Friday, November 12, 2010

Kinect Adventures

I've seen a story all over the web about how a two year old with autism was able to really enjoy playing with the Kinect, and thought I'd blog about our experience. We received (as a wonderful pre-Christmas present) the Kinect the day it came out. Steve set it up that day, and Michael was already playing before I came home from work.

It was so cool how he noticed the box and figured out it was a video game, before Steve even said what it was. He supervised the entire setup and couldn't wait to play. Michael is pretty technically savvy, and enjoys exploring different options on the typical game controller. At first, it was hard for him to understand that he didn't NEED a controller for this game. He caught on very quickly though.

At first, it was pretty intimidating for Michael to figure out how to track the screen, stay in the game space, and play the game all at once. Now, a week later, he can turn on the game, use the voice commands to start up Kinect, and has even scored a gold on a few levels.

But, even better, he wants to share the fun. He's invited his Grandmother over this afternoon to play. And, he called a friend of his from school to invited him over this weekend! He never calls to invited people over! I am so looking forward to watching him explain how to play to both his grandmother and his friend.

On the negative side, I don't think Grandma will be able to play with him. The game requires a lot of physical movement (jumping, stepping side to side, matching poses, etc.) The requirements are great for Michael who still has a lot of issues knowing where his body is in space, and gross motor movements. But, for someone who is a little older with occasional balance problems, the game really isn't appropriate. But, I am sure they will have a lot of fun together.

I'll have to report back on Monday how it goes. Anyone local want to set up a play date?

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