Monday, May 23, 2011

Sometimes Being a Blogger Rocks (And I Share the Wealth)

So, I've been at this blogging gig for awhile now, but aside from parties at BlogHer, I have not been invited or attended any branded parties for bloggers... UNTIL NOW.

**insert SQUEEEEE here** ketners-london-2011

Last Tuesday I was ridiculously excited to go to an event that Ubisoft and Nivea had cooked up to showcase the Ubisoft fitness program for the Xbox Kinect called Your Shape Fitness Evolved (the USA site is here) and its new downloadable content that Nivea has made.  The party was held at Kettner's, a champagne bar in Soho. Swanky, but in an old-school way. ------------>

Aside: I love heading into London for the day. I often forget that it is only an hour and a half to get there, so any excuse to go into "town" is a welcome reminder. Of course, now that I know we’re leaving, the reminder comes with a swift kick for not doing it more often.

I arrived on the early side and got a chance to meet and talk with the very cool Sarah Maxwell (check out her twitter and site).  She is the personal trainer/expert that Nivea hired to design the fitness content/routines and is the the avatar in the program. I got a total kick out of hearing her stories about wearing the 3D-motion-capture suit covered in dots and how she had to create workout routines that never have the exerciser standing up with their arms raised all the way over their head because of the way a Kinect can’t “see” above a certain height. 

sarah-maxwell-Your-ShapeHere’s Sarah demonstrating how to do the chorus bits to “YMCA.” Or, she might’ve been showing an Xbox and Kinect newbie, like me, just how uncanny the avatar the Kinect creates is.

Of course, I had to try it out. I warmed up with a little tai chi that is part of the Your Fitness standard content. And then went to town punching imaginary stuff with the Nivea downloadable content. I liked the punching better. I look very serious, don’t I?

ubisoft-NIVEA-workoutHonestly, it was a miracle I could do anything in my Seven jeans (which are so tight I can         barely sit in them). Oh my gosh, Your Shape Fitness Evolved IS a miracle worker!!

I also played this totally addictive game that involved holding your arms up like you are balancing a board just above your head. You have to catch imaginary blocks falling from the sky on your imaginary board and then flip them into imaginary containers on the right or left of you.  Let me tell you, after two rounds of this game the pain in my arms from holding them up was FAR from imaginary.  If I had had my weights with me, it would’ve been a stellar shoulder work-out.  Can’t wait to try that out later.

So, after working up a bit of a glow with the game, I headed to the bar to get a lovely gin and ginger drink that they were kind enough to have waiting on trays for attendees to suck down like candy. From there, I headed to another room where they had this very interesting vibe going on…

You see, the Ubisoft/Nivea philosophy regarding Your Shape Fitness is that just working out with this program is not going to make you lose weight. Working out, PLUS eating right and living your life in a more organic, natural way, physically and mentally, will help you achieve your fitness and health goals.  I paraphrased that and maybe made part of it up, but generally I think this was what they were espousing. As a firm believer in that age old truth: The only way to lose weight is to exercise more and eat less; I was happy that they weren’t trying to sell this game as some kind of silver bullet to weight loss for women with Xbox Kinect’s. amy-facial-nivea

So, back to the room: There was a man on one side with a small table set up where he was practicing the ancient art of face-reading. On the other side of the room was a lovely woman who had a table set up with about 500 tiny vials of psychically charged matter, each labeled with a different health ailment. She also had a set of color therapy vials and what appeared to be some crystals. 

As a woman who attended her first “Psychic Fayre” when she was 17, I was on this room like patchouli on a Grateful Dead fan. Note: If psychic/hand-reading-type stuff totally makes your accountant’s soul pucker up like you just ate a Sour Patch Kid, I’m sparing you the details and putting them all in Wednesday’s post.

After checking out the holistic/psychic/face-reading room that you can read about in Wednesday’s post, I went into the Nivea room and got a facial. I have spent a small fortune on skin cream products since turning 32, so I am pretty opinionated about them, and that may have been why I was a little reticent about getting the facial in the first place. (I really only went in to get one because I didn’t want to head home to normal life just yet!)

But, I am so glad I did… The facial was amazing, the woman who gave it to me made me feel fab because she said she would not have guessed I was almost 39, and the Q10 night cream smelled so freaking good that I wanted to take it and keep it to use as perfume. In fact, they have a whole line of yummy new Pure & Natural lotions.


After the facial, Stephanie, the Ubisoft PR woman who I had sort of begged pestered cajoled asked in a very professional way into including me in ANYTHING that Ubisoft had going on (via an email regarding some other promotion on another site, I just put a random note saying something akin to “Please, please, please, Ubisoft, if you see this note will you contact me the next time you are promoting something? PLEASE?? I love your Just Dance games and my kids love your Raving Rabbids games, we’d be so excited to work with you in any way, etc., etc. Please?!”), asked me if I had gotten the goody bag yet… Nope, not yet.Thank you! And then she asked what size shoe I wore. Huh? Turns out that Sarah Maxwell also works with the fine folks at Reebok and had brought along a box of Easy Tone trainers to share with the guests. I lucked out when she was able to obtain a pair my size. Wheee! I’ve wanted a pair of these since I saw them last August at BlogHer, but hadn’t gotten around to buying them yet. Thank you, thank you!

After getting me all hot and bothered with talk of free stuff (sorry to be such a swag whore, I can’t help it!) I had to head to the bar to get another one of those ginger & gin jobbies to cool me down. I ended up sitting down with some fab bloggers and some more Ubisoft peeps and had a great talk chatting with them until it was time to clear out and catch the train back home to Winchester.

The evening was a such a treat and I was really pleased to be yourfitness-imagepart of it and to finally meet some of the brains behind the games that I love so much.

However, I have a problem

The copy of Your Shape Fitness Evolved is PAL, which can only be used on UK/Euro Xboxes. I plan on buying an Xbox when I get back to the States, so this copy won’t work on it!

Which really stinks for me, but totally rocks for you, because I want to share it with one of you. You need do nothing but leave a comment letting me know you’d like to have it and I’ll mail it to you after I have the random generator select someone as the recipient.

Remember it will only work with a PAL Xbox that is coded for the European Region. I’ll mail it anywhere in the UK or Europe.

Disclosure: I was not paid by Ubisoft or Nivea to write this post. I was invited to their promotional event and had such a great time and thought the fitness program was so excellent that I was compelled to write about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.