Walking Through a Video Game

I can’t believe I forgot to share this one.

Last week, I met up with a former student for lunch, and we walked around the mall to find a birthday present for one of my coworkers while we chatted.

Near the children’s play area, we noticed a couple of little ones running around on a pad that looked like a koi pond. They would walk toward a koi, and the fish would swim away from them. They’d laugh and run after another fish.

At first, I really didn’t pay much attention to it, but when we walked past it again, I decided to try it out myself. The children were all back in the play area, so there didn’t seem to be any harm in it. Jessica and I chased koi for a couple of minutes, and then the pad changed. By the time we stopped, we’d played soccer, herded chicks into a nest, and wiped out an intergalactic fleet by stomping on them.

The pad was controlled by a projector above the pad. It was far enough up to be completely unobtrusive, but if you bent over to look at what was going on under your feet, the sensor controlling objects’ movement stopped reacting. Small problem for something meant to be controlled by your feet. Despite that, though, we had a great time running around and playing on the pad.

Naturally, I’ve already started thinking about ways the pad could be used in both education and writing.


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