April 20, 2009 8:00 PM | Eric Caoili
Modeled after a Horde hut, the WoW pod is designed to be an "immersive architectural solution" for advanced World of Warcraft players with in-game responsibilities that keep gamers chained to their computers, unable to step away from the MMORPG for even a couple minutes.
In addition to housing a computer and its necessary peripherals for playing the addictive title, the WoW pod offers canteens filled with spring water, a toilet built into the seat (which has surround sound speakers), a hot plate, and food packs.
When hungry, the gamer selects a food item (‘Crunchy Spider Surprise’, ‘Beer Basted Ribs’, etc.) and a seasoning pack. By scanning in the food items, the video game physically adjusts a hot plate to cook the item for the correct amount of time. The virtual character then jubilantly announces the status of the meal to both the gamer and the other individuals playing online: “Vorcon’s meal is about to be done!” “Better eat the ribs while they’re hot!” etc.
The in-game avatar will be set as AFK ("away from the keyboard") once the food is cooked, and when the player resumes, he or she will find their character's behavior affected by the meal they just consumed, sometimes sluggish from overeating or full of energy.
As loony as it all sounds, the project is real, created by artists Cati Vaucelle & Shada/Jahn, funded by grants from the Council for the Arts at MIT and other organizations, and is on display at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from March-September 2009. You can see a video for the project here, as well as a WoW blueprint and prototype sketches here: