Eye Toy by Kimberly Keyes Stark 

Eye Toy by Kimberly Keyes Stark

Eye Toy Screenshot

It's been several years since someone invented the cam that attaches to your computer and takes pictures of you. (The early models could only take stills while the more recent ones can take both st ills and moving video.) People began to use the cam technology on the Internet where they erected websites devoted to web cam images of coffee pots and fish tanks.

Many zoos started to focus web cams on various animals. The National Zoo in Washington, DC, near where I live, has web cams devoted to panda bears, giraffes, and even naked mole rats. Web cams were focused on tourist attractions around the world, such as the Eiffel Tower.

The most bizarre web cam site I've seen is the MessiahCAM, which provides a live cam on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem that's waiting to capture the moment when the Messiah returns to Earth as prophesied in the Bible.

Sometime back in 1996 a college student named Jennifer Ringley began to focus a web cam on herself, where she earned a distinction of being one of the first people to be a subject of a cam. Her site, JenniCAM, became an instant smash and she became one of the first major Internet celebrities. Her site paved the way for thousands of other people to live their lives in front of a web cam and these sites can be found in web cam directories like EarthCam, Web Cam World, and Camscape. Her site was mentioned in the mainstream media, especially when the movie The Truman Show was released.

One of the reasons why JenniCAM be came such a smash hit, aside from the fact that it was one of the first site of its kind, is that sometimes Jenni would disrobe in front of her web cam. Sometimes she was just changing clothes. Other times she would jump into the shower. On rare occasions she could be seen masturbating or having sex with men win front of her cam. But such flashes of nudity were usually brief and the bulk of the photos consisted of head shots of Jenni sitting in front of her computer. JenniCAM and other cam sites of their ilk were usually boring.

Last month Jenni had announced that she was shutting down her seven-year-old site after New Year's Eve, which led to another round of media stories about her. Her site is now off-line but she has definitely earned a footnote in the history of the Internet.

Until recently I felt that web cam was the most useless technological invention ever invented. You couldn't carry it with you (unlike a digital camera) because it had to be attached to a computer to take pictures. The web cam's resolution is inferior to a digital camera's. It seemed like it was only capable of taking headshots of people at their computers.

Sony has found a use for the cam that I think is innovative. They created a cam called the Eye Toy that attaches to your Playstation 2 via a USB slot (located under the controller slots). With the Eye Toy you don't need the controller since you use the cam to control your movemen ts.

The Eye Toy is a neat piece of technology that has great potential. Instead of trying to remember which buttons to press in which sequence, all you have to do is wave your hands at certain points in order to control the action.

Sony has announced th at it will release more games in the future that will utilize the Eye Toy. In the meantime, the company has bundled the Eye Toy with a disk called "Eye Toy Play" that includes video messasing software (where you can record messages, save them to your memo ry card, and give them to your other Playstation 2-owning friends) and 12 different games.

All of the games have an old-school feel to them and they can be quite addicting at times. In fact, some of the games are reminiscent of classic arcade games, exce pt you play them with your arms instead of a joystick. Here's a rundown of the games:

Beat Freak: This game is like Dance Dance Revolution that you pl ay with your arms. A CD flies from the center of the screen and you have to touch whatever speaker the CD flies to. The music is very catchy and fun to play with.

Kung Foo: You use your hands to whack a bunch of kung foo fighters before they whack you. T his is reminiscent of games like Virtua Fighter.

Wishi Washi: You use your arms to clean dirty windows within a timeframe while a catchy 1920's-style s ong about cleaning windows play in the background. It is sort of reminiscent of the classic videogame Bubbles and the game is much more fun than it sounds.

Soccer Cra ze: Soccer purists may freak over this game's requirement that you use your arms to keep the soccer ball up in the air but it's very addicting, especially as you try bouncing the ball at a bunch of people taunting you from the sides of tall buildings.

