Kinect games are good examples of the specific limbo that motion controlled games are in. Most of them fall into the casual party-game genre. They're sufficient to show the capabilities of the hardware, but never really push them to their limits nor ask the gamer to test them to their full potential. For a pre-Wii generation, this would be acceptable, but we've had a Wii for a few years now, where are our motion controlled Gears of War or non-Nintendo made Mario Galaxies? Where are the triple-A titles with motion controlled gestures.
Warren Spector the guy behind the upcoming Epic Mickey (Wii) and made famous by his PC game Deus Ex always asks 2 questions before he implements an idea into his game design. 1) Have gamers seen this before? And secondly, is this idea compelling on it's own? Does it add anything to what's already going on to be worth implementing. The Wii suffers from a ridiculous amount of shovel-ware because many of it's games can't answer those questions well.
Watching the Kinect hacked to play Mario made me think, yes, motion controls on their own are compelling. I do want to play Mario with my body, but I don't think physically making me jump in the air is necessarily the best way to make Mario jump. Couldn't smaller and simpler gestures be enough? I think the answer to the right amount of involvement from the player is somewhere between what we already do when we sit on the couch with a controller and what the gentleman does with his hacked Kinect playing Mario. We want to be physically involved, but we don't necessarily want to shuffle our body from left to right like a beach crab.
(Check out the video of Mario controlled on Kinect, here .)
People are designing games from the ground up with motion controls in mind already, so I do think we'll get there, but we gotta stop thinking of party games that demand incredible involvement in short bursts and traditional games with too little involvement.
My favorite experience with motion controllers and gaming would have to be Punch-Out (Wii) with the Wii Fit Balance Board. It was fun to physically shift my weight on the balance board to avoid being knocked out, but since the Wii hardware isn't perfect it eventually got too frustrating to keep up, but it's definitely worth trying out. What about you guys, what are your favorite motion controlled games?