Now here’s something that isn’t ripped from a Black Mirror episode at all: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will soon be conducting an experiment of sorts, a “reality augmented game” that will see the internet in control of a single person. But not in a creepy way (we dearly hope). BeeMe is a game helmed by Niccolò Pescetelli of MIT’s Media Lab and will see a single anonymous real-world protagonist “…guided by a large crowd of users through an epic quest to defeat an evil AI.”
One person will be giving up their autonomy for a day in order to complete the BeeMe game, sent on their way by the commands of users on the internet. There are some terms and conditions, of course, as the folks behind this game have actually been on the internet before. Commands for the protagonist will be submitted and then voted for by remote participants. Those with the most votes (think Reddit’s upvote system) will be carried out.
But… there will naturally be some limits. If it’s illegal, dangerous to the actor, or threatens to expose the nameless person’s identity, it’ll be ruled off-limits. Sensible precautions, we reckon.
The whole thing seems innocent enough. The idea is to “…redefine the way in which we understand social interactions online and in real life. [BeeMe] will push crowdsourcing and collective intelligence to the extreme to see where it breaks down”, according to the game’s description. And if you think that this is going to be a massive mess, remember that there is a Twitch channel dedicated to letting viewers play Pokemon remotely via the in-video chat. Those folks seem to get there. Eventually.
Trick or treat? pic.twitter.com/1Dr2Z0JGis
— BeeMe (@beeme_mit) October 15, 2018
The BeeMe experiment will take place on Halloween, which we’re pretty sure is 31 October every year. If you’re keen on playing, or at least seeing how things play out, it’ll start at 23:00 ET, or 05:00 on 1 November here in South Africa.