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Real-Life Punch Out

Real-Life Punch Out: How to Do it

As time goes by, technology improves so drastically. Innovators create new ways to play games every day. With vast improvements to virtual reality and AI technology, players can experience games in a crazy amount of ways. Ian Charnas is one of those innovators. Ian Charnas developed a new way to play the 1984 Nintendo Entertainment System classic Punch-Out. You can play it here. We will give you step-by-step instructions on how to do so.


You will first need a desktop or laptop computer and any webcam. Visit and click play. The left side of the screen will show the game. The right side is where your camera will appear. Start the camera, and turn on all of the lights you have so the AI that tracks the motion can work more effectively. 

Position yourself so that your hips and head are in the camera. If you are too close or too far, it will not work. If you raise your hands above your head, your hands should still be visible. Doing this will also configure the AI. The AI will then take measurements to track your moves.

Practice your moves and hand positioning. After performing a move, bring your hands back to the neutral position. The AI will register that it is complete. 

How To Play Real-Life Punch-Out

Hooks are performed by punching up in the air. Once your wrist goes above your head, the AI will register it as a hook. 

Punching forward is performed by punching to the side. This is because of the lack of depth perception from webcams.

Dodging is performed by twisting your hips to face sideways. Keep your hands in the neutral position, so the game won’t think you are attempting to perform a punch. 

Blocking is very simple. It is performed by putting both of your wrists in front of your face. If you get punched while blocking, you have to drop your hands to the neutral position, then block again. You lose health when while blocking, so dodging may be the better option.

In Punch-Out, sometimes you gain stars for landing on your opponent. On the NES, pressing start performs the star punch. In Real-Life Punch-Out, this is performed by doing an uppercut. You do this by dropping your hand to your hips. You complete the motion by putting your hands in front of your chest. It will also act as the start button.

What is Punch-Out

If you are new to Punch-Out, the object of the game is to defeat your opponent. The stamina bar drops when you perform a move that is blocked. Do not waste your energy by punching wildly. Dodge, then counter. Hooks go to the face while forward punches go to the body. You can predict your opponent’s moves by them changing colors or a sound they make.

To go full screen, hit the fullscreen button on the game side or by stretching your arms out. Pause the game by hitting the pause button on the game side. If the game detects you have been inactive for 15 minutes, the license will time out. 

If you donate to Ian Charnas’ Patreon, he can give you an exclusive code to play it. 

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