Protozoan Pac-Man
July 4, 2016 9:56 AM   Subscribe

 
I got a very sketchy mobile browser hijack ad from that site.
posted by Bringer Tom at 10:31 AM on July 4, 2016


Uh oh. If there's one thing comics has taught me its that no good can come of scientists building death-mazes, and if there's a miniature one then sooner or later someone's getting shrunk or something is getting enlarged.
posted by Artw at 10:31 AM on July 4, 2016 [19 favorites]


I too hot the huge-ass ad, but it appears to be scroll-past-able.
posted by Artw at 10:33 AM on July 4, 2016


Is this a viral ad for the new Steven Soderbergh movie?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:08 AM on July 4, 2016


It's better than having politicians create a real-life version of Missile Command.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 11:53 AM on July 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


This sounds like PAC-mecium and the other 'biotic games' from the Riedel-Kruse Lab at Stanford. From their 2010 paper:
For the game setup, these paramecia are contained in a square fluid chamber, which has electrodes arranged along each side. The human player controls a swarm of these paramecia by applying electric fields along two axes via a hand-held device reminiscent of a conventional video game controller. The motion of these paramecia is captured with a webcam and displayed live on a computer screen. This set-up is turned into a game by overlaying virtual graphic objects onto the live video and defining how these virtual objects behave relative to the displayed paramecia. A game score is computed based on these interactions, which are ultimately influenced by the human player’s actions.
. . .
In ‘PAC-mecium’ (inspired by ‘PAC-Man’) the paramecia collect virtual yeast food and are occasionally bitten by a virtual zebra-fish larva.
The PAC-mecium game seems to have not imposed a physical maze, unlike this more recent work by Erik Andrew Johannessen at the University College of Southeast Norway.

However, it's hard to be sure exactly what's going on, since Youtube's auto-translated captions for the video are unintelligible.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 12:27 PM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's better than having politicians create a real-life version of Missile Command.

But that's a thing that is actually happening this year.
posted by hippybear at 12:33 PM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


>The goal of the study was to discover how euglena respond to being in a life-or-death situation when being chased by rotifers in an physical area that's less than 1mm in diameter.

While these results are valuable, they leave one vital question unanswered: why are scientists such dicks? One prominent researcher connected with the study would say only, "Flee, tiny creatures... flee for your LIVES!! AH HA HA HAAAAA!!"
posted by Sing Or Swim at 12:42 PM on July 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


You know what the hard part is going to be? Miniaturizing an ape and an Italian plumber for the next game.
posted by Splunge at 2:09 PM on July 4, 2016 [7 favorites]


I read this as "Scientists have created a misanthropic, real life-or-death version of Pac-Man" and was just like yeah, it figures.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:46 PM on July 4, 2016


somewhere there's a euglena debating whether it lives in a real universe or just a simulation of one ... and it has no conception of pac-man

sound familiar? it should ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:56 PM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]



I got a very sketchy mobile browser hijack ad from that site.
posted by Bringer Tom at 10:31 AM on July 4 [+] [!]


Ditto (at least, I think it's them.) I got the stupid pseudo-popup "your version of Flash is outdated" thing.

posted by pjmoy at 7:25 AM on July 5, 2016


To avoid the ad: Here's the Youtube video. The actual Polygon article is just like "Hey, check out this video" and is probably copy/pasted from the press release.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 11:33 AM on July 5, 2016


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