No matter how many times Dan Greenawalt uttered the phrase "drivatar" it still sounded grotesque and awful. But it is A Thing. Drivatars are coming to Forza Motorsport 5, and apparently they'll change the way AI drivers race in the game by beaming player personalities into the artificial minds of computer-controlled players.
Basically, Drivatar is a fancy term for fancy ghosts.
"Our original goal in developing Drivatars was to create human-like computer opponents to race against," said Microsoft. "As keen gamers we had grown tired of simplistic AI opponents and wanted to try and do something about it. We particularly like racing games and so the racing genre seemed like a great place to start work. We prototyped a few initial ideas back in 2002, and fortunately for us this was the exact time that the Forza Motorsport project was germinating within Microsoft Games Studios. After a couple of years of further research and development, the results can now be found sitting in your Xbox console."
With more metrics than ever at their disposal, the drivatar system will allow for cloud-based servers to track player behaviour patterns in the game, using them to form AI profiles that will mirror the driving personalities of real players, making for more "human" races even when playing offline.