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Can the Leap Motion Controller Bring a New Level of Realism to PC Gaming?

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Motion technology has come on leaps and bounds within recent years. The Wii was a revolution in console gaming, even if it has been stuck with its ‘cutesy’ label, which has deterred large amounts of gamers.

The current generation of Wii, the Wii U, hasn’t performed anywhere near the levels Nintendo would have intended, with the Japanese gaming company placing this down to people not fully understanding what they intended with the system.

In fact, motion control has failed to be consistently and effectively utilised when it comes to gaming.

The story is much the same for Microsoft’s Kinect. When paired with the Xbox 360, the Kinect was very much an irrelevant novelty. Games fell into Nintendo’s trap. They were cute, shallow and relied too heavily on the novelty factor.

The next generation of Kinect that is utilised by the Xbox One is much more useful. In a practical sense, it’s great for controlling the Xbox One. The Kinect’s voice control feature is well crafted and can be used day to day. Its facial recognition is also superb. But there still hasn’t been a revolutionary motion based game on the Xbox One.

Maybe we’re thinking about motion control all wrong

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Motion control doesn’t seem to be something that interests serious gamers. There’s something a little gimmicky about it – the type of gamers logging a large amount of hours on intense, immersive shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield are unlikely to be lured by what motion control has to offer. The appeal of these games isn’t realism, it’s escapism.

So maybe it’s time for motion control to switch tactics and platforms. The answer could be with desktop and casual gaming paired with Leap Motion technology.

Leap Motion already has an interesting range of apps, ranging from dissection simulators to relatively simple games. This is probably where the Leap Motion will excel. They are uncomplicated games and apps that are super easy to jump in to and have a low learning curve.

One genre of game that could benefit from seamless Leap Motion technology is within the igaming niche. In real life, casino games aren’t energetic and are largely played with gestures and hand signals. Playing casino online can be fun, but it often lacks the real interaction that you get from casino games in real life.

Leap Motion could bring these games to life. Poker and other card games would be obvious examples. You could hold your cards to your chest to stay in the hand, move chips around as in real life, and lay your cards for the table to see as you try to steal a hand.

In addition to this, the Leap Motion will make navigation on a desktop, in a day-to-day sense, an absolute breeze. Then, when there’s time to kill, players could jump into a quick game, much the same as mobile gamers will quickly fire up a game when they have a minute to spare.

Motion control and casual desktop gaming could be a great match. Sometimes it’s good to get away from the keyboard for a couple of minutes. This is something Leap Motion definitely allows. It will be interesting to see how the technology develops and to watch whether it situates itself as a serious gaming tool or as an accessible add on.

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Former Producer/On-air Co-star for the Ed the Sock Show (G4, City-TV, MuchMusic)

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