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World of Warcraft Goes Down the Loo

May 17th 2009 00:55
This is an article from the SMH a few weeks back on this amazing living environment for the gaming addict - no more poopsocking!! Further info came from the pod's website HERE

It's every game addict's dream and mum and dad's worst nightmare - a self-contained World of Warcraft pod that includes a computer, toilet and kitchen for the 24/7 gamer.

Created by boffins at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the contraption is described as "an immersive architectural solution for the advanced WoW (World of Warcraft) player that provides and anticipates all life needs".

World of Warcraft - or WoW as it is affectionately known by its millions of fans - is notoriously addictive.

The role playing game's long quests encourage players to slog it out for hours at a time, and when playing in groups, one player leaving for a toilet break can throw off the rhythm for everyone.

Enter the WoW pod, which is entirely self-contained and is designed to resemble a hut featured in the game. Inside, the throne doubles as a toilet, while next to the computer sits a cooking pot and automated stove top.

Within reach is water and pre-packaged food with names such as "Crunchy Spider Surprise" and "Beer Basted Ribs". All the player has to do is select a food item and a seasoning pack.

"By scanning in the food items, the video game physically adjusts a hot plate to cook the item for the correct amount of time," wrote one of the creators, MIT researcher Cati Vaucelle.

"The virtual character then jubilantly announces the status of the meal to both the gamer and the other individuals playing online: 'Vorcon's meal is about to be done!"'

The pod, which has a wooden frame and skin and fur inside, is so well integrated with the game that when the player resumes playing after eating, their character is affected by the food.

Ms Vaucelle, a self-confessed "hardcore gamer", developed the WoW Pod as part of her research into the design of "hybrid physical/digital objects for play, performance and psycho-physiotherapy.

There are no plans to commercialise the product as yet but Ms Vaucelle said the device had practical uses and was well received by hardcore WoW players.

"If you've got to wait every 10 minutes for someone to heat up their microwave dinner, the whole group falls apart," she said.

A commercial version of the pod would undoubtedly raise the ire of health experts and family groups, who have already sounded the alarm over the negative effects of what they term "video game addiction".

In 2005, a South Korean man died after playing Starcraft, similar to WoW, for 50 hours straight at an internet cafe with no sleep and few breaks.

Inside, the gamer finds him/herself comfortable seated in front of the computer screen with easy-to-reach water, pre-packaged food, and a toilet conveniently placed underneath his/her custom-built throne.

When hungry, the gamer selects a food item (‘Crunchy Spider Surprise’, ‘Beer Basted Ribs’, etc.) and a seasoning pack. By scanning in the food items, the video game physically adjusts a hot plate to cook the item for the correct amount of time. The virtual character then jubilantly announces the status of the meal to both the gamer and the other individuals playing online: “Vorcon’s meal is about to be done!” “Better eat the ribs while they’re hot!” etc.

When the food is ready, the system automatically puts the character in AFK (‘Away From Keyboard’) mode to provide the gamer a moment to eat. When the player resumes playing, he/she might just discover his/her character’s behavior is affected by the food consumed in real life — sluggish from overeating or alternately exuberant and energetic.

The exterior of the WoW Pod mimics the look of authentic WOW architectural structures, whose swaths of flat, pixellated surfaces digitally recreate the built environment of an imagined past. But upon crossing the threshold and entering into the WOW Pod’s interior, the player finds the digitized look actually becomes the real life experience that World of Warcraft simulates.
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4 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Wilson Pon

May 18th 2009 08:36
You know what, Jason. One of my students, Jaime had told me about this bizarre stuff. The even hilarious thing was he decided to build one for himself! lol

In this case, I told him, "Jaime, unless you want to be an "Orc" here, as this is totally unnecessary to build this crap!" He nodded his head (Maybe he was agreed of what I've said, or maybe not...)

Comment by Jason King

May 19th 2009 10:43
I would love to be an Orc Wilson!! Haha
But I would prefer to be a night elf druid and would LOVE this thing - I just need a place big enough - you could fit one in the corner of your kitchen!

Comment by Waysouth

May 27th 2009 20:20
Very cute, I like the pelt on the wall. However, if you can't afford this baby, you could also just take your laptop into the bathroom, isn't that what all civilized addicts do these days?

Comment by Jason King

May 27th 2009 20:31
But I don't have a laptop and it's very uncomfortable dragging in my monotor and PC.

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