Of the many wonderful uses of games, teaching people how to make pasta was not on our radar as a high priority need. Nonetheless, for researchers at the University of Bologna, the highly dextrous task rolling tortellini was a must.
“We chose tortellini for two reasons,” explained professor of computer science, Marco Roccetti, who invented the software together with his undergraduate students.
“The first reason was that we wanted to find a new way of preserving the culinary, cultural heritage of our home town, and the second was that making tortellini is a hard task.
“So designing and architecting a game based on that was a hard task from a technical viewpoint too.”
Tortellino X-perience is a multimedia teaching game combining a traditional video with a 3D representation of the player’s hands.
Players watch a real pasta maker demonstrate each step of the complicated tortellini-making process in the video.
Then they have to simulate her actions; from making, kneading and rolling out the dough to cutting, stuffing, sealing and twisting it into tortellini.
Their movements are tracked by gesture recognition software using a webcam, so they can see them shown in real time on the screen through stop-motion video.