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Motion sensing video games

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/28/arts/video-games/28video.html?_r=1&ref=technology

 

Music games like Power Gig and Rock Band 3 are beginning to incorporate real musical instruments. Microsoft’s new Kinect system sees you and listens to you in your living room, letting you jump, swing, kick, or just sit on your couch and speak aloud to control what happens on your television. Meanwhile Internet games like Eve Online and World of Warcraft are defined not by the adventures created by their developers but by the global social communities and political systems created autonomously by the players within them.. there has never been even the conceit that a video game could approximate or represent a genuine, nonelectronic human activity…result is that video games are poised to become more engaging — physically, emotionally and perhaps even intellectually — than they have ever been. But they will do so not by dehumanizing players but rather by bridging the gap between media and actual personal experience…Guitar Hero and its offspring Rock Band have always seemed to offend certain sorts of music snobs. “Well it’s not a real guitar.” But that was always the point of the plastic guitar-shaped controller with its colorful buttons: self-consciously to mimic the reality of a guitar in a way that could convey at least a bit of the visceral, rhythmic joy of making music (which they certainly do) without the responsibility of actually having to make music…what if your body itself is the game controller?… Nintendo was the first to start doing away with buttons. While Microsoft and Sony were busy trying to make more realistic high-definition explosions, Nintendo was realizing that all those buttons on game controllers were alienating hundreds of millions of potential players around the world. The answer of course was the Wii, with its intuitive motion-sensitive controller that has drawn families and women into gaming in a way they never had before…big boys, Microsoft and Sony, have not been too proud to learn from their rival, and this fall they introduced systems that go beyond the Wii in bringing natural human movement into games. The less ambitious of the two is Sony’s Move for the PlayStation 3, which is basically a more accurate and precise version of the Wii control wand. Coupled with the PS3’s high-definition graphics (the Wii is not high-def), the Move replicates certain types of physical activity, like golf, Frisbee tossing, bowling and sword fighting, more accurately and enjoyably than has ever been possible in the living room…Microsoft’s Kinect does away with electronic controllers altogether. With Kinect you just stand in front of the TV and move your body to make things happen on the screen. You actually dance and throw and kick and punch and running (in place). You are performing the actual yoga pose or exercise. You can even talk to it and it understands (though only for basic menu commands at the moment)….

 

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