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Will Wright's HiveMind Will Mine Personal Data To Create Unique Game World

Jonathan Lester
Hivemind, Personal data, Will Wright, WTF?

Will Wright's HiveMind Will Mine Personal Data To Create Unique Game World

"We Can Predict How You Will Be Feeling"

Will Wright's next game, HiveMind, is set to mine players' personal data to create a game experience that's entirely unique for each person. While it's a potential privacy debacle in the making, Wright believes that players won't mind providing their info voluntarily, comparing the basic method to a dating website's data collation forms. With your data acquired, HiveMind will then predict how you're likely to react and feel; basing the experience dynamically around you. It's a neat idea that's best explained by the legendary game designer behind The Sims and Spore... after the break.

Speaking to Venturebeat, Will Wright explained that player data would be collated in voluntary forms, and that Hivemind will encourage players to continually update and expand their databases in order to provide a more personalised experience.

If we would really get the user on our side and provide them with immediate and obvious value for every bit of personal information they give us, then we will be able to get it more easily. If you look at how much time people spend putting personal data into the psychological evaluations for a dating site, you see you can get people to pour in lots of data. They reveal how they see themselves and how they see things in the world. In terms of data that we would like but we can’t get, I don’t think there isn’t any. I think that if we get enough user involvement, we can get almost any data that we want. It’s a matter of the user wanting us to have it.

So I see this as more of a psychological battle than anything else. We have designed entrainment experiences that will make users want to give us that data. And from that, if we get an enough, we can actually start predicting and creating a lot of it ourselves.

This information will then be used to predict your behaviour and tailor the experience accordingly.

Assuming we have got large enough data sets, we can use similar techniques where the users are giving us some sense of what they do during a typical day, how is the feeling, we get that data and then we can actually start predicting ahead what’s on that schedule,” Wright explained. “We can predict how you will be feeling about what you’re about to do. And the system could even tell the user to give corrections occasionally when its way off. We think we can build an entertainment experience around that.

So we try to think about everything we have in terms of data and then build an entertainment experience around that and then we make that experience fulfilling so that to the player actually wants to keep doing it and giving the data. For us, that is going to be the secret sauce.

HiveMind is still in the early development stages, and frankly, we can't really pin down what the game actually is beyond the data collection aspect. We'll keep you posted.

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