Kick Ass Kung-Fu is an immersive game installation that transforms computer gaming into a visual, physical performance like dance or sports. You can fight and defy gravity like kung-fu movie actors - only there's no wires or post-production needed, thanks to the real-time embodied interaction and virtual set technology.
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As an idea it simply is amazing but as far as implementation goes it has some way to go, the game takes place on a 5 meter cushioned playfield suitable for martial arts and acrobatics training. Using custom computer vision technology, you are taken inside an artificial reality where the normal laws of physics no longer apply. Your movements are exaggerated so that you can easily dodge your opponent's bullets by jumping five meters in the air and landing behind his back. Using the dual projected screens, one at each end of the playfield, you can also continue by counter-attacking your stupefied enemy from the behind.
Kick Ass Kung-Fu is a herald of a new era of computer games as spectator sports, a new rise of the arcade after the past years of yielding to home entertainment. The installation has been exhibited in Kiasma Theatre in Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland. It has also been used in a television show where Finnish celebrities competed in the game.
Some of the features of the installation include:
- Control the game with your own movements - actually, it's your own figure in the play!
- Total freedom to move, jump and kick - no wires needed!
- Perform film style gigantic leaps - you are not constrained by real world physics!
- Computer vision technology analyzes the power of impacts and damage. The technology works with any number of simultaneous players and with weapons such as swords and nunchakus.
- Use your voice and special poses for devastating chi-energy attacks.