Monday, November 1, 2010

Why I want a Kinect


By David Gewirtz

I want a Kinect. I do. I'm almost ashamed of my desire, but for some reason I want one oh so bad. I haven't wanted something this bad since, well, after watching every episode of Top Gear.

But I want one bad. Do I want one as bad as I wanted the Wii, back in the pre-flailing days? Yes.

Do I want one as bad as a classic Mustang with a flame job and a hood scoop? No-frickin-way. I yearn for muscle cars. I just want a Kinect.

Oh, I could give you excuses. I could say it's because I'm a computer scientist and each new user interaction device fascinates me for its potential. I could even say I want one because it'll help me exercise -- but I have an entire room in the house dedicated to weightlifting gear (my personal best this year was 10,400 pounds in one half-hour session) and I even have a treadmill in the same room as my Xbox (now, there's a conflict of interest).

I could even say it's because I want to validate Dvorak's end of civilization theory, but that's not really true. My neighbors won't complain, I live in a house, and while I don't have plenty of room to jump around in front of the TV, I have enough.

The fact is, I don't jump. Period. It's one of those things in my contract. I don't mind lifting and I don't mind walking, but I never jump and I never run.

So why do I want a Kinect?

Well, when I was younger, it would have been because it was a shiny, new toy and I loved new electronic gadgets. But I've been getting so many new electronic gadgets in for review over the past decade that I just don't care. I don't want the hassle of hooking it up, I don't want the hassle of registering, and I don't want the hassle of typing yet one more "handle" into a game console using a game controller.

It's not about the gadget lust. So why do I want a Kinect?

It's not for the games. I don't have any interest in Dance Central. I dance even less than I jump or run, and I never jump or run. It's not for Kinectimals (okay, maybe just a little bit). I've had real life pets and I don't need to bond with a digital representation of anything (take that Facebook!). It's not about having idiotic pictures taken at the end of a game; there's no way in hell I'm sharing anything like that in public.

So why do I want a Kinect?

I'll tell you why I want one. It's all Pogue's fault. He described the Kinect as:

There's a crazy, magical, omigosh rush the first time you try the Kinect. It's an experience you've never had before.

I want a Kinect because it's been a really frakin' long time since I've had a crazy, magical, omigosh rush about anything that didn't involve tires squeeling or breaking speed limits. Even if that rush only lasts for a few minutes and I'm left with yet another chunk of plastic and electronics, it'll be worth it.

Now, I only have to get off the couch long enough to go and order one. Damn you, Pogue! Damn you!