Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just kids at heart

Saturday we bought ourselves an early Christmas gift: an XBOX 360 with Kinect. Have you seen them? When we bought our Wii game system a few years back we thought it was brilliant technology. And it was back then. Now instead of either having to stand on a balance board or hold a wireless remote, all we have to do to interact with certain games is hold up our hand to sign in to start, then just move! Two cameras track your body’s movements. You move, your avatar on screen duplicates your move. Rick noticed that even when I started rolling up my sleeves my on-screen persona was doing the same thing. Almost creepy!

We just went to look at Best Buy on Saturday. Honestly we did. We walked in to the video section and the salesman asked what we were looking for. We told him and he looked at us and said “Well first tell me what kind of games the kids you’re buying this for like to play because that might make a difference in the system you should be looking at.” Hmmm, what to say? I looked over at Rick and said “Honey, what kind of games do we like to play?” At this point the salesman broke out in a grin, slapped me on the arm and said something like “way to go!” or “good for you!” Surely we can’t be the only adults who like to do this sort of thing??

They had a huge flat screen TV set up so that people could try out the amazing Kinect technology for themselves. It was set up for bowling. I tried it out. I walked up to the screen and held my arm out to the side to “pick up the ball.” I lined myself up, took a few steps and “threw” the ball. I got a strike!

Of course we bought one. Plus the sports game and the workout game. We discussed whether or not to wrap it up and put it under the Christmas tree or to set it up and play now. When we got home I was tending to dogs but Rick was no where to be seen. There he was in the living room putting the XBOX stuff together. “I thought we were going to wait until Christmas?” I asked him. “Well, I just wanted to see if we needed any cables or anything. Plus when Carolyn comes for Thanksgiving we can all play,” he replied.

Uh huh.

We played a few games and got used to how it works and overall found it very responsive. I somehow beat Rick at bowling and he beat me in our game against each other of table tennis. There are a few things that could use a little better user interface, like setting up your avatar, but overall it performs beautifully.  And it knows who we are: it knows that Rick is Rick when he stands in front of it and it knows it’s me when we switch places. Pretty amazing!

We are both looking forward to doing the yoga on the workout game. The Wii had yoga but you really didn’t know if you were doing the position correctly or not since all it really took into consideration was balance. This one should correct us if we are doing it wrong. Plus, the games are fun and it gets us off the couch and moving!

I guess we are really just kids at heart.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Comments:

Good for you.  We have xbox 360 but not this one…sounds really fun.  Maybe I could even do it.  The kids invite me to play when they need a laugh.  Just can’t get the hang of these new fangled games.  I could do the old original Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, and Sonic.  Once they went 3-D I was lost.  Enjoy!

Debra,
Don’t give up. You can buy a Kinect for fairly cheap to attach to your original 360 if you so choose to do so. If I can do it (hello, older than you!) you certainly can. I loved Donkey Kong (they have a new one out now for the Wii). Try this; I think you’ll like it and they are bound to keep making it better where you might be able to control the your character without any kind of remote. Right now it’s just for action sports.

I will check into that for Christmas…hey what a great idea!  Sounds like it would work for me - the controller is where I totally fail.  Long live Donkey Kong!  grin

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