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8Nov/100

Kinect Day 3 : 5:00 AM Workout, plus Detecting All sizes

So I'm on to day #3 of my Microsoft Kinect adventure (not to be confused with Microsoft's Kinect Adventures, the pack-in game).    I got up at 5:00 AM this morning to test out my ability to make use of "Fitness Evolved" before the rest of the family woke-up.   I was able to get the 360 and Kinect up and running in just a couple minutes.  Since I did not have to find and/or check/replace the batteries of Wii-mote, Nunchuck and Balance Board, the process was far quicker than the last time I tried this with Wii Fit Plus.  By 5:05 I was into the the Gym Games, and moving fast.

The block breaking game is still the most compelling, but the other mini-games are certainly appealing to me more and more as I play them.  I went through all of the multiple times,  By 5:40, my middle daughter had woken up, and she came down to play too.     One great thing about Kinect is that it tries (and mostly succeeds) to automatically identify anyone who enters the "play space".  Instead of having to go through a cumbersome character  switch, she was up and playing the block balancing game very quickly.

Later in the morning my other two daughters arrived, and they started playing Kinect Adventures in earnest.  One of them is four ,and the other is twelve.  There is maybe, a 2 foot difference in height between them. Still, Kinect responded to their movements without fail.   Especially good for little kids is the "stop the leaks" game because they can flail around and still be successful.  My wife commented that it was the first time she has seen the two girls play anything together for any length of time.  She was right,  I had not realized that before.  Such much for being an "observant" dad, eh?

Even later in the morning, when the Kinect was back in my hands (or that is, I was back in Kinect's hands) I noticed that there was demo for "Kinect Joy Ride" on the "Kinect Adventures" disc.  I loaded it up, a bit skeptical of the driving game because you only steer and do stunts, you don't control the speed.   However, the game was surprisingly enjoyable.  I was espscially struck by how kids would be able to play it , simply by mimicking driving a car by pretending to hold the steering wheel, the same thing they might do anyway.

So as day #3 closed, I felt very pleased with Kinect.  I appears that Microsoft has done a very good job of getting little kids into the fray, almost the same way Wii got older adults to play video games.   The jury is still out on the rest of the games.  I have one more I'm holding back until Thanksgiving, but if the girls like it enough, there may be more for Xmas.

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