The Exergames Unlocked project was produced by a multi-state team of accomplished media education researchers, exercise physiologists, medical professionals and doctoral students. Contributing members are accomplished researchers in their fields and have helped launch the use of exergames as tools to combat obesity in their communities and beyond.
Barbara Chamberlin, PhD – Project Director
Barbara Chamberlin, PhD, directs the Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University, a research facility in which she investigates the use of games in education and health. NMSUs game development team is currently investigating the use of physical interfaces with games and creating new games that encourage movement. Dr. Chamberlin leads research on game development at the lab, and serves as an instructional designer on educational projects. She is currently working on a wide variety of projects, including exergames and STEM education. Previously a stand-up comic, Dr. Chamberlin speaks nationally on a variety of topics, including technology use with youth.
Dr. Chamberlin serves as project director, overseeing research, educational and health-related goals as well as product development for the overall project. Additionally, Dr. Chamberlin will lead research in the NMSU Learning Games Lab identifying new trends in exergames and drafting best practices on using exergames.
Jeanne Gleason, EdD
For more than 35 years, Dr. Jeanne Gleason has helped build educational programs for diverse audiences, particularly in food safety, nutrition and STEM education. Gleason, director of NMSU’s Media Productions, helped to create the department and launch its multimedia capabilities more than three decades ago. Under her direction, the unit has produced more than 1000 educational videos and 100 multimedia projects, including science and math education and food safety games.
Dr. Gleason oversaw the development of the Exergames Unlocked website, enabling sharing of exergames research, best practices, practical recommendations, and evaluation strategies. She also will guide design of the nutrition tool and integration of nutrition content with exergame use. She will guide development of dynamic Web tools – ensuring they can be updated and used after this project funding is completed.
Ann Bock, PhD, RD, LD
As a registered dietitian, Dr. Ann Bock is well aware that weight management must be attacked on a number of fronts, with the two most important being diet and physical activity. Dr. Bock manages databases associated with projects where both nutrition and activity are critical components. The ICAN (Ideas for Cooking and Nutrition) project reaches out tofood stamp recipients and the youth associated with low-income families in New Mexico. Dr. Bock guided the development of nutrition recommendations and content for the online nutrition tool Eat-and-Move-O-Matic, which exergamers can use to correlate calorie intake and exergame calorie expenditure, leading to better nutritional choices.
Bryan Haddock, DrPH
Bryan Haddock, DrPH, has spent more than 20 years working as an exercise physiologist at the Center for Health Promotion at Loma Linda University. During the last 15 years of this appointment, he has served as faculty at the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University. Additionally, he has served as Associate Professor of Kinesiology at California State University – San Bernardino for the past 13 years. He recently completed work on an NIH-funded SCORE grant, in which he examined the impact of exergaming on pediatric obesity, and has worked on several NIH-funded EARDA and RIMI grants as well. These are designed to improve the infrastructure of the university to facilitate health-related research (EARDA) and health disparities research (RIMI). As part of these grants, Dr. Haddock worked with faculty from across campus, funding them to conduct pilot studies and then helping them work towards an external grant application. His primary teaching responsibilities are in the field of exercise science.
Dr. Haddock led research on the physical impacts of games, performing fundamental research on calorie expenditure and other physical measures during exergame use. He analyzed data and drafted recommendations on game use, including which games and systems work best in which environments and with which audiences.
Ernie Medina, Jr., DrPH, CHFI
Ernie Medina, Jr., DrPH, CHFI, is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of XRtainment Zone. Since 1993, he has been a preventive care specialist and has spent more than 20 years working at Beaver Medical Group in Redlands, Ca., helping patients of all ages overcome lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
In light of the growing pediatric obesity epidemic, Dr. Medina and XRtainment Zone are collaborating with California State University – San Bernardino to conduct research on the effectiveness and viability of “exertainment” as a tool to fight this epidemic. Dr. Medina is also the co-founder of XRtainment Zone LLC, a first-of-a-kind center combining the latest in exergaming equipment and professional programming for total wellness in the family. He recently incorporated exergaming into the Zone’s Family FitZone class, a pediatric and family weight management class.
Dr. Medina provided specific recommendations and best practices on using exergames with youth and families based on work in his Xrtainment Zone. Additionally, he contributed recommendations on tying nutrition into exergames, reflecting the work in his program.
Ann Maloney, MD
Ann E. Maloney, MD is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist and assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Prior to medical school, Dr. Maloney was a camp counselor and pediatric nurse.
She currently works in the lab of Jean A. Frazier, MD at the Child and Adolescent Neurodevelopment Initiative (CANDI Lab). Her research has focused on early onset schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders, for which treatments often include medications that promote rapid weight gain. These unwanted side effects led her to the study of exergaming to find healthy physical activity for children. Her studies have used off-the-shelf games (including Dance Dance Revolution, also called DDR) with various locations and populations. Dr. Maloney has taught, written chapters, and published papers addressing findings regarding promising approaches to using games to boost activity. She is also interested in games for improving neurocognition and social skills and recently completed a study on youth with cognitive problems related to psychosis.
Emily Murphy, PhD
Emily Murphy, PhD, along with fellow researchers at West Virginia University, conducted a rigorous pilot study of students who played DDR on a regular basis. The results show that DDR is an effective tool in combating obesity, inactivity, and subsequent health problems associated with sedentary lifestyles. Following the groundbreaking research of Drs. Murphy and Carson on the impact of dance-pads with youth, Dr. Murphy will lead research on the social impact of exergames, particularly regarding the self-esteem and self-perception of youth regarding obesity and physical activity and the impact exergames have on these self-perceptions.