The Null Device

The talking cat game

A number of video game designers were posed the question of how to design games for grandmothers. Here is Keita Takahashi (of Katamari Damacy fame)'s answer:
He introduced his presentation, "I thought really hard about this one, I haven't thought this hard since I was coming up with the idea for Katamari Damacy. I decided that I wanted to get old ladies playing games and bring a little of the sunshine that they end up losing when they stay indoors all the time back into their lives." The focus of his talk began with the controller, he explained that current hardware designs are inorganic and difficult to understand. He introduced the design of his new controller specifically tailored for the Granny, and a picture of a cat appeared on the screen to great amusement. He explained, "the shape of the cat and the heat waves that it gives out really gets the old ladies going as they get quite cold. They like the cat shape. The cat is designed to be rested on the old ladies knees." The cat controller was met with rapture from the audience as Takahashi went on to explain the gameplay concept.
The game would begin with the family suggesting to Granny that she wear the cat because, for example, her knees looked cold. Embedded in the cat is the capability for it to communicate wirelessly with other cat controllers (on other Grannies' knees) in the neighborhood. When the cat connects to another one, "..the onboard a.i. kicks in." This causes the cat to speak, paraphrased as "meow, meow, grandma, meow". Takahashi explains that the family are required to participate in the game by pretending that they haven't heard anything, because of this--Grandma begins to build the perception that she is able to communicate directly with the cat.
As the dialogue with the cat develops, it suggests that Granny make some soup -- but faster than the other granny down the street who has also received the instruction. A competitive element emerges and gradually the cat suggests more and more group activities that Grandma might engage in, culminating in trips to the park. "..So they all go outside and eventually they meet other old ladies with cats and they all become friends."
Takahashi then said that he would put the cat proposal to Namco/Bandai.

There are 1 comments on "The talking cat game":

Posted by: Anong Kao http:// Sun Sep 11 16:40:11 2005

Wonderful ! Envison it !

1. Granny Hears the cat speak only to her, gets convinced she has gone dotty, implying that as soon as the family notices it's off to the Resting Home for her - and has a stroke. Or, considering Japanese grannies, just dresses up and serves everyone poisoned kool-aid (No! I am *not* Tim Burton ! :> )

2. Grannie rushes to comply, forgets what she's doing (or fumbles) somewhere along the way and burns the house down.

2.5 Variation on 2 : Haste cuses her to slips on the ladders or in the shower.

3. The surviving grannies rush to the designated meeting. Several get lost. Many Don't remember the way home. Others get run over in their haste to make it on time.

Corollary : a) Masses of guilty families and poignan neurosis' for the young ones. b) A generation caracterized by a profound distrust, dislike, or abhorrence of cats.

Conclusion : That girl has deep issues with grannie.

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