We are about to enter a major revolution in entertainment. I am talking about Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect – a natural user interface (NUI) controller for the gaming console coming soon.
Since the birth of gaming – man has been confined to holding a controller to manipulate a virtual world. By using their hands, people have navigated the most fantastic worlds humans can imagine. But now we are no longer just using our hands – we are using ourselves – our entire body.
Man will now fully entered into this new reality. The Kinect controller registers every nuance of your body, can recognise your face and expressions, and will respond to your voice.
So imagine – you come home from work. The motion sensor turns the console on and the camera recognises your face. Your profile is loaded and your favourite character pops on your TV to say “Hi”. But you’ve had a hard day and are looking stressed- the console will register this and your character will ask you what is wrong. It will then recomend some great stress relief games or offer a calming visual and sound experience. You then get teleported into the world of your character and begin to take part in games that utilise every part of your body.
This is all stuff the console can do already – imagine what will come. This moment is, without doubt, a landmark occasion. I can almost agree with James McQuivey when he says “Future historians of technology and society (the distinction is becoming less and less clear) will look back at this year, perhaps even referring to it as year one”. Millions of people will buy this controller and become part of a great migration into a new and exciting virtual reality.
The games already developed are pretty basic – as you would expect. But the possibilities are astronomical. As any gamer can confirm – when you are playing a game with an intense level of concentration, you are “in” the game. The world outside disappears and you are nothing but your sense of vision and sound linked to the movements of your fingers.
But now that we are truly inside a game – what levels of involvement will come? Will this world become more vastly more appealing than current computer games? And if so will we ever be able to pull ourselves away? Will this be a major problem humanity will face?
One thing is for sure. We can currently imagine what we would like the future of gaming to hold. But soon it will be beyond imagining – soon gaming will become sublime, and we shall all be continually in awe.