For those of you that don’t know, Will Wright is the primary designer behind such massive hits as SimCity, The Sims, and Spore – and this week he’s letting us all know that we, not our avatars, will be taking part in his next opus. This game will be called HiveMind, and will be more than just a casual gaming experience. You’ll be using your phones, tablets, social network identities, computers galore, and your own brain to make a move in this virtual reality space. This will be the next generation, says Wright, in Alternate Reality Games (ARGs).
In an interview with John Gaudiosi of Rueters, Wright noted how he’d be using an environment that is more personal to the player than any game before, allowing them to get emotionally attached and wanting to share their experience with friends and family. He says that in his personal life he realized that the opportunities that surround him have the potential to be more than just for him, like “a classic car show I happened upon in a Burbank Shoney’s parking lot.” A system can be built, he says, that will have situational awareness about you, who you are, where you are, how much money you have in your pocket, everything – all of this can be part of the game.
As far as privacy concerns for the moment go, Wright was very vocal on what you will and will not be expected to do:
“That’s something that obviously they would opt in for, so it’s not like you’d be stealing the info. They would want to play the game. It’s the same thing with the ARGs that are out there. We need to get the players on our side. Every time we gather some data about them, we need to reflect it back to an experience that got much better so they understand. Once we get them on board, hopefully they’re very forthcoming and they get more involved in terms of how they’re feeling and what they’re doing. The system can actually be used by them and benefit them with the more accurate data it collects.” – Wright
Everything from where a coffee shop is in the real world to historical factoids about the shop itself will be listed in the game’s interface, whatever that ends up being. You’ll be going to a place in real life, the game triangulating your location, and attaining accolades for doing activities. Sounds sort of similar to check-ins, yes? Wright assures us it’ll be much more involved than that. We’ll see!