Microsoft take Kinect players back to Sesame Street
Kinect Sesame Street TV season 2 is now available, with Microsoft once again taking players on a trip to the eponymous, Muppet-filled area.
When the first season of Kinect Sesame Street TV was released last September, it received largely positive reviews for its approach, using the Kinect to combine the passive act of watching the TV show with an interactive approach closer to a game.
With all regular faces such as Elmo and the Cookie Monster making appearances, the goal becomes one of getting the audience involved in the activities as they are shown. Speaking at the Evolve conference last month, Rob Stevens of Microsoft Soho described how “the line between games and TV is blurring”.
Stevens described it as a “new thing”, not being either a game or a TV show, and shouldn’t be treated exactly as either (however, to an outside viewer it does seem that given both the source and the distribution platform, comparisons are always going to be made).
It not being a game is something Stevens emphasised, as instead it provides opportunities to interact. The audience may be asked to clap, mime throwing items, wave, and so on – “kids understand how to do these things” he said.
In making the first season, Stevens described some of the design elements that needed to be taken into account when to aim it at children – Cooper, the host and the first ever motion captured Muppet, is used to help put the player “into the show” by directing them to where the Kinect camera can see them for one example; there not being a way of “failing” being another, so that mistakes are corrected rather than preventing them continuing.
However, children also responded in ways that the developers hadn’t expected – as is perhaps the nature of children – which Stevens says lead to some planning on how to use this with the second season.
Unlike the first season, which was available on disc as well as for download, season two is only available via download for 2,400 points (equivalent to £20.40), providing eight episodes.
Kinect Sesame Street TV season 2 is released today, 7th January 2013