Physicist Ingmar Riedel-Kruse and his team from Stanford University have demonstrated a number of biotic games, or games played through physically controlling living organisms, inspired by arcade classics like Pac-Man and Pong.

In Pac-Mecium, for example, a camera sends real-time images of a paramecium group in a fluid chamber to a computer. That feed is superimposed onto a game board, and players guide the protozoa to eat virtual yeast cells and avoid fish by changing the polarity of an electrical field in the fluid chamber.

The other biotic games demonstrated in the video above include Cilliaball (soccer), Biotic Pinball, and Pond Pong. The Stanford team see these projects as educational tools, and hopes that other life sciences researches will create games that illustrate their work.

"Everyone should have sufficient knowledge about the basics of biomedicine and biotechnology. Biotic games could promote that," says Riedel-Kruse. You can read the Stanford group's published paper on its research, "Design, Engineering and Utility of Biotic Games" here.

[Via New Scientist, Slashdot]