Tag Archives: Sesame Street

Game Review: Kinect Sesame Street TV

SesameStreetKinectTV
My daughter is just starting to get into more advanced video games. She is a few months beyond two-years. Up until now she mostly played around with smart phone and tablet games aimed at toddlers, like interactive books or musical games.

She finally seems to get how to use the Microsoft Xbox’s Kinect now. Besides a few games she has interacted with mostly on accident, there was nothing designed with her in mind.

Then, along with Sesame Street, Microsoft released what they called an “interactive TV show,” Kinect Sesame Street TV. There are 8 shows per season, and Season 1 is out now. The shows play almost exactly like a normal episode of Sesame Street except that there are interactive moments throughout the show. These aren’t just quick interactive gimmicks either.

Each episode is sort of hosted by a new monster named Cooper. He has a friend named “Mirror” that really is a mirror, but with the Kinect it actually shows the person who is playing. Cooper interacts with the player in multiple ways, like the way he changes into a matching shirt (at least by color.)

In one episode, my daughter got to play catch with Elmo and in another she got to help Grover shake some items out of a tree.

There are also your standard Sesame Street skits in the middle of the episode dealing with the episode’s theme. The interactive part in this is to point out the special item of the day and try to find them all. My daughter usually got bored during these parts, but she already does that with normal Sesame Street due to her two-year-old attention span.

I think almost any child that understand the interactivity of the Kinect would enjoy these TV shows. Though, the older kids would probably get more out of it.

The volumes are $29.99 and you can buy them at your local game store or online at the Microsoft Store or Amazon. If you have older kids, Microsoft also has an interactive season of National Geographic episodes. Eight more episodes of Sesame Street in Season 2 were released on January 7th, 2013.

2011 KidVid Tournament: Ella Jenkins Regional

I hope you did your duty and participated in the first round of voting yesterday — Out with the Kids embedded those videos all nice and pretty for you, and if we don’t exercise our voting rights, that just invites unscrupulous people to come and take advantage of the process. How do you think Raffi won all those Grammys? (Note: I don’t know if Raffi has actually won any Grammys. But he seems shifty.)

Anyway, today we’ve moved on to the Ella Jenkins Regional, and four more videos fighting to make it to the next round. Let’s watch, and then head over to Ages 3 and Up to vote!

#1 Seed: John Upchurch and Mark Greenberg, “A Counting Error”
I don’t know how I’ve missed hearing this song until now, but it’s great — and my kids, who both giggled for about 45 seconds straight when it started playing, agree. The clip is charmingly lo-fi in a pleasantly retro way — in fact, the numbers/letters segments remind me of something I might have seen on Sesame Street during my long-ago youth. If I didn’t live in the middle of the woods where there’s no cellphone reception, I’d make “A Counting Error” my ringtone. Bravo.

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Dadnabbit Interview: Morgan Taylor, a.k.a. Gustafer Yellowgold

There’s never any shortage of cartoon characters in family entertainment, but few of them possess the unusual, undeniable appeal of Gustafer Yellowgold, the friendly, bug-eyed alien from the sun who arrived on Earth five years ago and has quickly achieved kindie rock star status. With his latest adventure, Gustafer Yellowgold’s Infinity Sock, coming out on March 1, we decided now would be the perfect time for a chat with his creator: musician and illustrator Morgan Taylor.

So let’s talk about Infinity Sock.

Yeah! What’s going on with it? (Laughs)

One thing I’ve always enjoyed about the Gustafer records is that they’re not only mellow — as you often point out — but that they’re also gentle, which makes a big difference, I think. And I also appreciate the fact that they don’t pander musically, either to kids or to parents.

I don’t — yeah, I don’t think that does any good, to pander. It’s not in my nature — I’m not even thinking about whether I’m doing it or not. Maybe I sensed that kind of thing in music as a kid, so I try and avoid it now.

I know you’ve said that you spent a lot of time listening to AM radio when you were a kid, and that influence is pretty apparent in your work. But do you remember listening to any music geared specifically to kids?

Yeah, I actually did, and the older my son gets, the more my memories of it resurface. I had a lot of the old book-and-record combos from Disney, like Br’er Rabbit and Snow White, and Alvin and the Chipmunks. And the music from Sesame Street and The Electric Company, of course. There was a lot of great music on those shows. Continue reading