Cati Vaucelle, Steve Shada and Marisa Jahn, three MIT students, created the WoWPod, a self-contained hut for WoW players to inhabit for very long stretches of time. Vaucelle is a "maxed out level warrior engineer" who thought he "should engineer a project based on this experience and environment." The Pod provides an environment for lengthy, distraction-free raiding.
The WOW Pod is an immersive architectural solution for the advanced WOW (World of Warcraft) player that provides and anticipates all life needs.
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.
Update: Andrew sez, "The MIT Museum hosted WoWPod creators Cati Vaucelle, Steve Shada and Marisa Jahn a few weeks ago as part of the CMS Colloquium Series. Here's a great podcast available of the event."
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