overweight children.

"This is the third tournament we've brought to a public school system in the U.S. and Dance Dance Revolution is being integrated into P.E. programs across the country as a result of our work," Konami President Shinji Hirano said in a statement. "We plan to continue our push to help encourage today's youth to lead more active and healthier lifestyles in a way that works best for them."

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Keith Fuller
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I was raised in Charleston. This is great to see. Given what I know about the local culture, I'm not optimistic about the lasting lifestyle impact of a single event, but just having this tournament and summit is fantastic. Thank you, Konami.

Dan Miller-Schroeder
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What a great example of a positive impact game.

Keith - You have a good point about the lasting effects of a single event. However, the idea behind incorporating Dance Dance Revolution into PE classes is quite powerful. Additionally, if the game is embraced nationally as an extra-curricular “sport” with tournaments/competitions the potential is there for a lasting impact.

Encouraging read. Hats off to Konami, the West Virginia University Extension Service and the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency.