As if World of Warcrafters needed another way to isolate themselves from the world, the WoW Pod, as described by its creators at MIT, is "an immersive architectural solution for the advanced WoW (World of Warcraft) player that provides and anticipates all life needs." Translation: it's an individual bungalow simulating the look and feel of an authentic hut within the Azeroth universe, and if you think the outside is scary, wait until you open the door.
Once inside the tiny space, you'll notice that it's entirely self-contained, and that's to discourage the player from ever leaving. Almost all basic human needs are provided, including a throne that doubles as a toilet (gross), a cookpot, stovetop, and, of course, a computer and monitor for WoWing.
Most importantly, the hut solves one of WoW's biggest pitfalls: breaks. See, a quick pause of the game to take a break can be catastrophic to a player's avatar. Even a bathroom run or a simple snack can result in death, or worse, banishment from one's guild, so anything a player can do to restrict distraction is good. And here's where it gets scary.
When a player gets hungry playing inside the hut, he or she just selects one of the prepackaged food packs on the wall (labeled "Soothing Turtle Bisque" and Beer Basted Ribs" to further the fantasy), holds the printed semacode under a scanner, and places it on the hot plate. From here, the hardware takes over and physically adjusts the hotplate to cook the food for the right amount of time while the player's corresponding avatar pauses the game and loudly announces the progress to others in the realm: "Vorcon's meal is about to be done!" "Better eat the ribs while they're hot!" … Read more