Will Wright Gets Personal With Hivemind

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Will Wright Gets Personal With Hivemind

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Sims creator Will Wright is working on a new idea called Hivemind that aims to turn invasion of privacy into a brand new kind of game.

What if, instead of you learning how to play a game, a game learned how to play you by customizing itself to fit your personal tastes, interests and experiences? That sounds like what Wright has in mind with an idea he calls "personal gaming," in which games tailor themselves to individuals in order to make their real lives more interesting.

"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. Among the many things the game could learn about you and work into itself are your location, the locations of your friends and how much money you've got kicking around.

And if that strikes you as just a wee bit creepy, well, Wright doesn't think that's a problem. Young people are more open to the idea of sharing personal information than older generations, he explained, and if you "entice" them with the promise of entertainment, they'll happily hand it over.

The goals seem pretty vague at this point but Wright said that once Hivemind has harvested enough data on a player, it can begin to make meaningful suggestions for entertainment options. "It blurs entertainment, lifestyle and personal tools. With that data, the world and the opportunities for entertainment become more visible to you," he said. "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 also work as a sort of matchmaking service, he continued, putting together people with similar interests and also opening up opportunities to crowdsource real-life problems. Players could send messages to friends asking them for help with a specific task, or provide assistance to friends who make requests of their own.

Hivemind is also the name of the new startup Wright created to develop the project, which will operate alongside his other company, Stupid Fun Club. Stupid Fun Club is more of a think-tank, he said, while Hivemind is intended to be an operational game company; the two will function independently, although ideas created at Stupid Fun Club could end up being incorporated into Hivemind. He also hopes that the announcement will attract interest from other developers and help build it into a big, talent-heavy operation. "We want to do this in a very big way," he said.

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This sounds amazingly awesome and terrifying at the same time. Bravo, Mr Wright, bravo.

Andy Chalk:
The goals seem pretty vague at this point but Wright said that once Hivemind has harvested enough data on a player, it can begin to make meaningful suggestions for entertainment options. "It blurs entertainment, lifestyle and personal tools. With that data, the world and the opportunities for entertainment become more visible to you," he said. "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?"

Unfortunately no one can be told what the Hivemind is. You have to see it for yourself

So now he's Will Wright of Borg? Soon, the assimilation of all mankind shall begin.

In all seriousness though, I'd be interested in a game that would have a Pandora.com-like habit of learning my tastes and returning a gameplay experience to match that. I'd find it eerie at first but then I'd appreciate the attempt to stay fresh.

Then again, it might also have the Pandora.com-like habit of throwing suggestions my way that end up corrupting my gameplay experience and making it difficult for me to get it back to the experience I originally requested.

Wow, I didn't know the Sims guy was this much of a dick. Not only does he brazenly admit to this project being one big creepy spyware tool, but the smug cunt also doesn't care in the slightest about any concerns potentially being raised because Bookface taught him that young people are likely to buy his product anyway.
And as for the 'crowdsourcing problems' thing, we have a means for that already - it's called an online forum.

Ah, I thought this was an actual game. Sounds more like a Google ad to me.

As much as I'd like to say this sounds interesting, I can no longer in good conscience become enthused with anything this man does. Not since the Spore travesty.

Its a personal rule of mine to never trust anything that uses the word "hive"-the Borg, Tyranids, bees, you name it.

DVS BSTrD:

Andy Chalk:
The goals seem pretty vague at this point but Wright said that once Hivemind has harvested enough data on a player, it can begin to make meaningful suggestions for entertainment options. "It blurs entertainment, lifestyle and personal tools. With that data, the world and the opportunities for entertainment become more visible to you," he said. "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?"

Unfortunately no one can be told what the Hivemind is. You have to see it for yourself

Haha this is what I thought as well.

It always starts out as something simple, but soon, why would you want to deal with real life when The Hivemind awaits?! Its more real and better than the real world!!

Plus, you gotta love how it already has an evil name with how absolutely terrifying and awesome it is.

Young people are also more receptive to candy and the enticing promise of entertainment. Why does Will Wright come off as a creepy child molestor?

And they called it Hivemind?. That's going to win people over.

Yeah, it sounds like the introduction of a pod people program in which the machine eventually stalks enough information to kill and replace you without anybody suspecting a thing.

Will we have to spawn more overlords?
This has got to be the weirdest and yet most awesome thing I've heard recently.

That is nice and all but I'm still waiting on a true Sim City 5.

Uh Oh. I think Will Wright's showing the beginning signs of Peter Molyneux syndrome.

That's not too creepy, trust me.
I just got back from the alternate universe where Will Wright is a supervillain. Now that's scary.

We should be glad that our Will Wright is virtuous and always willing to entertain...and not so interested in weather dominators and monkey soldiers.

"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?"

Ah lovely. So you're doing your normal routine when all of a sudden your phone pops up with the message:

Hivemind Choice:
$5 - See what your girlfriend is doing right now.
$10 - Not warn your best friend that we've shown you.

