Living Arcades Could Become Reality

The earliest arcade games were made with simple electrical components and rendered basic graphics. Now that technology has advanced, gamers have access to 3-dimentional visuals, sophisticated control systems and high definition sound. Games like the Ms Pacman arcade machine gave scientists at the Research Center Swissnex the inspiration to creating living arcade games.

Instead of using switchboards and computer chips, single cell organisms are being placed in pools of water in order to simulate arcade game styled action. Of course, a little technology must be harnessed in order to make the magic, but these science themed arcade games could soon become all the rage across classrooms as well as arcade parlors. Tiny organisms can be directed toward a target by using low voltage shocks. The targets themselves can be anything from fruit to dots, stars or coins.

In the end, players are able to make these tiny organisms take on the role of an arcade game action hero. While simplistic in nature, it is the hope of scientists that these science themed games will appeal to children and others that are curious about the subject. Playing a Ms Pacman arcade machine is certainly fun, but the technology behind it is no longer groundbreaking. Consumers know that arcade games are made up of cabinets and complex circuitry.

An arcade game that looks more like an aquarium than a cabinet, however, would probably peek the interest of passersby. Currently, there are no plans to mass produce any type of science themed arcade game. In fact, even the prototypes for these games are still being worked on.

Beyond the classroom, many in the field think that science themed titles could also aid doctors in the treatment of patients with certain conditions. Children with ADD and ADHD have responded well to games that require critical thinking and good hand-eye coordination. While a video game may not independently make a user more intelligent, they do challenge the human brain in multiple ways. For those that aren’t thrilled with the idea of maintaining an aquarium-like arcade game, there are other titles that center around science for both computers and home gaming consoles.