Milo: Friend or Foe

Peter Molyneux, he of endless vision and creativity, has brought about the endgame.  Not the mythical glitch once you accumulate enough points playing Ms. Pac-Man, because no one can do that.  It’s ridiculous to even suggest it, and quite frankly, I’ve now made myself sad thinking about it.   No, Molyneux’s first major announcement following his somewhat underachieving Xbox-monster, Fable 2, is the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen since Microsoft’s promotional video for Milan.
With the already quite astounding demo for Microsoft’s new Natal project going around, Molyneux made a huge announcement and demonstration of his own.  He introduced the world to Milo.
Milo is the embodiment of Apple’s own impossible video of their Knowledge Navigator.  Only it’s as a game.  With top of the line graphics.  And it’s the first of it’s kind, thus making it all the more ridiculous.  And, some critics say, impossible.

Since the debut of this new “game”, (does it even count; you don’t really play anything), many in the media have discussed whether or not it’s even real.  After all, Claire doesn’t exactly seem to be thinking these responses up on the top of her head.  The Electronics Entertainment Expo is the top venue for video game news reveals, and as such, even getting people excited about the possibility of this technology is the first step.  After all, release dates for movies are announced before casting even starts in some cases, *cough cough* Thor *cough cough*.

So, in the interest of fairness, let’s assume that the technology to do the things that Milo is apparently capable of doing exists, and can be developed.  I think the most important question that is raised now is, will this even be fun?  Certainly it’s the most advanced piece of interactive technology we’ve seen in gaming, and maybe, well, ever.  However, Nintendo tried their hands at voice recognition 11 years ago with Hey You, Pikachu, and it was widely regarded as interesting for the first little while, though eventually lost the intrigue it had once presented.  In fact, having played it myself, I was quite aware after about 25 minutes, that it was not a game, but instead just a technological demonstration.

Sorry, Pikachu.  There's someone else.

Milo has the same risk of being purchased by many, but destroying the market for this genre.  Peter Molyneux will have to ensure that the interactivity is not limited to a couple of interactions with Milo, but rather a larger game, perhaps involving logic puzzles, and other games, maybe chess or something of that ilk.

No matter how realistic it seems, you'll still need to bathe in some physical water

Milo is, simply, the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed if it works.  I just fear that it is using the easily impressionable gamer to test a technology that will be better suited to work as an office assistant in place of human workers.  Also, I fear that Milo will become self aware, take over US military operations, and I’ll be forced to eat the remaining canned food left on Earth after a nuclear holocaust.   That would suck.

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  1. The Milo thing was pretty insane, as you say, if it actually works anything like their demonstration ,it will be huge.

    Peter Molyneux has a reputation for creating unrealistically high expectations, though Fable II was pretty close to what I was expecting. (as you’ll know if you’ve read my review hahah)

    I’m interested to see how a simple camera like that can determine depth and stuff so well…how much would it cost? A couple hundred bucks?

  2. When I watched this video I was blown away by the potential of this technology, this was all done by interaction with a camera. What was the most interesting thing for me was the ability for the Milo character to instantly recognize facial expression, view and identify captured images from holding a piece of paper up to the camera and then further interact with the user. Pretty Insane in my books, this next gen of AI will be interesting… Especially if it can start eating SPAM.

  3. I was blown away too.. but skeptical, and this guy DOES have a reputation for blowing things out of proportion. I read some reviews of the E3 showcase of it and they said it seemed pretty scripted. I dunno, i guess we just have to wait, i mean the technology isn’t amazing by any means, but its hard to make it accessible to the public without spending alot of money.

  4. Looks more like business-eske technology than an actual game. Besides, Molyneux could make visiting your boring grandmother in the nursing home sound like you’re going to a theme park.

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