For all the advancements brought on by technology in the last 70 years or so, the core experience of watching a TV show has largely remained unchanged. Sure, now we can stream shows on demand and watch in beautiful high-definition, but at the basic level we're still just sitting and passively absorbing content that doesn't respond to our actions at all. While video games have allowed us new and exciting ways to interact with our on-screen images, TV shows themselves haven't really learned how to integrate interactivity into their programming (and no, asking viewers to tweet during a new episode of Grey's Anatomy doesn't count).
Microsoft is now doing its part to drag TV into a more interactive future with two new Kinect-powered TV shows: Kinect Nat Geo TV: America the Wild and Kinect Sesame Street: Season 1. Each show (labeled on the box as a "2-way TV experience") comes in a two-disc set including eight episodes. Nat Geo TV even includes a one-year pass to download additional episodes from Xbox Live.
I'm a little too old to be in the target audience for these shows myself (Nat Geo TV is rated E-10+ while Sesame Street is rated EC by the ESRB), so I borrowed some neighborhood children—11-year-old Shane, 9-year-old Maya, and 6-year-old Nina—to see what they thought of Microsoft's entry into the brave new world of Interactive TV.