Remember how exciting last year’s Natal announcement was? In the interest of tempering those expectations just a little, here’s a video of Parade magazine writer A.J. Jacobs and his family getting some hands-on time with Project Natal:

And you thought plastic guitars made people look dumb.

While the video isn’t short on goofy mirth, the demo also highlights an unfortunate dark side to the new controller-free gaming interface:

I was really working it, leaning my body and windmilling my arms. Unfortunately, Zane, 3, wandered a bit too close to me, and, well, I inadvertently smacked him in the face. He started crying.

In fairness, the Jacobs’ did look like they were having fun, and are playing demos that the general public might never see. Casual river rafting and balloon popper games are probably great Natal experiences for kids, and might woo more than a few families away from the Wii.

It sounds like Jacobs accidentally calls his son “Thane” at 0:09, which means he was probably in Microsoft’s pocket to begin with. Expect to hear lots more about Project Natal (or Wave, or Flail, or whatever Microsoft ends up calling their toddler-buster) at this month’s E3.