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VR video game gets your hamster in on the action

Evan Blass
04.17.06
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Traditional playtime between humans and their pets has generally been limited to fetch, tug-of-war, and the occasional chase around the coffee table before bedtime. Well if researchers from the Emerging Art and Architecture Research Group, or RASTER, and Singapore's Mixed Reality Lab have anything to say about it, pet owners will soon be able to kick those old fashioned games to the curb in favor of video games that let their animals get in on the action. The group is in the midst of designing a game called "Mice Arena", wherein the human player is pursued by an on-screen avatar controlled by a real world hamster, which chases a piece of motorized bait corresponding to the human's position on the in-game map. What's more, the hamster's game space -- a specially designed tank -- actually adjusts its terrain to match the on-screen action through a series of actuators underneath the floor. Future games from the collaborative -- and we'll leave the jokes to you on this one -- will incorporate decidedly less pet-like animals in the fun, with tentative titles such as (we're not making this up): "Chicken Petman"  and "Jellyfishtrone."

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