During the E3 2009 expo, which was held from the 2nd to the 5th of June, Microsoft presented Project Natal. The project brings human-computer interaction without an electronic input device to the masses. By capturing your full body movement and your voice (and being able of doing this for several people at the same time) it brings gameplay to an entirely new level.
Here is the video:
Interesting to see is that again activities within games which up till now didn’t seem fun enough for the player to be involved in, are suddenly becoming much more interesting simply because the type of interaction has changed (the video shows an example of changing the tires during a race). The same thing happened when the Nintendo Wii was introduced. By adding more physical engagement, the fun-factor of certain activities is increased.
Could this be a general rule within gaming and other activities which involve play? More physical engagement equals more fun? Off course it’s not applicable to every type of game, and the amount of fun or ‘satisfaction’ one gets from playing a game isn’t only determined by the degree of physical engagement (think of puzzle or strategy games where this is achieved on a more reflective level), but it certainly proves to be quite a big factor.
This technology will soon find it’s way out of the gaming industry and into other industries, as Steven Spielberg already indicated at the E3. The question now is how big it’s impact will be.
This is a pivotal moment that will carry with it a wave of change, the ripples of which will reach far beyond video games – Steven Spielberg