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Express yourself, come on and do it...

Chris Chester
February 20, 2008
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Over the years, most of us have grown accustomed to the typical avatar gestures... /wave, /kiss, /kneel, and the like. Even some of the more outlandish emotes have their place, like /robot or /rude. Of course, this kind of thinking is not out of the box! Since most people labor under the assumption that the money is to be found out of the box, you can pretty well kiss the box goodbye! For Bob Moore of Terra Nova, the most unbox-like development in the MMO sphere is in what he calls "free gesticulation," a technology capable of reading the physical movements of a player and translating them on-screen to their avatar of choice.

The gesture system that exists in games today, coupled with a competent VOIP solution, is adequate for most of your basic communication needs. Standalone gestures like waves, nods, and bows do just fine by their lonesome, and informative pointing gestures work particularly well with VOIP software. But what of expressive or descriptive gestures? Moore suggests that these previously untapped lines of communication could open up whole new avenues of gameplay possibilities, particularly for role players. And best of all, the technology is extremely close to mainstream. All we need is for somebody to implement it. You can practically /kiss the uncanny valley goodbye!



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