Interesting post over at Terra Nova about The Pathos of Nintendogs. I’ve spoken with Russ about the game before, and the overall appeal still escapes me. However, I really groove to this line: “From a games AI perspective, would it be easier - and would easier first steps encourage more sure-footed second steps - to design virtual game worlds which are in some sense more needy than confrontational?” Nice question, and certainly a great framework in which to ask it. We’ve seen a couple of steps in this direction in terms of AI overall. A move from the “digital office assistant” mindset to a “clippy” mindset. From a general assistive piece of software that can predict your activities and present options and solutions, to software that looks over your shoulder and attempts to tune its operation based on your past behavior. Is there a logical extension of the idea of neediness into areas besides games? There have been gimmicky attempts at this sort of thing before, but I don’t think they’ve ever explicitly focused on the neediness of the AI being a solid component.