WoWPod: a self-contained hut for WoW players

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.

WoW Pod

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." (via Make)


  1. The idea of integrating food into the game was kinda funny as a novelty, but the toilet is just taking it too far.

  2. While as a Horde player I must applaud the designer, I realize that dedicate Alliance players would never want anything to do with this.

  3. awesome! i can imagine a themed internet cafe booth designed upon these lines.

    the thing about all the derision people lay on WoW all comes down primarily to the fact it’s so popular and addictive. in fact it’s so popular that problems have constantly plagued the game from its beginning relating to overpopulation – i’m only recently playing a lot, i played a long time ago and through ignorance of game mechanics got bored of skinning and leatherwork and gave up. i’ve resumed at the prompting of an irl friend (zomg amazing) and now have after running a second character through discovered that level 9-15 or so, the quest areas in durotar are constantly filled with players who are getting in each other’s way denying each other quest items and objectives.

    it’s fascinating just how a set of rpg rulesets play out in a big population, imo the data gathered from players in wow will greatly inform the next generation of mmorpg’s.

  4. So you sit on the “throne” all the time. When will office cubicles turn into this?

    And where is the sink to wash your hands after using the “throne”? Or is it that WoW players normally do not wash?

  5. Fantastic! I’d love to see Alliance version of this.. Clockbound, I’m sure there are Alliance players out there that would enjoy building/using something like this.

    Great skills at work.

  6. I was going to make a joke about a built-in toilet, but there actually is one! I’ll have to settle for:

    Go `way, `batin’!

  7. Erissian beat me to it, but I was going to say:

    Up next on the Violence Network, and all new Ow! My Balls!

  8. Let me get this straight. You have a toilet in the same place where you cook your food. You have a toilet, with no place to wash your hands or even some way of getting rid of the odor, where you prepare and eat your dinner.

    And people go to MIT for this? It took three MIT students to come up with this? Really?

  9. And where is the sink to wash your hands after using the “throne”? Or is it that WoW players normally do not wash?

    Real WoW players don’t wipe

  10. #11
    “You have a toilet, with no place to wash your hands or even some way of getting rid of the odor, where you prepare and eat your dinner.”

    QFT. This is an (unintentional?) parody of WoW players

  11. If you can’t break away from something for bathroom or meal breaks, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your life.

    Washing up? Why, who takes the time for that anyway when there’s virtual creatures to kill? Where is the fold-out cot so you can game in your sleep? Where is the IV of Mountain Dew so you avoid it? I’m sure somewhere already someone has a little fridge next to their PC and wears a catheter/ adult diaper. (They’re not just for astronauts anymore!)

  12. Brilliant! But what happens when a Fire Mage cuts loose, and immolates himself? Judging from the food items offered, I’ll bet that toilet has a lot of methane in it…

  13. I suddenly have the urge to stop playing. This is beyond pathetic. I hope it is a joke.

    Does it come with bandages to patch up the pressure sores you will get on your ass from perpetually sitting?

  14. I read the headline and thought “If it doesn’t have a built in toilet they didn’t do it right.”

    Then I read on and it’s got a toilet. sad

    I just kicked a multi-year WoW habit and am always jonesing to go back. Things like this really help me to stay away.

    Thank you.

  15. Seems like a bit of a weak ripoff of Tom Sachs’ Grand Theft Auto “Delinquency Chamber”

  16. I have a friend who just sold his account for about 500 bucks. Doesn’t quite cover his expenses considering he had it on and off for years now. But I imagine you could turn a little profit given the proper accoutrements and a few monkishly devoted employees.

  17. This is one part of a multi-part exhibit at the MIT museum regarding technology and social interaction.

    It’s all very tongue-in-cheek when you see it.

  18. It figures that the toilet-kitchen-no-wipe-or-sink thing would be Horde-themed visually.

    Way to reinforce the stereotype, guys!

  19. How fitting that as I’m writing this, Comedy Central is playing the WoW Southpark episode.

  20. The article is a little light on details, but I wonder how he effected the link between the game and the outside devices, given that any user-controlled interaction with outside programs is impossible with the normal game scripting and a big nono EULA-wise. (Yes, I get it’s not dead serious, but surely it must to something interesting for the viewers that at least simulates to do what it claims?)

  21. There’s a sink in the Night Elf version. It also has vegan meal options and sparkling wine.

    For the Alliance!

  22. For those of you worrying about the plumbing and the sanitation facilities, “You should really just relax.” I think it’s safe to say the POD is about 3 feet tall from the photo. “It’s only a model.”

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