Pointless Things Twentysomething Virgins Do To Pass the Time, Example 91

Crickets vs. Pac-Man

from Sploid

The insect world has chosen sides in the inevitable battle between Man and Machines. The crickets have taken up the fight by guiding the enemy forces of the arcade classic Pac-Man.

Wim van Eck has written up a report on his graduation project and submitted it to the 2006 International Conference on Entertainment. Van Eck has rebuilt Pac-Man, but instead of Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde following the same predictable patterns every time, their actions are controlled by the savvy crickets running through a maze. As the crickets go, so go the ghosts.

"Donkey Kong will never get tired of throwing heavy barrels at you, or strain a muscle, or get hungry and just eat the princess. After playing a computer game for some time, you know what you can expect from it," explains van Eck.

To capture the random movements of the crickets, van Eck "built a real maze for the animals to walk around in, with its proportions and layout matching the maze of the computer game. The position of the animals in the maze is detected using colour-tracking via a camera, and linked to the ghosts in the game. This way, the real animals are directly controlling the virtual ghosts."

To mimic the ghosts' flight tendency, van Eck programmed the maze to vibrate wherever Pac-Man eats a power pill that enables it to eat ghosts. Crickets naturally flee from vibrations.


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