Myth Buster

I love games. I have done since I was a 4 year old playing Lode runner on my brothers C64. So this length of participation in this arena gives me a degree of insight... I like to think. There have been things that are awesome, SNES, and things that have been, not so awesome, Saturn. A thing that has caught my attention of late is the Microsoft Kinect. I have been interested because it's a unique piece of tech in the gaming industry. I like it because there is nothing else like it. I have been let down by it because nothing unique or great has been done with it. 
 
The road starts when I joined the Australian Defence Force as a Electronics Technician. I get to know about certain technologies before they become a consumer item. One of the pieces of technology that has been the corner stone or the military is Infra Red Search and Track (IRST). This has allowed missiles to lock onto targets from beyond visual range, or units to defend themselves without emitting Radio Frequency Radiation. It is in essence a game changing piece of technology in the battle space. 
 
With all things that relate to technology it's only a matter of time before a once military piece of equipment becomes consumer. It happened to the Internet, Radar and even Velcro. Kinect has taken IRST and applied it to the living room. It's taken decades for home computing to get to the point where a processor can allocate small portions of it's computational time to something as basic as an input  command. Let alone one that has allowed it to compute the inputs of THREE cameras and a microphone, simultaneously, and with very little lag. This is the sort of thing that has been the domain of multi-million dollar military combat systems, the systems that make up the brain of the latest destroyers and combat aircraft.  
 
The possibilities are wide ranging, but to call them exclusive to the Xbox is being overly simplistic. I would say most people who have been dealing with these systems in the military, medical and science industries would be perplexed to hear technology they have used for decades be trumpeted as cutting edge. I bring your attention to the latest Penny Arcade; 

I understand that this is a parody, designed to poke fun at things we like and things we hate. However I find it a little degrading to the people that have spent their lives researching the technologies they have been harnessed over the past 50 years. To say the technology used to make the Kinect didn't exist and that the Kinect is the first time this technology is used, is to be disingenuous. You will not be making a hospital visit any time soon to have a doctor ask you to "smile into the Xbox", neither will blind people be walking around your local city with a Kincet on their head. 3D imagining technology has existed for decades, the only difference is it's widely known about now, it's in your living room, heck it's in your Gameboy! It's time for the gaming community to collectively take a deep breath and exhale.

6 Comments

Enough Is Enough

I am getting tired of reading headlines regarding Kinect Hacks and ANYTHING to do with Minecraft. Yeah there are one or two decent hacks, but most are arse, being nothing more than 3D video effects. I think the work these people are doing is great but there really isn't anything worth writing about. However read a gaming news site of blog and you would think these people had discovered the cure to malaria. 
  
 None of these are remotely interesting or useful. 

  

Then there is Minecraft. Oh boy. This 'game' is interesting, sorry, was interesting. I think the gaming press has gone way overboard with it's exuding of love and admiration for this 'game'. There are one or two things that people have done  tha are awesome (ie the 16 bit ALU) . Then it turned out most of the truly awesome stuff was designed in a CAD program.

   
I can't wait until coverage moves on to all the awesome games coming out this year. 
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New Toy

Well it was, as the Mafia "An offer too good to refuse" a Gigabyte 5870 for only $AU280. I chucked it in, crossfireX connected it to my existing one and BOOM! instant awesome. It has me playing Metro 2033 on MAX SETTINGS AT 30 FPS. It eats Crysis on full for breakfast, so I'm pretty happy. Bring on Battlefield 3 and Crysis 2!

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I've Had An Epiphany My Child

After a few solid months play COD: Black Ops, I have come to the conclusion... I do not like it. The weapons don't give me the same confidence, for me the weapons are the key to a FPS. I know it's a different game and they should do something different. which is why I am not saying CODBLOPS is a bad game. I'm just not a fan. I prestiged once so I have played A LOT of it, I have a base for my opinion.
 
I have now returned to MW2, now it's been patched, I am enjoying it more than ever. The people that are still playing it are decent, there aren't as many annoying kids. 

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My thoughts are with Japan

I was in  Akihabara only two weeks a go. There my mates and I met two guys while we ate dinner, they were otaku boys who came in from the Suburbs to buy anime figurines. We spoke about games and anime and shared a Santori Malt, I hope they are OK. I have traveled all over the world, you tend to do that in the Navy, and I have never met a kinder, more polite or respectful people than the Japanese.  
 
Best of luck to you.

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