Boxing Chump: This game is similar to the current arcade hit Mocap Boxing where you use your arms to defeat your boxing opponent. Boxing Chump requires you to face your body sideways (because your opponent is facing sideways and it's the only way you can hit him) while facing your face forward to look at the TV screen while Mocap Boxing lets you stand directly in front of the screen and fight your opponent. Personally I think Boxing Chump is more awkward to play than Mocap Boxing but it's still a good alternative if you aren't able to get to the arcades to play Mocap Boxing. The opponent reminds me of the old Rock'em Sock'em Robot fighting game that I used to see the boys in my neighborhood play when I was a kid.

UFO Juggler: You have to help jump-start spaceships in order for them to fly. If you spin the spaceships just r ight, they will be able to reach outer space. If you spin the spaceships too slow, they won't fly but if you spin them too fast, the spaceships will explode. If that's not enough, you'll frequently see enemy aircraft firing at the spaceships struggling to fly. All you have to do is spin the enemy aircraft fast until it explodes.

Slap Stream: A bunch of mice are taunting you (including one that looks like Mickey Mouse's demented cousin) and you have to slap them. But be careful who you slap because if you slap any of the women dressed in bunny outfits, you'll get penalized. Get three penalties and the game's over.

Plate Spinner: Ever seen those magicians who are capable of spinning plates on top of tall poles? Well, you get to do the same by making sure that all four plates are spinning on top of four poles at once. If you're successful, the monkeys who are out to ruin your plates will jump on a plate only to get knocked out by the force of gravity. If your plate stops spinning or spins too slow, the mon keys can easily knock your plate to the ground.

Disco Stars: This game is like Space Channel 5 in that it combines [link=http://classicvideogames.b logeasy.com/comment.list.run?blogID=1067225959780]Dance Dance Revolution[/link] with the 1970's electronic memory game Simon. A disco diva w ill point at certain lights and you have to repeat the pattern to the beat of the music.

Ghost Eliminator: You are standing in a graveyard while a bunch of ghosts are out to get you. Rub the ghosts to get rid of them.

Mirror Time: This one is the tricki est of the games. At first you are simply popping green bubbles and avoiding popping the red ones. But then the screen starts to flip and, before you know it, you have to remember to move your right hand if you want to pop the green bubbles on the left si de of the screen. You really need to concentrate with this game.

Rocket Rumble: This one is probably the weakest of the games. You have to use your hands to shoot off fireworks. This one is about as interesting as the old After Dark fireworks screensaver that used to be popular years ago.

The neatest thing about the Eye Toy is that, like Dance Dance Revolution, it encourages people to move around instead of just sitting on their butts and using the controller. The first day I used the Eye Toy I made the mistake of playing it for 45 minutes straight until my arms grew totally sore and it stayed that way through the next day. If you're playing with the Eye Toy for the first time, I recommend that you play with it for no more than 10 or 15 minutes until yo ur arms get used to it because it is easy to hurt yourself otherwise.

The only downside is that a lot of people are camera-shy because they feel that they are too fat or too ugly. I found that when playing with the Eye Toy I tend to look at my hands much of the time because I have to know where to place them to slap a mouse or spin a plate. I hardly ever look at the rest of my body while I'm playing.

Sony has announced that in the near future it will release more games that will require the Eye Toy. I h ope Sony goes through with it because the Eye Toy does have a lot of potential and it is such a break from the numerous games that require you to sit on your butt for a long period of time in order to clear a certain level.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is based on one person's biased opinions of which videogames should be considered to be classics and why. It is not meant to provide a complete history of the videogame industry, the latest videogame news, technical support, or hints on how to play a certain videogame. None of the videogame manufacturers or programmers mentioned here have endorsed or supported this blog in any way, shape, or form.

NOTE: If there are any errors or updates to what I have written about this entry, please send an e-mail to [link=mailto:kstarkREMOVE-ALL-CAPS-IF-NOT-SPAM@erols.com]kstarkREMOVE-ALL-CAPS-IF-NOT-SPAM@erols.com[/link] (remember to remove the capital letters from my mailing address before sending or else it will get rejected) and I'll edit this piece when time permits.



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Thu Jul 22, 2004 4:44 am MST by online casinos tips

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