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Thank you Microsoft Kinect!

My 3-year-old daughter has a video game console made by Leap Frog. It helps her learn letters and stuff like that but it is very clunky and the graphics look worse than Joust. She has really outgrown it and is very curious about my XBOX and PS3. She always asks to play games with me but COD and Splatterhouse aren’t exactly age appropriate. On Black Friday I bought the Kinect (bundled with The Gunstringer, Kinect Adventures and Fruit Ninja) so that I could stop watching her use that Leap Frog system (imagine an 8 bit system playing on a 61” TV. Each Pixel is the size of a postage stamp). For the past three weeks we have been playing Kinect Adventures and I have come to realize that I am really out of shape, or should say was out of shape.

A slide from Microsoft's E3 Conference showing...

Around September 1st I got fed up with being overweight. My motivation level was high so I decided to shed 60 lbs. Rich brought to my attention a diet/lifestyle book called “The 4-Hour Body.” Now I’m not going to get into the specifics of the diet or anything like that but it is basically a low-carb diet and I ended up losing 25 lbs in the first few months without any exercise at all. Since I have gotten the Kinect I have lost another 10 lbs and feel a lot better. I can play for longer and it is great exercise. With the Kinect you can’t cheat like you can with the Wiimote. Go check out videos of all the kids in Japan playing Wii games barely moving the Wiimotes. With the Kinect you really have to move! The area of play is literally a full step to the left, a full step to the right and two steps forward. Sometimes you have to go back and forth or from corner to corner very quickly. I’ve already tripped and fallen onto or over the couch 5 times!

Kinect Adventures

A few weeks ago I went to the doctor for my annual physical and all of my levels had gone down significantly. My triglycerides had been cut in half, my cholesterol had gone down and all was good. So thank you to the Kinect for helping me get healthy.

I’ve also found Kinect games to be a welcome reprieve from controller based games. I don’t play them for as long as I would Arkham City, or COD, but sometimes I need a break from switching between screens and all the explosions. It’s a really good way to have fun, get the blood flowing and move around a bit, especially during the winter or rainy days.

I am glad I have found something both my daughter and I can enjoy at the same time. Even my wife can’t resist Kinect! In a very short amount of time, my daughter learned the interface and can operate the system on her own so if I need to do the dishes or handle something for work, she can play uninterrupted until I get back.

Thank you Microsoft for making something that actually works. Sorry, can’t resist a dig at M$. They still make shitty software.

PS After reading this back it feels like I wrote a Kinect commercial. The system is not perfect but $100 got me a lot of bonding time with my daughter and that’s priceless.