Coming to terms with being human.


Wiping an Avatar's bum, and other Joys

Clive Thompson posted an interesting article on Wired concerning the human need to be needed. Using Nintendogs as a starting point, Thompson examines the state of robots in our society. Robots are everywhere now, but the truly popular ones aren't shining our shoes and mowing our lawns: they're virtually defecating and starving. As Thompson says, "maybe sci-fi doomsayers have got it all wrong. Artificial intelligence won't be dominating us with its superhuman cognition and bloodless logic. It'll be peeing itself and demanding to be taken for a walk."

I wonder how this aspect of our nature can be incorporated into gaming? An aspect of our desire to preen avatars already exists in the daily drugery of building up a character's stats. Perhaps allowing certain features to degrade from disuse would further draw in the users? I wouldn't advocate stat changes, that would just piss people of. More cosmetic changes may be fun. Stop playing World of Warcraft for a week and your warrior could appear thin, with dulled armor. Actually, this could work for anything. What if ATMs had built in avatars that respond to your banking management. Mr. Fluffy is so sad that you haven't made a Bank of America withdrawal lately. Suckers would likely make extra withdrawals just to feel approved of.


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