In the words of an ancient meme, I love horses. What's more, after three years of working freelance in a home office dungeon, I've developed a flutter fixation. I have a Paddy Power account (other holes to pour your money into are available) that seeps small change to every ebb and flow of John McCririck.
Tecmo Koei knows this. It's seen deep into my lonely Ladbrokes heart, and now they think that they can push me one step nearer to the abyss. First off, they think they can get me to drag my coffee table into the kitchen to make enough space to get Kinect running. Secondly, they think they can turn me into this man…
Champion Jockey, you see, is the latest rendition of the G1 Jockey series - albeit newly monikered and repackaged to give it a degree of extra sway in the UK and Irish horseracing heartlands. You can play it whatever your motion control poison (Kinect, Move or Wii) although traditionalists can of course moodily finger their pads if they'd rather stay sofa-bound. The motion controls certainly make you look like a gargantuan tit - specifically, some sort of failed equestrian children's entertainer - but let it not be said that they don't slot neatly into the game.
On all three platforms the basics are the same. Pulling your left or right hand back on the imaginary reins attached will direct your nag in the relevant direction - while rhythmic 'giddy up' hand motions will ensure it keeps the speed up. For that final burst of speed, meanwhile, a vigorous spanking motion with your right arm is all the encouragement your horse needs in the final furlong.
If you win you can even cheekily raise your right arm as a victory sign, although it remains unconfirmed that should your steed suffer an injury your Kinect will understand your intentions when you move your arms to clutch an imaginary shotgun.
This is very much a game series that Tecmo Koei is intent on stabling deep within the European psyche. As such you can expect the game to reflect our nation's insistence on making expensive animals leap over fences and trample their riders underfoot.
"The biggest difference between Japanese horse racing and Europe is that here you're used to the steeplechase," underlines game director Yasumasa Koshikari, "Japanese courses tend to be flat." To counter this, then, in many European races you'll be able to sail over obstacles while perched in your virtual saddle - on Kinect by crouching and then bouncing up at the demanded time, or with Move by holding down the button on your Move controllers and deftly flicking upwards. You'll look a prize tool when you do either, however, so remember to shut the curtains.
Despite our country's love of pissing pound coins up the wall of the local William Hill (remarkably while keeping one eye on the fruit machine that may or may not be ready to drop) those who'd like a simulated flutter will have to go elsewhere.