Video Game Teaches Perfect Pasta Making

Thu, 06/23/2011 - 06:25

Professors at the University of Bologna have found a hi-tech way to celebrate the region’s famous pasta. A professor of computer science has developed a video game that teaches users the complicated skills necessary to make the perfect tortellini.

Tortellini are small, stuffed pastas that normally require years of practice to master making.

Gamers watch a tortellini expert go through all the motions of pasta making and then do their best to imitate the movements. Tortellini X-perience uses 3-D models of the player’s hands, as well as gesture recognition software to critique their technique.

First, the dough must be kneaded correctly and rolled out to a perfectly even paper-thin thickness. Then players stuff, twist and seal the pasta.

Each step must be executed expertly in order for the player to progress to the next level.

Unfortunately, the computer scientists who invented the game have no plans to market it even though test subjects were extremely successful in learning the correct techniques to make authentic tortellini. But their dedication to pasta video games offers useful proof that difficult tasks can be learned by seeing and doing using a simple webcam rather than an in-person lesson.