(Digital) Games are going tangible

Once upon a time, there was a Dance Dance Revolution, an arcade dancing game where people playing it by mimic-ing the movement of avatar. Well, they actually ‘dance’ in term of taping their feet on the pad according to the music it played.It became hit espescially for young women and girls. Some games are better when we are actually doing certain of things the way it suppose to do, not pretend of shooting something by tapping at controller, for instance.
So, year ago, we witnessed the birth of Nintendo Wii. What Nintendo strikes back was as what Sony did with Playstation back in 1995. The concept, I think  lied on the way we enggage during playing the game. When we play tennis, we are dream of playing with racket, we swing, we smash, but with less effort and sweat, of course. Wii begins revolution in gaming experience not by its sophisticated graphic engine nor artificial intelligence chips, but more subtle, by using tangible user interface to enhance experience in during gaming. So, what follows are in consequences. There are some ‘controllers’ designed specifically for particular ‘gaming’ purpose such as steeringwheel, racket, snowboard and exercise-board for Wii-Fit (I want to buy it someday). With Wii, gaming become not only for killing time or pleasure but also can be effective for exercise and the future use of simulation technology.
The other hype is Activision’s Guitar Hero. This is the inheritance of DDR but use a controller in a guitar shape for controlling certain tune according to the music it played. I haven’t try it for myself but I really like the concept. We are all dreaming to become a guitar hero. And when it come without much effort studying partiture and chords, no one could resist to become a lead guitarist in a rock band, at least in virtual world.
Again, the revolution of gaming lied on the way we interact with it’s content, and it’s world. Back when I was in Tokyo Game Show 07, I had luck to talk with one guy who create user interface to help how we sense texture and gravity in virtual world. I think we are in a track to pursue tangibility of computing. Someday we are sick of using keyboard and mouse for giving an instruction to our computer. Why can’t we use tangible objects? Of course it will require alot of sensory technology and pattern recognition algorithm. But in years to come with nano, oled, quantum computing and artificial intelligence, we will face a promising future of living the game..or living in a game.
I tell you, someday you will have a different opinion when it comes to ‘gaming’.


About this entry