There are certain elements of social etiquette that apply in online multiplayer games, and especially in cooperative online games such as World of Warcraft (WoW). Keeping other players waiting while you go walk the dog, have a smoke or do the laundry is usually tolerated among friends, but can earn you a bad reputation if you become a repeat offender. Such "real world" breaks go over even less well with hardcore gamers, who are used to marathon game runs that can last for hours.
Now Warcraft devotees can ease those social pressures -- MIT has them conceptually covered with the "WoW Pod," within which a computer, water and prepackaged food are all within easy reach. Gamers don't even need to get up and run to the bathroom for those quick "bio" breaks, thanks to a "throne" with both a built-in toilet and surround sound.
Hungry gamers can even choose a dining experience that crosses the divide between real and virtual worlds. By choosing and scanning in food items, players can kick back and let the game physically adjust a hot plate to cook the item -- all while their virtual character announces their meal's status to fellow online players. The computer's system then puts the player's character on AFK (Away From Keyboard) mode to allow him or her to enjoy the food in peace.
The WoW Pod is the brainchild of Cati Vaucelle, a researcher with the MIT Media Laboratory's Tangible Media Group. She describes herself as a hardcore gamer who co-leads a players' guild within World of Warcraft.
"I got the idea of the WoW Pod and cookset by playing nonstop and burning my lap with my laptop, and wanting to use this heat to cook my snacks!" Vaucelle told PopSci.
"The WoW Pod questions the inducement of pleasure, fantasy, fulfillment, and the mediation of intimacy in a socially-networked gaming paradigm such as World of Warcraft."
For my part, I can't help but think of a certain South Park episode that parodies hardcore WoW gamers, including an infamous scene where Eric Cartman enlists his mother's help during a bathroom break. That episode won an Emmy. I wonder what the WoW Pod will earn.
All you need now is a discreet way to smoke a bowl - actually it must already have exhaust fans for the cooking aspect. Well done, gamers can now be even further removed from the real world, its so boring out there anyway.
Disturbing music... even more disturbing creation.
It was just a matter of time before humans became permanently attached to a computer, I was just hoping they'd be doing something productive on it like writing software to save the world, not grinding warthogs to ding.
now the only thing that I have a problem with will be having to get up to refill the water containers :( If there was a way to get water into the pod without having to get up then I will be all over it.And if the toilet is not connected to plumbing than that is another problem for gamers have to get up and clean it out.
If you think this is cool you guys really need to get laid and get a life instead of being a loser indoors away from everything in front of a computer screen playing a fictional character.GET A LIFE!!!
That's right, instead of spending your $12 a month for an enjoyable past time you can enjoy with friends or family, you need to hit the bars each evening and enjoy the nightlife! Spend way more daily than your monthly subscription, make decisions you'd regret if you were sober, and kill your liver! Maybe even score a DUI!
For me, I enjoy finding another way to enjoy an evening with my wife or some friends without doing any of the above things. Live and let live.
IMO that container is ridiculous, though.