Creating Virtual Worlds with Video Game Technology

Video game camera technology like the Kinect creates engaging, interactive virtual experiences for games like Dance Central, Soccer and Motion Workout 2, andit’s also inspiring really cool hackslike this one:

Little Magic Stories from Chris O’Shea on Vimeo.

Not only are these kids almost criminally adorable, this use of consumer video game technology is amazing. Artist and designer Chris O’Shea used a hacked Kinect camera to watch the children’s movements and control the holographic projection surrounding them (Read about the technical details on O’Shea’s site).

My colleague Josh sent me this video and said, “Look! It’s like the Star Trek Holodeck!” You may not be able to actually pick up and touch the floating fish, but these holograms have depth and respond to the children’s movement, causing almost infinite glee.

These virtual worlds foster imagination, creativity and social skills, as participants work together to create complex and imagined worlds. Just think of all the applications for professional education: Simulations, game play and team-building activities.

These interactive holographic environments create engaging and safe environments to practice responding to changing external environments. Learners participating in interactive learning activities demonstrate higher performance than in traditional one-way teaching environments, and perhaps more importantly, they report higher satisfaction with the learning experience.

What a great way to make learning fun! I’ll look forward to completing my next compliance training in an interactive holographic stage. The real Holodeck, with realistic simulations, demonstrations and immersive learning environments, may be a ways down the road, but in the meantime, this is pretty darn cool.