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Video-Games Get Physical with Quickdraw and Joust

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When you think of electronic entertainment chances are that you have an image of young people sat in front of a screen. However, there are a number of new games that get children up and moving. Beyond the usual, go-to games on the Wii some novel titles coming up for PlayStation 3 offer a gaming experience that doesn't require a screen at all.

We talked to Stephen Morris, of Greenfly Studios, who was recently supported by UKIE to bring one of these screen-less games to the Houses of Parliament to show what modern games have to offer. Morris spoke highly of UKIE's regular developer meet ups that are well supported by the established industry developers.

One of his games, Quickdraw, that we played at a recent video-game conference in California provides each player with a PlayStation Move controller. They each have to holster the controller by their side and listen for sound instructions on whether to take a pace forward or draw and shoot their "gun". The controllers then glow a particular colour to show who has won and lost.

Another game at the event was called Johan Sebastian Joust. The goal here is to be the last player standing by keeping your controller still. Players soon realise that they can influence the outcome by trying to knock other people's Move controllers. Furthermore, when the music — selections from J.S. Bach's ‌‌Brandenburg Concertos — plays in slow-motion, the controllers are extremely sensitive to movement. When the music speeds up in Joust, this threshold becomes less strict, giving the players a small window to dash at their opponents. If your controller is ever moved beyond the allowable threshold, you're out.

[caption id="attachment_1599" align="alignright" width="300"]PlayStation Move Controllers PlayStation Move Controllers[/caption]

As you can see in the video, it soon becomes a playfully physical and can be experiences in a environments where screens are not suitable. Additionally, because these games don't rely on the same set of motor skills and senses as other video-games they are accessible by a much wider set of players.

Quickdraw includes a variety of modes (Mexican Standoff, Gentleman's Walk, Outlaws vs. Sheriff) and is planned for release on PC, Mac and PlayStation 3 around October. Johan Sebastian Joust is planned for release as part of the Sports Friends collection on PlayStation 3 this Autumn.
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Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson is the editor of AskAboutGames and has written for national press and broadcast about video games and families for over 15 years. He has just published the Taming Gaming book with its Family Video Game Database.