Reports surfaced yesterday that West Virginia’s Public School system had reached an agreement with the manufacturer of the popular Dance Dance Revolution video game series to help deal a fatal blow to childhood obesity in the Mountain State.

For those of you not familiar with the fad of DDR (as the kids would call it), take the worst memory you have of white people dancing at a family wedding, cross it with a badly dubbed Japanese game show, and throw in a little bit of involuntary seizures for good measure. For those of you who have no imaginations, see an example by clicking here. For those of you who aren’t sure where West Virginia is located, you’re probably in the West Virginia Public School system. Hang in there, moderately aerobic help is on its way.

I, for one, couldn’t be happier. It’s about time this nation faced up to its ever-increasing ass size, and what better way to combat our Super-Sized selves than with video games. From the rugged outdoorsy survival skills gleaned from Pitfall, to demonstrating how to correctly swing a baseball bat in the Grand Theft Auto series, there is much about health and fitness that can be learned from our pixelated pals.

Video GamePac Man
Health Lessons Acquired – steady diet of low-calorie pellets helps sustain us and keeps the reaper (i.e. “Ghosts”) away. Fruit is a high-reward food choice. Super pellets may seem like an attractive way to cheat death, but their short-lived delirium eventually lead to dangerous high-risk behavior.

Video GameBurger Time
Health Lessons Acquired – Pepper is the only truly ‘healthy’ spice. No matter how hard you try, those cholesterol clogging ingredients (Eggs, hot dogs) will someday catch up with you.

Video GameQ-Bert
Health Lessons Acquired – The pre-cursor to the Stair-Master. Swearing is bad for your chi.

Video GameLara Croft: Tomb Raider
Health Lessons Acquired – Hmmm…. The PTA has instructed me that it is inappropriate to cover this topic until at least the 7th grade.

Video Game – NHL Hockey 93
Health Lessons Acquired – Fighting is bad, but ultimately not that detrimental to you winning the game.

So there you have it. A new health curriculum for the next generation. Unfortunately, when implementing this program, we will have to find new and innovative ways to teach children how to deal with shame (locker rooms), humiliation (dodgeball), and feelings of utter inadequacy (rope climb).