Rafi and I checked out the "Playtech" open house at Parsons The New School for Design this afternoon, which was a lot of fun. The CDT Lab at Parsons organized "Playtech" to enable young people to check out some of the cool interactive games being developed by their grad students.
Here's me playing a silly pancake-making game using a "glowball" interface created by Mike Edwards and Kyle Li. Called "SMALLab," players use a set of glowballs or other devices to interact in real time with each other and with dynamic media through full body 3d movement and gestures.
Mike explained how the technology works. The glowballs contain an array of tiny reflective mirrors and colored lights. A set of infrared beams and sensors are placed around the gameplay area to track the movement of the balls in 3d space. A computer plots those points and changes the game dynamics accordingly.
Here's another video showing Rafi playing a two-player game. This one involves two people working together to bounce a simulated lightbeam onto a target using a set of mirrors that take two glowballs to manipulate. Really neat.
Rafi and I also got to check out some ARGs, a flash-based MMORPG, a narrative creation game, a simple bot-creation game, and my favorite, a text-based adventure game. Makes we want to create my own game now!