For and Against: Motion Control • Page 4

Whose side are you on?

It's not just about the wild, grand gestures of console motion control. Take Super Monkey Ball. I'll never forget the moment, while playing the GameCube version, that my body took on board the tiny micro-motor functions which transformed Expert 7 from an impossible task to something I'm could reliably, repeatedly beat.

On the iPhone? Furry, opaque balls. Have you tried Bit.Trip Beat on Tilt instead of Touch mode? Swollen, less responsive balls. Why was painting with the Celestial Brush in Okami less good on the Wii than the PS2?

I'm not claiming this is a universal law. Tilt To Live HD on iPad sucked me in, but that's because it takes imprecision into account and gives you visual feedback to compensate. It's rare to discover a motion control twitch game that works and this one deserves a big wet hug.

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

Dance Central - same deal. This game exploits Kinect's considerable strengths and sits on the opposite end of the see-saw to Sonic Free Riders - a game which, if it was human, would have chewed off and eaten both of its own lips.

It's not an empty landscape. But we're not there yet - and to be honest, I'm not sure if anyone knows where "there" is.

I'm open to revelation. I'd love a little epiphany. There have been times where I didn't "get" something, and ended up consumed by my own petulant outsideriness. I'd love to visit 2008 and slap myself for banging on about the narcissistic self-indulgence of Twitter.

"Ssh," I would say. "You're forgetting that you're a self-indulgent narcissist." Then I'd grab my own hair and roughly make out with myself.

On another level, I'm aware that this is a fake argument. Everything's motion control - pressing a button is as plainly a motion as waving a stick. But it's only when motion stops trying to complete with buttons and thumbsticks that it makes any sense at all.

At the risk of repeating myself, Dance Central. (I could have said Dance Evolution for variety, but that game puts a full-colour version of you into the game, and I'm still suffering from the trauma of being forced to watch myself dance. I'm a man who avoids mirrors as a replacement for going on a diet. Not cool, Konami.)

Dance Central at the Eurogamer Expo. Go Stuart!

Buttons are unbeatable at providing instant, tactile feeback and sending an unambiguous message to a machine. Do something special, like the adverts promised. Do something like Dr Kawashima's Brain & Body Exercises, maybe - only don't ruin your own sense of party fun with a huge empty gaps between the games, and a menu system that makes my non-gaming boyfriend give up after ten seconds.

I guess my main problem with motion control is that it still feels like it's at the gimmick stage. Simply using motion controls feels like enough - maybe once that's out of our system, some majestic business will start shooting onto the shelves.

It certainly feels like we're on the tantric cusp of something great. But I'm not sure whether that's based on fact, or the same feeling of excitement I get when I walk into Ryman's and think, "God, I could write so many books on all of this paper."

And that's why, after 20 years of hope and disappointment, I hate motion control. We are, however, in relationship therapy.

Cast Your Vote

So, The People, whose side are you on? Do you agree with Tom's argument about promoting innovation and embracing diversity? Or, like Jon, are you a terrible racist when it comes to motion control? (Just to confirm, Jon is not at all racist with regard to anything else, ever.) Now's your chance to have your say!

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