Interface Designers, I Shake My Fist At Thee
Standing in my living room, pumping my Wiimote up and down in time to the music, yes, I feel like a dork. It also has gotten me thinking about this whole motion control thing.
I’ve been playing Major Minor’s Majestic March, a game so weird that you feel like you can’t hate it in case you are missing something. So, you act cool while pretending your Wii controller is a drum major’s baton and you thrust your hand up and down with snap precision in order to assemble a motley collection of frogs, monkeys flowers and other hallucinatory band members.
And pretty soon, your arm gets tired (I know, hahhahaha. Insert your own joke here, because I’m not gonna do it.).
But all this motion-controlled amusement makes me just want to flop back on my couch and kill things with as little movement as possible. Fortunately, I’m also trying out the Fat Princess beta and I get my chance.
So what’s with all this motion control stuff? Wii Bowling was fun because it felt like bowling and bowling is actually something people like to do. I suppose the same goes for Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Holding your guitar up isn’t just a clever mechanism for activating star power, it actually gives you star power in your real life. More and more, the waggle the Wiimote designs have begun to till fallow soil.
“Shake the control to free yourself from attackers” or “shake the controller to reload” or “shake the controller to reconcile all that is not right in the world,” isn’t that just obligatory? “See, you are moving your hand so it must be immersive!”
Today I saw an ad for a phone that you shake to change songs. The iPod has an application that you shake to get restaurant reviews. And to all this shaking going on, I say, “Enough.”
I have a friend that took the Wii away from his son because he worried all the movement was making him hyper. And I think that maybe he has a point. I like sitting still while I play. It helps me pretend I’m not marching in place in my living room like a dorlk.