James Portnow: In this case though, I've got one. I think you too loosely use the term audience. Our "audience" isn't audient, they're participatory, much like, say, players, in a sport. I do not believe that badminton or polo or even prosy sports like soccer and football would be better if the players didn't have to exert themselves. Kinetics can be an enriching and communicative part of play. I just don't think we've seen the apotheosis of the form, in fact I'd even go so far as to say the Wii/Move/Kinect have, in general been pale shadows of what we might be able to do with this type of gaming. After all, we can all dream of a holodeck...
Yahtzee: I always thought there was a fairly massive flaw with the holodeck concept: that I would prefer watching a play, film or sporting event to actually having to participate in it. I know gaming must always involve the audience, but what if I want to play an action game where the characters need to display ability that I'm not capable of? Not even because I might be disabled or infirm - just being able to run around shooting from cover for an entire action sequence is beyond me, I can't even play Laser Tag without almost giving myself a hernia. I like normal games. Before the Wii I never ever thought to myself 'This game would be so much more immersive if I was swinging my sword arm myself'. I reserve my sword arm for private, secret entertainments. Gaming is about participation, yes, but why hamper us with our fat, flabby, unattractive forms?
A game with a button controller makes me more immersed than any motion sensor equivalent. I barely have to think about making small, unskilled, untiring finger and thumb movements, so my brain is virtually in sync with that of the main character in the game. It comes down just to reflexes. Peep the name of this very website; Gaming is about escapism, about living through someone else with a more interesting life. My body is free to relax on the couch while my mind goes off to save the universe. I LIKE that. That's how all my favourite games work. When you suddenly ask that body to sit up and take part then it pulls me out of the experience.
I couldn't disagree more about having to perform some random Wiimote flail to perform an action like a finishing move or a Mario spin attack. Motion controllers maybe, MAYBE make sense if the game fully replicates your movements, like in swordfighting or driving sims, it's massively hampered by the lack of physical feedback but it is at least a skill. A vague swing or shake that makes the character perform a skilled move largely unrelated to your gesture, that's just an overly elaborate button press. It's just more stages between your brain and the character on screen doing the action you want.
If you ask me, the hypothetical zenith of gaming technology is direct neural interface - no body to hamper you and your brain is in whatever you want it to be in. Plus it leads to existential uncertainty, which could be entertaining.
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