App to plunder personal data and offer services, games, ideas and events based on player's tastes
Having already triumphed in simulating the real world within a game, Will Wright’s new bold ambition is to embed game elements within daily life.
The Sims creator has established a new company, called HiveMind, and is looking to build a mobile phone app that will pool together an extraordinary level of personal data, and in turn provide services, information, help, ideas and games.
The idea is a new evolution in games that Wright calls “personal gaming.”
“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 said in an interview with Venturebeat.
In his interview, Wright explained how he recently stumbled into a group of car enthusiasts – total strangers that shared his passion for motor vehicles.
He theorised that, if he had some way of knowing about other nearby car enthusiasts, or upcoming events based on his passions, “my life would be a lot more interesting”.
“How do we expose you to these events, these things? How can we make a system that understands enough about you and gives you situational awareness? 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.”
“It is about how we make reality more interesting to you,” Wright said.
He admitted that, in order for the game to work, it will have to collect an intrusive amount of a player’s life – where they go and when, their interests, their friends, their work, their spare time, their geographical location.
“It blurs entertainment, lifestyle, and personal tools,” Wright said. “With that data, the world and the opportunities for entertainment within it become more visible to you.”
“If we can learn enough about the player, we can create games about their real life,” Wright said. “How do we get you more engaged in reality rather than distract you from it?”
He is currently building the new game at the HiveMind studio in California.