Sunday, July 20, 2008

Artificial Intelligence Increasingly Guiding Video Games

That isn't scripted. He is figuring it out as he goes.

-An unnamed game developer for the Monolith Productions video game company

In Glenn Chapman, "Videogames Getting Minds of Their Own," AFP via Yahoo News, July 20, 2008

The developer was referring to actions in "Project Origin," an action horror game built by Monolith for Warner Interactive Studios. Artificial intelligence integrated into the game causes enemies to respond to threats in ways that seem to mimic real life. "See, he threw the car door open because it was the smartest way to take cover," the developer added.

The leading edge of development in video games involves programming characters to respond in complex ways to actions in the game environment. A related development is that characters in some of the newest games are continuing their "lives" even when the human player leaves. "Sony Online Entertainment is putting finishing touches on an online secret agent game called 'The Agency' that gives players command of operatives that work around the clock.
If operatives need help, they can send real-world team leaders email or mobile telephone text messages, Matt Wilson of "The Agency" development team told AFP." Clearly, the aim of video game firms is to gain the competitive advantage by making the games seem more realistic, even to the point of reacching out to players in non-game environments. Although the article doesn't explore the implications of these technologies, one might wonder how such AI technologies might be used in other media (for example, electronic newspapers, internet videos and instant messaging) to change the relationship between audience and content.

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