This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Anonymous 13 years, 2 months ago.
April 6, 2006 at 1:17 am #5213
I was thinking, Brain Age showed that the DS could appeal to a new market, beyond that of standard gamers by giving them a challange in something the player believed they could use outside of the game. So I thought, what else could you make for the DS that would take advantage of this in the same way. The answer came to me quite simply, facial recognition.
Let’s face it, many of us have great difficulty remembering faces and names. Parties, gatherings, chance meetings… sometimes you can’t picture their faces, sometimes they just look farmiliar but you can’t place them, othertimes you don’t recognise them at all and get embarassed when you “introduce” yourself. This rings true for many people in various and so there is a huge market for people wanting to improve this vital social skill.
But how do they improve it? Most just accept the problem, others try to make the effort when the ocasion arises and try to improve, but isn’t there a far more ingenious and logical solution that is staring us all in the face (pardon the pun)? Simply, we make a facial recognition game.
It makes perfect sense, just like Brain Age can help improve our minds ability, this facial recognition game will help us improve our ability to recognise and memorise faces. As with nearly all video games, we put in time, we have fun, we practice contstantly and improve our skill, only in this case, the skills we learn have real world value.
There could be numerous challanges and techniques used to help train us remember the faces. Maybe we’re shown one face and expected to pick out that face from a list of others that show faces in different angles, maybe we have to trace out someones face so we learn more about facial characterisitcs. Maybe we are only shown part of a face and are expected to pick the face it belongs to. Maybe we go for a good old “memory” puzzle only with faces. Maybe we’re quickly shown a face and then expected to draw part of it out. Maybe we are shown a face and have to list out that persons characterisitcs as accuratly as possible.
It would help if we had some research into how facial recognition works to help develop the sort of games and implementations would help it, but generally, the idea is that all the games (in one package) would train people pick up on facial characterstics and faces, would help them remember them, and then recognise that face again or just describe it. By playing the games repeatedly trying to do better, the player will become more skilled, gaining a bigger score and encouring them to try again to do better. Like any good game, having fun and improving work with eachother to produce a satisfying experience. However, while they are immersed in these games, all the while, they are actually getting better at a vital life skill and reducing the potential embarasment at their next social gathering. A great mix of doing something both fun and useful.
The idea makes sense, there are definitly people interested, and the market is massive, the implementation shouldn’t be hugely difficult, so why isn’t this game being made?
April 6, 2006 at 8:31 am #30715
A nice idea, though simply as a face recognition/memory tool, there might not be enough content to justify a full price release. Not sure it would really apply to the 15-17 demographic either, so not sure about DS being the platform of choice – it seems more like a pc or console game, where you have the power to draw complex scenes in realistic social environments – nightclubs, parties etc.
It could be part of a series of games for common social insecurities – an eye toy/microphone game for speaking in public would be another example.
April 7, 2006 at 1:21 am #30751
Skyclad, I think you’re missing my Brain Age comparsion ( For more info, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_Age:_Train_Your_Brain_in_Minutes_a_Day )
Brain Age wasn’t aimed at the traditional gaming market, it was targeted at people of all ages, but primarily people who wanted to keep their minds active and alert, be they gamers or not. The result was something that a lot of retailers initially met with concern and skeptisizm, but something that when people tried it out, became quickly popular, expanded the DS Lite’s demographic beyond the standard gaming market, and sold over 1.7 million copies.
Now, whether or not we could copy that exact success is unsure, but the pattern is there. Take something that a lot of people would like to improve upon, research ways their skill at this could be improved via a game or multiple games, implement this in a product at relatively low development cost, sell it, and with a bit of marketing have people of all ages see something that’s new, innovative and hugely useful, and hence expand the market of the gaming device, not to mention its sales.
Your missing the key question here: If there was a fun and easy way anyone could get better at a key life skill, like remembering faces, just by playing a device for a few minuites or more every so often, would they buy it? For me, the answer is a definite yes, and I’m sure that there are others. Business people alone, who have great importance attached to networking and can spend hundreds of euros on smartphones, are a huge market.
There is clearly a great potential for this title. It dosn’t have to be complex, I was thinking along the lines of games that utilise a large catalogue of photographs of faces (may be tricky to obtain, but there are always ways) for the player to concentrate on; and it dosn’t have to deal with the whole coverall of social insecurities and environments or any of that stuff, just laser focus in on the most important aspect of helping someone develop the part of their brain that notices, memorises and recognises face, through whatever games and interaction that you can make.
I have an aunt who usn’t be the best at remembering faces, however at one stage she had this job of giving full, verbal descriptions of people who were arriving at an airport. After a year of this constantly focusing on people’s faces and mentally isolating details, she now rarely every forgets a face. If this real life example shows how constant practice and concentration can improve your skill at something like this, there’s bound to be video game equivelents that can do the same thing, possibly even better and using new and advanced methodologies.
It’s simple, it’s there, it’s clear, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t work. So let’s just at least consider it.
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