Siskel and Ebert Play a “Video Game” in 1993


Man, remember when video games were nothing but flailing your arms and legs around stupidly in the air, with random things happening on the screen?

Hmm. I guess times haven’t changed that much.

I must have missed out on this revolutionary tech that was the Sega Body Ring, but outside of the graphics, it does seem might similar to the Wii, and hell, it’s even a bit more advanced since it doesn’t use a controller at all. It’s like Natal was invented 15 years ago.

I can’t quite understand why they’re kicking though, you can only see the boxers from the waist up. Also, why do most regular people punch like they’re using an elliptical machine?

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  1. Ebert’s stance on the whole “Are Games Art” question suddenly makes a lot more sense. That was certainly not “high art”.

    Much love to Mr. Ebert, but I couldn’t not laugh at his flailing about. However, I think Siskel had an unfair reach advantage.

  2. The reason they kick is because that device only maps buttons to different IR sensors on separate parts of the octagon. You trigger the sensors with your hands or feet to “push” the button. It wasn’t actual motion control as much as it was making a huge controller. I was disappointed when I learned this back then, because I wanted to play Mortal Kombat by actually punching, kicking, and firing ice from my hands.

    This thing also only worked on light colored ceilings, because it wouldn’t properly reflect the IR and detect your hand if the ceiling was too dark, or if you had a fan above it.

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