Bioengineer Creates Organically Powered Video Games

paramecium

Stanford University bioengineer Ingmar Riedel-Kruse has made video games powered by microscopic paramecia. Science is cool and scary.

In a Popular Science article and a video presumably made by Riedel-Kruse himself, four primitive derivatives of popular early video games are shown to be played by way of the paramecia. The microscopic lifeforms, with a natural inclination to move towards electricity (this is known as galvanotaxis), are manipulated by an electric field chamber.

Wired to the chamber is a controller, and the directional buttons activate each side of the chamber. A magnifying camera, motion-detecting software, and Riedel-Kruse’s programming of Enlightenment, Ciliaball, PAC-mecium, and Microbash complete the incredibly bizarre setup.

While the method of control does not seem to allow complex game design or be very precise, this is an incredible and strange, if not very practical, scientific development. The purpose of said development is not entirely clear based on the video and Popular Science article, but it’s impressive nevertheless.

Source: Game Informer

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Tristan likes to think he's funny, write about games, listen to music, and write in the third person. You can follow his late-night ramblings on Twitter @ettletodd.