Tuesday, December 20, 2005

EyeToy

My husband and I were doing some holiday shopping in Toys 'R' Us right after Thanksgiving (for my 3 1/2 year old twin niece and nephew) and just happened to end up in the video game corner looking at the new games for the XBox 360 (which we still don't have. Grrr.). The store had an EyeToy set up and I amused myself (and several other shoppers) for 15 minutes trying a skateboarding game called AntiGrav.

The EyeToy, for those of you who aren't familiar with it, is a tiny USB camera that plugs into the front of the PS2. The camera is placed above or below your tv, and it transmits your image into the game to read the movements of your hands, arms and body - so instead of holding a controller to press the start button, you wave your arm in the air to pass your hand over the start button. It's a way to interact with the game in a kinetic and intuitive way. The camera has a built in microphone and picks up audiocues as well.

So, we didn't buy one right away... but I'd already tried it way back in June at ALA, because the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry had an EyeToy as part of the Game On! exhibit. So I knew I wanted one... and lo and behold, because I basically am a spoiled rotten brat (I can admit it!) my husband bought one and brought it home the first week of December. We got an EyeToy with Play2 - 12 games plus a collection of 75 bonus games - with the camera. I've been too busy to try it! So tonight, I finally opened up the box, plugged in my EyeToy and popped in the disc.

Wow. It was so cool. I played Drummer, Table Tennis, Kung2, and Air Guitar. Coordinating my hands with the game took some getting used to, but I advanced quickly in the Drummer game, and now I really want to try Donkey Konga (we've been talking about getting a used Gamecube). My arms got tired pretty quickly. It beat sitting on the couch or in front of the computer, but I think I like DDR better. The exciting news is that there are several dancing games and a karaoke game that are compatible with the EyeToy, although I think it just puts your image into the game, as opposed to recording your steps/voice without other peripherals (controller, microphone).

For more information about EyeToy:
EyeToy website


Richard Marks. "User Interfaces in Interactive Environments." IT Conversations, 11/7/04 (note: this is where I first heard about EyeToy, from this podcast last fall).

1 comment:

Chad said...

I've been wanting to play with one of those!

I also highly recommend Donkey Konga. Very addictive. I saw used Gamecubes at a local Gamestop for (I think) $60 the other day.