It’s an XBOX Kind of Christmas

I am not a big technology person and generally, I like things “old school.”

It took Christmas to change my mind.

Like many homes across America, we have a gaming system. My sons play it incessantly, so I never get a chance to even think about playing a game, even if I wanted to. That has all changed thanks to our newest family gift: the XBOX Kinect.

While Daniel loves to play any and all XBOX games, the Kinect games really get him involved. The system comes with a camera that scans the player so you are virtually playing the game. For instance, Daniel’s image was uploaded and he played an actual baseball game; swinging, pitching and even running the bases. Together, we’ve skied, played tennis and even darts. I have done more virtually this year than I have in real life! It’s an absolute blast!

Even my girls, Kayla and Shannon have gotten Kinect fever. We all played “Wipeout”, a simulated version of the television show, and it gave us a workout. There’s nothing like running an obstacle course in your family room for a little exercise, and hysterical laughter. Apparently, I am quite a sight running in place as my avatar “races” down the course, only to be beaten by a 9 year old. Again.

My favorite game, however, has to be the Michael Jackson Experience. Players are scanned full body and get to select from a variety of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits–and there are a lot of them. Each song has a choreographed dance routine that accompanies the song and the game participant is challenged to mimic the moves of the virtual dancers. There is nothing more surreal than seeing yourself on a massive stage with two backup dancers, and trying to emulate the King of Pop. I thought I knew the dance routine to “Thriller” but I throughly embarrassed myself with a 58% score. There go my dreams of dance stardom.

I was surprised that Daniel was so into the Michael Jackson game; I thought for sure he would be enamored with the sports games. It seems, however, that Daniel is quite the ham, and he is ready to show his moves to anyone who dares watch. The girls were both excited to play, but were much more hesitant to fully let go than Daniel. That’s one of the attributes about Daniel that I love the most; he just does not care what other people think about him. Surpringly, too, is that we were able to convince Ryan to strut his stuff, even if it was for just one song. His girlfriend, Brooke, proved her hip hop step classes were not wasted; she blew us all away. This particular game also gave me a renewed respect for Michael Jackson–that man could dance! Not only are the routines complicated, but there are so many of them to learn. The fact that MJ knew all the routines and made them seem effortless was quite the discernable task.

So although I am the last person I know without a GPS, IPAD, IPOD, or Smartphone, I am the proud owner of a Kinect system. While others may be able to navigate the world wide web from the palm of their hand, I now know all the moves to “The Way You Make Me Feel”. ( HEE HEE, YOW) It’s been fun spending so much time with my kids and maybe I’ll lose some weight, as a bonus. A Merry XBOX-mas, indeed!

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