A university study has been launched to examine if active video games could reduce obesity in children.
The year-long study, run by Nottingham Trent University, will look at how action-orientated games could encourage physical activity.
The results will be used to design games to encourage exercise in children, said researchers.
The study, of 40 children aged seven to 12, will also investigate if games affect psychological wellbeing.
The study was launched at the start of GameCity, a new annual computer games festival in Nottingham.
"There are now a number of action-orientated video games on the market for children including Sony's EyeToy and Nintendo's Dancemat," said Dr Richard Wood, who is running the study.
"They promote physical activity amongst players as opposed to traditional videogames which are sedentary," he said.
"This project will examine whether action-orientated videogames can be effective in terms of encouraging physical activity amongst obese children."
The study will try to determine the level of physical exertion required to undertake selected games.
Participants will also be interviewed and asked to rate the games in terms of enjoyment.
"Once we have the results, we will then develop practical suggestions as to how games can be designed to encourage physical activity in children," Dr Wood added.
Dr Dilip Nathan, consultant paediatrician at Nottingham University's Hospital Trust which is involved in the study, said: "We may be able to unlock some important findings as to how these games could be developed in the future to promote physical activity."