Leading With My Face

While introducing my Processing class to the OpenCV library for (among other things) face detection I joked about how they could now make “FacePong” if they wanted to. And then the weekend came and here I am making FacePong myself.

Currently, I have it working shakily in two player mode such that the vertical location of your face (as the laptop camera sees it) determines where your paddle is. So you move your face up and down to control Pong paddles and bounce the ball back and forth. As you might expect.

For one thing, how amazing is that? It’s a brave new world we live in where in an hour or so you can have written a bunch of (admittedly technical) words into a text editor on your computer and then, at the press of a button, find yourself controlling pong paddles with your face. That really is quite remarkable. It’s also another example of how satisfying it can be to lead with the technology and worry about any kind of artistic/design merits later on – they’re often revealed as your progress through the coding of the basic idea, anyway.

It remains to be seen where to take this, but because Rilla happened to talk about an upcoming book about “games and love”, we thought it’d be fun to turn this FacePong game into something about love. And thus the design aspect comes in and I find myself pondering how FacePong can be about love. The ideas flow past and I try to pick out the ones that seem best.

5 March 2011
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