Microsoft unveiled its controller-free video game system Kinect on Sunday night in Los Angeles, un-officially kicking off the Electronic Entertainment Expo, one of the world's largest annual gaming conventions.
Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:James Martin/CNET
Arriving at the Galen Center on Sunday evening, thousands wound past limber performance artists who resembled indigenous jungle people from another planet, a mix of Avatar and India, who wildly beat drums and summoned attendees into the hall.
The jungle-like set was crawling with a dozens of Cirque du Soleil performers, who crowded around the rocky base as a young boy beat increasingly modern versions of video games, before reaching the top of the hill, where he encountered the controller-free, motion-based system Kinect.
The white smocks handed out to attendees were dormant for much of the performance and briefly flashed green at the initial introduction of Kinect. Later in the performance, the smock shoulders changed colors and displayed patterns based on their location.
The performance began with jungle sounds and rhythmic drumming, as a village deity summoned a boy from the couch hanging on the opposite end of the venue, with the jungle creatures delivering the boy and a glowing green orb to the base of the monolith.
In a performance that juxtaposed organic elements with technology, Cirque du Soleil dancers wildly climbed the rocky monolith and the center of the stage as dancers in cubes above mimicked the motions of Kinect gameplay.
The relationship of humans to machines was a theme throughout the night, with a booming voice declaring that "...this time human beings will be at the center, and the machine will be the one that adapts."