May 31, 2013 at 4:01 PM ET
Xbox 360 players can already order a pizza with nothing more than a wave of their hands, thanks to Microsoft's Kinect motion controller. But now that we've reached the pinnacle of current-generation pizza delivery technology, where else can we possibly go?
If Two Bit Circus has its way, soon the Kinect will truly be able to take gamers to the final frontier. The traveling circus, which describes its work as "completely reimagining amusement with things like lasers, robots, and electricity" on its "Steam Carnival" project Kickstarter page, has created a live-action version of the classic 1979 Atari video game "Asteroids."
"Using computer vision, a laser projector, and custom software Two Bit Circus has transformed the classic game Asteroids into a high-tech physical challenge!" the carnival said of its game in a video that shows no less a game industry icon than Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell toying with the latest version of his creation.
"Joysticks? Buttons? Little screens? No way," Two Bit Circus continued. "In this version of Asteroids, you ARE the ship. Roll around on your chair inside the 150 [square foot] 'field of play,' and try to destroy the asteroids before they destroy you!"
The whole thing is powered by Microsoft's Kinect device, which is placed high above the player to monitor the entire "field of play." Equipped only with a smartphone and a rolling chair, the player mimics the frenetic motions of the original "Asteroids" ship, which is still displayed in all its triangular glory at the player's feet.
As the description implies, this isn't a futuristic version of a holodeck like the one NASA unveiled at this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC). But, really, isn't getting to see Nolan Bushnell roll around in a chair while zapping projected images of the titular asteroids the next best thing?
"Asteroids is fundamentally a great game," Bushnell said in the video. "And to be actually the ship is really wonderful, because when you play a game, very often you transport your mind into the vessel your running in some kind of an abstract way. This way it was real, and that makes it even more fun."
He did have one problem with the way that "Human Asteroids" carried over the legacy from the original game, however.
"Of course, I think that the stool should blow up when you get hit," Bushnell said before bursting out laughing.
The Two Bit Circus "Steam Carnival" Kickstarter project has a little more than two days left to gather the roughly $1,100 it still needs to complete its $100,000 goal. Watch the full "Human Asteroids" video below.
Yannick LeJacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered technology and games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq and reach him by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.