If Twitter has made everyone a minor pundit, Xbox Live’s new Avatar Kinect proposes to make everyone — or at lease everyone with an Xbox — into an amateur talk show host, presiding over low-res roundtables like so many virtual Bill Mahers. This could mean a variety of things, from too many diehards holding “Halo” court, comparing and contrasting their co-op kill sprees, to an overabundance of cross-platform panel discussions about “American Idol” minutia. As the product’s much-heralded announcement is less than a day old, we can only wait and see.
In the meantime, allow me to be among the first to list an admittedly trivial complaint — or maybe this is more of a suggestion for the future. The limited facial recognition seems fine, the possibility of broadcasting your chats to Facebook is promising, but it’s the backgrounds that bother me. According to the above video posted by Destructoid.com, Avatar Kinect “includes over 15 creative sets” for your big broadcast.
That’s fine if you want to host a show during a tailgate, or in monochromatic pencil-sketch village, or on what looks like Pandora. But it would be great to have some option to customize your chat’s location. The more details users can take ownership of, the more engaged they will be. (And also, I fantasize about holding fierce debates over “Top Chef Masters” on the couch in my living room — just like in the real world.)