Game Design Principles for the Intel® Play™ Me2Cam* Virtual Game System

Despite the long history of computer vision in academic
and industry research circles, few real-world applications
that use computer vision technology have actually been
developed, let alone found their way into the homes of
consumers. With the advent of fast processing, affordable
and easy-to-install and use PC cameras, and advances in
video-processing algorithms, the underlying technology
has become sufficiently capable to enable certain classes
of applications on average home PCs.
Natural interfaces have long been said to be the holy grail
of computing that will revolutionize how people interact
with computers. We’ve all heard claims that the keyboard
and mouse will soon be a thing of the past, with people
instead interacting with computing via speech and gesture.
Whereas fulfilling these claims requires the accuracy of
the technology to improve substantially, they usually
ignore the more fundamental question of whether or not it
is really desirable for people to use speech or gesture in
the first place or under what circumstances it makes sense
to do so.
This paper explores the usage–not the technology
implementation–of computer vision in one commercial
product developed jointly by Intel and Mattel. The
product is the Intel® Play Me2Cam* Virtual Game
System, designed for children aged four to eight.
Informed by actual human behavior, the nature and
limitations inherent in the technology have led the game
designers to formulate a set of specific design rules that
have guided the design of the application. This paper
explores these design principles.

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