Kinecting Times

3 01 2011

I have never played on a Nintendo Wii. We have been an XBox family for a very long time. This year, XBox unveiled their new technology, Kinect, formerly known as Project Natal.

With the combined monetary gifts for Patrick’s birthday and Christmas, we thought this might be an excellent gift for Patrick this year since he was playing on a Wii at school. If he needed to have a controller in his hand, we had many in the house for various other electronics we could substitute. With Patrick’s sensitivities to people touching him (because of his autism), it is going to be something that will take a long time to nurture.

Jeff got it all hooked up and played some games on his own. When I became available that day, and I got a taste of what this new toy was about, it was like catnip. It is now My Precious. The fierce competitor in me re-emerged, a part of me I haven’t seen since my high school days. I was playing to WIN; however, it sucked all the joy out of my husband’s playing. I said, “If you aren’t playing to win, then WHY BOTHER?” He said, “How about for the enjoyment?” I pondered that for the moment and quickly discarded it, “No. Playing to win IS my enjoyment.” Game after game, I played as if I were playing the games in real life. And game after game, I won.

Kinect Sports

Now this would not mean so much unless you knew that my husband works out 1-1/2 hours a day at the gym. Me? With my fibromyalgia and body pain as a result of increased intracranial pressure, I have to be very careful about my exercise. Sometimes I cannot even exercise aerobically because it increases my intracranial pressure. With the rush of adrenaline going through my body I was feeling JUST GREAT. However, by the next afternoon, my back was hurting me a tremendous amount. Then it dawned on me that my exercise was not virtual; it was quite real.

The second night, we played again, and I remained undefeated. After a valiant try and both of us working up a sweat as we volleyed the ball back and forth in table tennis, I won 15 to 13 (had to win by 2 and it was a very close game). We decided to try boxing. Having enjoyed immensely virtually shooting Jeff in Call of Duty Special Ops Deathmatch Split Screen a few nights previous to this, I knew this would be a treat. The bell rang. I knew I didn’t have endurance on my side, so I went balls out, as if I was fighting for my life. His avatar was on the ground. All I heard him saying was, “Huh, what?” His avatar got back up, the bell dinged, and in less than 30 seconds, I knocked him out in a TKO. He thought it was his avatar that was doing the damage to my avatar, but it was quite the reverse. I could barely breathe–but it was from my hysterical laughter and not my aerobic effort. I told him I had been watching too many James Bamford stunt moves–quick, fast, and deadly.

The people who created Kinect must have thought of every possible contingency. As my heel hit the front of the couch and I fell backwards, I did not realize I had a bowling ball in play. So when I got up, my arm went flying, as did my virtual bowling ball, flying into the virtual crowd, complete with screams and glass breaking. The commentators even had something to say about it. Once again, I found myself in a ball on the couch hysterically laughing. I am now awaiting my virtual lawsuit. It was that game, however, that broke my winning streak.

It was on to track and field for awhile where Jeff schooled me on the finer points of hurdles, javelin, discus throw, a 100-meter dash, and the long jump. The entire time I was whining about how unfair this match up was. My kryptonite. I suddenly longed for the days when I was 16 years old and running a 7-1/2-minute mile. Soccer turned into one, long arguing match. It reminded me a great deal of our times in Splinter Cell co-op or the previous Call of Duty games.

Last night, we decided to ease Patrick back into lesson number 2. He did better with the touching, and actually understood when I asked him to hold his arm up in the air, but by frame 5 of bowling, he started to cry. It broke my heart. Sometimes it is hard to tell when to push him for more and work through the tears and when he truly has had enough. He sat back down and enjoyed watching Jeff and I play. When I took a break on the couch, he came over, curled up in my lap and fell asleep.

On its way to my mailbox soon is Kinect Fitness. I’m looking forward to the yoga and tai chi programs.

Kinect Fitness

Kinect gets two thumbs up in my book. It is great not only for family fun and entertaining friends, but also for fitness, especially for those people, like me, who have gotten out of shape over the years.


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4 responses

3 01 2011
conrad

That sounds fun… The wii is kinda too much like a toy. I am thinking about Kinect, but who is really watching? LOL

I could sure use the exercise!

3 01 2011
PBMom

It did creep me out a little bit. I figured when I say to it “XBox” “Stop”, “XBox” and it says, “Yes Dave” I’ll be in trouble. LOL. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

3 01 2011
Robert

I had 2 XBOX 360’s but I keep finding myself missing XBOX 360 again and all the fun games to download and playing Wii which Had both either sold them back to Gamestop or traded with friends I played with XBOX 360 Kinect at stores . I wish I had money for updated and better 400-500 dollar XBOX 360 Elite with Kinect couple of games

3 01 2011
PBMom

We don’t have the Elite, but do have a big hard drive (the size smaller than the Elite). Thanks for leaving a comment, Robert.

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