What does it mean to play or be playful? Dr Brian Magerko of LCC at GeorgiaTech seeks to model this play or playfulness computationally. This is a unique research problem as intelligent agents are not normally tasked with exploring a virtual space and doing exploratory actions in the interest of fun alone without rules or goals. Though as the games industry knows intimately, defining what is fun is always a challenge. This project seeks to provide a digital play space, possibly for children, with virtual playmates that know how to play with them. The applications could be immense for gaming where rules are not as defined but the goal is whatever the players choose it to be.
The ADAM Lab’s site had a vague blurb about the project, so here’s a paper on it.