KINECT2SCRATCH

Interactive game installation, 2012

Stephen Howell [IE]

Kinect2Scratch allows data from a Microsoft Kinect controller be sent to Scratch, an intuitive programming language for young coders developed by the MIT Media Laboratory. Kinect2Scratch was developed in Ireland by Stephen Howell, is free, and with thousands of downloads, is now used in schools, colleges and universities all over the world. For GAME, Kinect2Scratch developer Stephen Howell worked with a group of young adults from Bridge21 to develop their own kinetic games. These games are similar to games played with a traditional video game controller, except that the player’s body is the controller. The Microsoft Kinect is a depth camera that can sense where objects are in a room by analysing infrared patterns it emits and receives as the light bounces around the room. Kinect2Scratch was developed using the Microsoft Kinect SDK v1.5 and can track two people simultaneously, meaning Scratch coders can write two-player Kinect games without having to know any complex programming languages such as C++ or C#. It runs on Windows 7 and Windows 8 and can use both Kinect for Xbox and Kinect for Windows equipment. Bridge21 participants include mentors Kevin Sullivan and Clare McHugh and students Daniel Devoy, Alex Hillerby, James Hynes, Cameron Hazell, Jonathan Noble, Alannah Mullins, Eva Balfe, Luke Dowdall, Niamh Ellis, Heather McLoughlin, Keith Kenny, Stephen Quinn, Kate Maloney and Luke Foley. Bridge21 is a joint venture of Trinity College Dublin and Suas Educational Development. They have a number of programmes that offer new models of learning and can be adapted for use in Irish secondary schools.

KINECT2SCRATCH

"“With Kinect2Scratch, a programmer can create a Space Invaders game that responds to a player throwing their hands in the air to launch a missile rather than simply pressing a button. This makes gameplay more interactive, as the player must equate a physical action to a game action. This goes beyond the traditional control schemes, which tend to be simply pressing a button or pulling a trigger. To create these games, the workshop took students through the process of creating a game in Scratch, adding kinetic controls and finally adding two player capabilities.”"

—Stephen Howell [IE]