Does this make me a gamer?

I am most definitely not a gamer but have enjoyed many hours of gaming on the new Xbox Kinnect this Christmas.  Previously I had thought the Wii was very clever but Kinnect blows it out the water.  The system was so intuitive that I didn’t need to bother with instructions and within about 10 minutes of orientation myself I was competing on the athletics track against my husband and mother in law (something I would never have imagined her doing).  The experience was fun and very tiring!  Kinnect makes gaming suitable for all the family and a good way to offset overeating at Christmas. 

One of my favourite activities was creating my avatar, I think this transported me back to the 7-year-old who loved Barbie and dressing her in different outfits.  I created avatars for the whole family with a selection of outfits to wear for different gaming events.  You can even dress in black tie, although I have not found an appropriate game for that yet, maybe Bond should come to Kinnect.  It is amazing how much you can get the avatars looking like their real life counterpart.

If you have seen the TV ad for Kinnect you will have seen the whole family laughing on the sofa whilst watching someone play and actually in real life it is very similar, we laughed a lot and of course got very competitive. 

We enjoyed the T-Mobile branding of a bowling balls in the 10 pin game, it was noticed and talked about so I guess you could say it worked.  Advertising in the gaming world does add the experience because it makes it seem more realistic if we see posters on the road side but some smart product placement could have even more impact.  So come on clothing stores give my avatar something more interesting or in fashion to wear!
This gaming experience involves your whole body and really does pull you in and immerse you in a fantasy world.  Once you get your head around just how clever this gestured controlled gaming console is you forget what old gaming was like.  It feels so natural and so intuitive to communicate with your hands and body.   I wonder how popular it will be with teens, will it get them up off the sofa and moving around the room?  If the games are good enough then why not.

I have always thought that gaming was a bit of a waste of time because it literally takes hours out of your day to achieve nothing of real value.  Now I think that this is probably still true but the new generation of sport/health games genuinely do offer something to us.  We have seen reports and stories of overweight of mentally scarred teens who have spent too much time in violent worlds or car chases.  Maybe technology like Kinnect might help fix one of those problems. 

So am I a ‘gamer’ now?….


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