Intuitive multitouch… or…What??? Over 9000???

One of the things that can make or break a game, or even an entire gaming console when it comes to market, is the interface.  Thinking back, I remember when the interface question for gaming was simply how many buttons do you have?  (Think NES vs. SNES vs. Sega Saturn vs. PS2); but then with the XBox and N64 generation, the ergonomic nature of the the controllors came into play.  Some innovations I have found to be less than stellar (ie, EPIC FAILS.)  For computers, you can now get mice with 18 buttons, 12 just for your thumb.  But how do you even use that???  You can get lost on that thing!   I’ve also seen that mobile games are now using motion sensing and touch screens.  Really?  You want me to turn the entire device to aim and then press buttons on my tiny 3.5″ screen to shoot?  FAIL.

The link below is for an new advanced multi-touch screen, with some examples of how a it can be used as a gaming interface.   This reminds me of the interface in Minority Report.

Ok, so it doesn’t take 9000 inputs…. but 50 is a lot – more fingers than I’ve got, for sure.   (And I’m so sorry, if you get the >9000 referece… sorry that I used it, and sorry that you get it.)

Do you think this could change gaming?  Do you think this could make complex educational games, with simulations, models, and labs for example, better? Or easier to use?


Story on gaming and cognitive skills

Video Games Boost Brain Power, Multitasking Skills” discusses the work of Daphne Bavelier on gaming and cognitive skills. From the introduction to the story:

Daphne Bavelier is professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. She studies young people playing action video games. Having now conducted more than 20 studies on the topic, Bavelier says, “It turns out that action video games are far from mindless.”

Her studies show that video gamers show improved skills in vision, attention and certain aspects of cognition. And these skills are not just gaming skills, but real-world skills. They perform better than non-gamers on certain tests of attention, speed, accuracy, vision and multitasking, says Bavelier.

In addition to the written story, you can also listen to the radio story.