Bonus: Gain 200 points if you stay away from home for 30 minutes.

"Young people are more open to the idea of sharing personal information than older generations, he explained". Fuck no. I'm fifteen, and ever since I read about the shit Google pulls, I'm the most paranoid person I know.

I love the idea, but its either to soon, or not gonna happen.

Why not start-out singleplayer :D

So long as the information extracted from you is processed locally and deleted once it's value has been evaluated I see no privacy concerns.

But if everything is copied up to a server for a potential data mining operation I see major issues with this.

Regardless, it sounds like an idea I had a few years back, I just never thought of an intelligent way of implementing it.

Sounds awesome, kinda like how Spore sounded awesome and looked awesome... We all know how that turned out.

Loop Stricken:
As much as I'd like to say this sounds interesting, I can no longer in good conscience become enthused with anything this man does. Not since the Spore travesty.

Oh... Apparently I was ninja'd a looong time ago. Did not see this comment. ^^

um well this is an interesting idea.. so it tracks all the things i like, all my friends and family, pretty much all i do and it offers suggestions for entertainment.. it wouldnt happen to be entertainment products that companies have paid to have access to all your data would it? crap i can already see ad companies and marketing divisions wetting themselves at the thought of getting that much not only access but spoonfed products to consumers

This sounds exactly like something that Peter Molydeux would post on his twitter account.

GonzoGamer:
That's not too creepy, trust me.
I just got back from the alternate universe where Will Wright is a supervillain. Now that's scary.

We should be glad that our Will Wright is virtuous and always willing to entertain...and not so interested in weather dominators and monkey soldiers.

You fool! It's a front! A trick! A mind control device disguised as a game! Weather Dominators and Monkey Soldiers?! This game is merely the starting point!

Sonicron:
Wow, I didn't know the Sims guy was this much of a dick. Not only does he brazenly admit to this project being one big creepy spyware tool, but the smug cunt also doesn't care in the slightest about any concerns potentially being raised because Bookface taught him that young people are likely to buy his product anyway.
And as for the 'crowdsourcing problems' thing, we have a means for that already - it's called an online forum.

Actually, that's the opposite of him.

He's just beaing honest, and after spore came out with secuROM, he actually went behind EA's back and released a removal tool.

Also:
-----------------------------------------------
Dear Will Wright:

Please just remake Spore as it was originally intended before the kidifcation.

Love, Everybody who plays video games.

NightmareLuna:
Sounds awesome, kinda like how Spore sounded awesome and looked awesome... We all know how that turned out.

Loop Stricken:
As much as I'd like to say this sounds interesting, I can no longer in good conscience become enthused with anything this man does. Not since the Spore travesty.

Oh... Apparently I was ninja'd a looong time ago. Did not see this comment. ^^

I still don't get why people hate spore.

Sure, it would have been 1000x better had it not gotten kiddy and such, but it was still a great game, the editors alone were worth the price.

Jabberwock xeno:

Sonicron:
Wow, I didn't know the Sims guy was this much of a dick. Not only does he brazenly admit to this project being one big creepy spyware tool, but the smug cunt also doesn't care in the slightest about any concerns potentially being raised because Bookface taught him that young people are likely to buy his product anyway.
And as for the 'crowdsourcing problems' thing, we have a means for that already - it's called an online forum.

Actually, that's the opposite of him.

He's just beaing honest, and after spore came out with secuROM, he actually went behind EA's back and released a removal tool.

So, by your logic I could come to your house, repeatedly kick you in the nads and still get points for being honest if I gloat about it to my friends afterwards...? Considering the kind of digital anti-privacy demon he's working on, Wright's honesty doesn't absolve him in the slightest, at least not in my eyes.

Can't fault you for lack of ambition, holy hell Ill give you that much Wright. If actually implemented, this could be anything from the next stage in human evolution to the Meme (In the Dawkins sense, not the cat picture sense) that puts humanity under a tyrants boot-heel. Well, Ill be watching this.

I have just gotten to test this game, I can assure all of my fellow humans that the Hivemind will herald a new golden age. All humans should be eager to join in the collective. Their uniqueness will be added to our own.

Am I the only one who had this come to mind when they read this?
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... And thus Skynet was born.

The future: Both wonderful and terrifying.

E.M. Forster was right!!!!!

"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?"

the whole point of gaming is that it is not about our real lives.
imo this is one of the biggest threats the internet has faced.

An interesting idea for sure, but with a seriously terrifying subtext.

Problem is I don't like a single thing this guy brought to life.

Wither:
"Young people are more open to the idea of sharing personal information than older generations, he explained". Fuck no. I'm fifteen, and ever since I read about the shit Google pulls, I'm the most paranoid person I know.

Likewise, I'm 22, and I don't mind putting my address up on the internet.

Then again, owning a website, the law requires me to do that anyway.

Edit: Also, I am a proponent of gamification as a means of becoming more productive and happy at the same time.

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