Spore may not have been the next big leap in the gaming's evolution, but you can't fault Will Wright's ambition. The man never simply settles for what works. Some people dream big. Wright dreams larger-than-life. That said, his next game – titled HiveMind – isn't turning you into the omnipotent (if a teensy bit clumsy with natural-disaster-based apocalypses) ruler of a little community, big city, or entire galaxy. This time, the god of god games has his sights set on the real world.
No, no, not The Real World – thank all that is good and right. Rather, Wright describes Hivemind as “personal gaming.” It really is, he says, all about you.
“Rather than craft a game like FarmVille for players to learn and play, we learn about you and your routines and incorporate that into a form of game play,” Wright told VentureBeat . “If we can learn enough about the player, we can create games about their real life. How do we get you more engaged in reality rather than distract you from it?”
“It could take into account what time of day it is, where you are, how much money is in your pocket. Imagine if you could open Google Maps and it shows you things that are interesting to you on the map. This has to do with where gaming is going. We had our eras in console gaming and social gaming. A lot of this personal gaming will happen on mobile devices. The question here is how can we learn enough about the player to create games about his or her real life.”
It may sound invasive, but Wright isn't the creepy old man next door studying your every action because what is wrong with some people ? Instead, he takes his inspiration from the fact that people are so willing to solve problems on the Internet. Just look at alternate reality games, Wikipedia, or even a simple gaming forum. The aim, then, is for the community to gather around the individual in his/her hour of need.
...Somehow. He's still being pretty vague about it, honestly. If you ask us, the whole thing gives off a Gamification-meets-Skynet vibe, which sounds like the best idea for a schlocky sci-fi novel ever. “Now the videogames... are playing you.” And it could be called Grand Theft Life . Yeah, OK, it's settled. We're trademarking this.