The Google Assistant wants to play games with you
It’s not just the kids on South Park that are fascinated with the endless possibilities of playing with personal assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Virtually every kid over three has now surely figured out how to get Alexa, Siri or the Google Assistant to do its bidding (or at least play the Moana soundtrack). Now, the Google Assistant officially wants to be their playtime companion, too.
As Google announced today, the company is bringing more than 50 new games and activities for families to the Google Home and the Google Assistant on phones. Using Family Link, parents can even give their children under 13 the ability to launch these games themselves.
What games are we talking about? Think musical chairs, trivia games and freeze dance, but also Mickey Mouse Adventure, storytelling services (“OK Google, tell me a story”) and new tools for helping kids with their homework.
When Google first showed the below clip at its hardware event earlier this month, the whole thing felt a bit dystopian. As our own Darrell Etherington commented at the time, “this really sets up a dystopian future where Google Home is a kind of weird virtual au pair and homeschool tutor.”
In today’s announcement, Google specifically focuses on how this feature is about kids and parents playing together. I still think that’s kind of weird, but others tell me that this is cute and good marketing for the Google Assistant, so it’s probably just me.