Pixelation: Kinect Gives Me The Finger
[pixelation | weekly gaming column every wednesday]
If I twist my body with the Kinect, the ladies dance. If I tilt my body with the Kinect, the cars swerve. If I give the Kinect the finger, will it also tell me to go fuck myself?
Do you know what’s easier than voice activating something? Pushing a button. Do you know what’s easier than flipping through menus with your hands? Pushing a button. Do you know what’s easier than motion controls? Finger controls.
The thing I like(d) about video games was that they used to let me escape my flabby, flaccid body. I didn’t have to be aware of the extra weight I carried in my arms, and I didn’t have to be aware of my jowls when I banked around a corner in Crazy Taxi.
I was a fat teenager, and video games were escape. Hopping and shaking and tilting and whirling, all these actions draw me out of the immersive environment. They make me all too aware of my shitty, stinky, corporeal shell. My fat meat husk, the thing which I am trying to escape.
With video games I’m trying to travel to worlds all too far away. All too unreal. All too beautiful to exist within this world. I’m trying to travel to places where aliens are real, mushrooms make you grow, and space exploration isn’t a pipe dream for lead feet mouthbreathers
I’m trying to escape. Not pivot and perform ballet.
And I have to think that every time I’m made all too aware of my spatial reality, I’m sucked out of that fantasy, out of that escape. And perhaps for some people that’s okay. And perhaps for some games that’s okay.
Casual games. Party games. Bar games. Boring games. Wii games.
Maybe I’m worrying prematurely.
I don’t buy the concept that motion controls are more immersive. Really? Flicking my wrist to swing a sword is drawing me into the game? No thanks. Not really. I find them to be antithetical to immersion. They draw me out of the game, out of the narrative. They make me realize what I’m engaged in is illusion, is false.
Maybe that’s fine.
I don’t have a problem, in the end, with these sort of bullshit motion controls being implemented. Perhaps because in the end I don’t really have a choice. I just hope they’re relegated to the dancing games, and the archery bullshit demos and the whatever. ‘Cause yeah, pulling back on a PlayStation Move like I’m tightening my quiver is totally immersive.
It’s not at all like I’m some fucking dork stuck down in my basement, already all too aware that I’ll never get to be as cool as Legolas, or Aragorn. Now I get to feel the dorkiness spread through my veins like a fatal elixir as I desperately feel my sweaty armpits spread like damp caverns as I draw my bow of eternal nerdiness. But keep it out of the games that want you invested in narrative, and in immersion.