Is Kinect not the scariest thing ever? I mean, here is a machine that has eyes. Eyes mounted on your TV that watch you. If you have a Kinect in your home it could be watching you right now; watching, and waiting.
I was listening to the Gamers with Jobs podcast and they were discussing Kinect, and the word that Julian Murdoch kept using was ‘judge’. Not only do you have a machine in your living room that watches you, observes your movements with cold calculating machine intelligence, but it judges you too? Can you people not see where this leads?
Admittedly at the moment Kinect simply judges your ability to perform dance moves, but where does it stop? What happens when Harmonix release Housecleaning Hero, and you spend your time frantically vacuuming the carpet in the living room before looking expectantly into that emotionless glass and metal eye beside your TV and waiting for its verdict. “Did I clean the living room well enough for you? Please, tell me whether I completed this task to your satisfaction! Please! Judge me!”
And then it happens: Kinect Portable. Now you carry your Kinect around to each room, and it judges your cleaning efforts. Now there’s Housecleaning Hero: Bathroom Edition, and Just Clean 2: Dust Busters, which comes with a $200 attachment, a small articulated arm that plugs into the Kinect’s USB port which you hold up to a surface you have frantically scrubbed clean in the time allowed. The little arm reaches down and swipes a single finger along the surface and then holds that finger up to the electronic Eye of Providence.
You think you hear your Kinect tut and sigh.
Then comes Bedroom Band. That’s where it really starts to get a bit creepy. You and your partner undress in front of the Kinect. Slowly. It likes you to do it slowly. Then you both watch the screen as it directs you to perform acts with one another.
And it judges you.
There’s an attachment for that game too, but you’re not brave enough to buy it. But one day you come home and your partner isn’t there to greet you; you wander up stairs at the sound of unfamiliar noises coming from the bedroom, and you open the door to find them and Kinect together doing something they would never let you do.
In fact you didn’t know the attachment could do that, or even go there.
The next day you come home and find your neighbour’s Kinect has joined the fun too.
Afterwards, Crazy Cooking Kinect sits at the dinner table and judges the meal put before it. It doesn’t eat it, can’t eat it in fact, but that doesn’t matter because its little USB arm has thrown the plate to the floor in disgust anyway.
The enslavement of mankind comes not ironically with the release of the Revolution series of games. It starts with Jog Jog Revolution Portable and the release of small motorised articulated legs for the Kinect. At first it’s light-hearted entertainment, your Kinect following you down the street, judging your pace, your foot placement and calorie loss. People would run past each other and joke knowingly as they each see a little Kinect system following after the other person.
But at night the Kinect systems would be busy.
And the next time those two joggers pass one another they share looks of horror and misery as they are chased down the street by Kinect systems wielding whips and barking orders at them through primitive voice boxes.
Kinect is evil. I’m warning you now. But you won’t heed me because even now your Kinect box is reading this over your shoulder, its cold calculating eye judging the best way to make you forget about this post, planning a system of rewards and treats that get the endorphins flowing through your body and making you ignore the dangers.
Just remember that I warned you, so that when they finally release Wintendogs for Kinect, you’re not surprised when it is the Kinect that issues the commands and you who has to perform tricks for it. It will probably remember to feed you, and the breeding program might be fun, but woe betide you if you make a mess on the floor.
Kinect does not tolerate such errors.
Kinect has judged you and found you guilty.
Kinect has decided to delete you and start a new human.