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Submitted By: David Wessman
I envision a new gaming technology based on a convergence of miniaturization, robotics, VR interfaces, and wireless connectivity - what a mad game designer would do with networked super-advanced RC toys.
MyBots are mini-, micro- and nano-scale tele-operated robots that may be controlled through any gaming platform with wireless connectivity, (mobile devices, handheld game consoles, home consoles, laptops, desktops and wearable PCs.)
MyBots are designed and scaled to fit the needs of a wide variety of games – any game where the player controls one or more avatars or units.
The control interface is scalable to take advantage of whatever input devices the player can afford: from mouse and keyboard, gamepad, and touchscreen to VR glove and glasses to voice control and brain wave interfaces two or three generations more advanced than Emotiv.
Inspired by the 1997 novel Bug Park by James P. Hogan. The player controls an insect-sized “battlemech” style robot in combat against real insects. The player's perspective is first person from their MyBot's point of view. (Additional semi-autonomous camera bots may be deployed to afford other views.) The game world is the real world – wherever there are pest insects that need to be exterminated – your own backyard, the nearest farm or the town dump!
I imagine this having terrific appeal to anyone with a desire to hone their skills as a hunter/warrior, plus it has a real-world benefit of a pest control method that doesn't use the blunt force application of toxins or risky genetic tampering.
A variant of this concept uses dragonfly or even bat-sized UAVs to go after flying pests. As an old-school flight combat game designer, this one has special appeal to me!
Concept inspired by the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage. The player controls a micrometer-sized “submarine” style robot that is used to attack and destroy harmful bacteria, cancerous cells, etc. The game world is within the player's own body!
This one raises some scary ethics and liability issues but I think it's a very compelling idea. I imagine patients with certain terminal illnesses would be quite thrilled to be able to take such a direct and decisive role in curing themselves!
Any Existing Tabletop Miniatures Game
Whereas the previous two examples could be considered "serious games", this is firmly back inside the magic circle of frivolity and fun. Whether you're recreating the battles of ancient Rome, Napoleon, WWII, the War of the Ring or Warhammer 40K, the game comes to life in an amazing new way when the figures are fully animated and semi-autonomous!
The games needn't be restricted to being played on a table, though if that tabletop had something like Microsoft's Surface technology, that would be cool!