Will Wright has unveiled his next game, along with a new start-up based out of Berkely, California. Both ventures are called HiveMind, though the "game" application doesn't sound much like a game at all. Much of the idea is still under wraps, but from Wright's statements so far, HiveMind seems more like an advanced social networking tool.
VentureBeat reports that HiveMind learns various facts about you through data collection. Details like your location, the location of your friends, or how much money is in your wallet would be given to HiveMind. In return, it would give you nearby listings of things that might interest you. The idea came to Wright when he happened across a meeting of car enthusiasts, and wondered how an application could have helped him discover it.
"Rather than craft a game like FarmVille for players to learn and play, we learn about you and your routines and incorporate that into a form of game play," he said. "It is about how we make reality more interesting to you."
Regarding concerns of privacy, Wright feels that people -- especially younger people -- are willing to trade a certain amount of personal information in exchange for such a tailored service. The idea is that once HiveMind collects data from a lot of people, it could match them up for shared interests.
You may wonder if this qualifies as a game at all, but Wright is defining the word a bit differently. "If we can learn enough about the player, we can create games about their real life," he said. "How do we get you more engaged in reality rather than distract you from it?"
The game's platforms haven't been discussed yet, but it could hit social platforms like Facebook and mobile devices, along with traditional game platforms. Wright also hinted that it could interact with other projects from his Stupid Fun Club. It's an ambitious idea, but Wright is sort of known for those. This should be one to watch.