Much like Sesame Street, National Geographic’s giving kiddos a chance to learn (this time about the outdoors) while getting a little exercise. Want to learn about rock-digging bears? Dig through virtual rocks with a virtual bear suit on.
Using both voice recognition (yell “WOLF!” when there’s one onscreen) and motion (swipe at bear tracks to earn points), regular episodes of Nat Geo naturalism are supplemented with games, side factoids, and opportunities to get off the couch and jump around. Does it always make sense? No. But it means kids are watching interesting stuff about animals and not being passive couch boulders in the process. Between this and the action with Elmo, it’s clear Kinect’s pushing past pure games and mixing old school television with the arm-waving. Very neat stuff.