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Motion Control: One Foot in the Past, Two in the Future

What's better, Kinect, Wii or a plain dual-stick controller? What's the best method of control when playing video games? Well, depends on the game, right? And the system. And the person playing.

Really, when it gets down to it, motion control is just one dimension of gameplay. A popular one right now, to be sure. But me? I'm looking forward to the future integration of motion control in games.

It's pretty easy to joke about how the experiments tech students are performing with Kinect are more interesting than the games being made for the system. It's true, though--the ideas of what we can do with the system are more exciting than reality. At least for now.

My personal favorite integration of motion control? Probably Ocarina of Time 3D. The first-person aiming was perfect (so long as you hadn't already twisted your body too far in one direction) (and had the 3D turned off). Of course, that game was preceded most notably (to me, anyways) by WarioWare Twisted for the GameBoy Advance, which attempted the simplest gameplay in a variety of ways--be it shaking the whole system or even having a segment of the game devoted to only pressing the A button. Brilliance does come cheap sometimes.

So I'm looking forward to the Kinect's integration in the future. I'm looking forward to when it's cheap, and games can find easy uses for it. Perhaps keyboard-free typing when my headset dies? Eye-tracking to move the game's camera so I can free up an analog stick for something else? Hey, anything could happen. It usually does.

(Addendum: I didn't include Move because I don't see what makes it appreciably better than the Wii, but I do see what makes it appreciably worse than Kinect.)
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About Colonel Gimone of us since 6:00 PM on 09.08.2009

My earliest memories involve my desire to play video games. While my parents were playing the original Mario Bros., I would run around a chair, jumping along with Mario. As soon as I was able to play NES games on my own, I played whatever I could get my hands on--Kung Fu Heroes, Castlevania, Tecmo Bowl, The Legend of Zelda, Bionic Commando and Clash at Demonhead are just a few games I obsessed over. Super Metroid, Demon's Crest, Secret of Mana and Secret of Evermore were a few of the games I enjoyed in the SNES era.

Earthbound was a life-changing experience for me, and I still play it once a year or so.

Was a Nintendo fankid until I was 14, when I had a dream I was enjoying playing a PS1. I'd gotten away with not owning any Sega stuff, but the fact the future was changing caught up with me. The emotion from the dream carried over to subsequent generations, where I played what I enjoyed. I think it's as simple as that.

I think the most fascinating thing about video games is they are made by people, not just companies. Every game has some interesting quality because there's that human element in it. Hell, I've had fun watching the RugRats board game for the N64 play itself (4 CPU characters). Somebody made it do that, and I'm sure they knew what they were doing.

These days, I'm a little more discriminating with my time, but I've fallen in with the timesink Atlus games, Suda 51's masterpieces (heh), and (dammit) Pokemon. But I like to write about the relation we share with games--video games are the premier second-person experience, and I think that's very fascinating.
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