The head of Irrational Games understands how motion control should be properly implemented into gaming.
The popularity of the Wii set motion control off as the videogame industry’s newest fad. All of a sudden, certain games that we had been happily controlling with a gamepad were now being controlled with a wave, nod, and a wink. Irrational Games co-founder Ken Levine isn’t a fan of dropping motion control into games in this manner.
Levine dropped a bombshell on BioShock fans when he revealed at Sony’s E3 2011 press conference that Irrational was exploring the addition of PlayStation Move support to the PS3 version of BioShock Infinite. However, in an interview with OXM, Levine revealed his understanding that motion control shouldn’t be forced on anyone.
“Any experience that sits in the realm of motion play needs to be kept separate from the main experience,” Levine said. “It needs to be firewalled off so that if this experiment isn’t for you, or doesn’t turn out to be all that great, you just ignore it.”
He talked about “protecting the experience” that gamers are used to, but added that developers shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. “Do an experiment, fine,” Levine continued. “We’re in the experimental stage, and people shouldn’t be afraid of experimenting as long as we can firewall off and protect what we know works. If we don’t experiment, we don’t progress.”
Maybe the BioShock Infinite motion control experiment will work out, and maybe it won’t, but it’s pretty safe to say that we’ll never be required to stand up and do a backflip to play a BioShock title. Sony and Microsoft are pushing Move and Kinect hard, but hopefully the two companies will listen to Levine’s advice and realize that motion control isn’t going to replace the controller anytime soon.