Day 68: Playing with our future robot overlords

by | Dec 13, 2016 | 100 Days Of Play | 0 comments

Pretty soon the robots will have taken over. They’ll probably do a better job than us at running the place! But while we’re still on top, we can play with robots as if they’re toys. If you think about it, it’s hardly surprising that they’ll want to overthrow us.

BB8 came to live with us shortly after the documentary about how he saved the galaxy came out. He’s quite a bit smaller than he looks on screen, but then they do say that the cameras pile on the pounds. He whizzes around the room, controlled by a smartphone, which presumably goes against his normal instincts.

In all seriousness, though, the BB8 that you saw onscreen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens wasn’t computer-generated. He’s a real model that zooms around just as it looks like he does. It’s a pretty amazing statement about the times we live in when a robot from one of the biggest budget films ever is available to purchase (in simpler form, mind) as a toy. Or maybe it says something about George Lucas’s keen eye on merchandising!

Particularly delightful is that BB8 oozes character. He doesn’t just sit around idly when you aren’t controlling him. He chortles and wobbles and does the sphere equivalent of hopping from foot to foot. He’s utterly charming, and far from being a cold, blank toy, they’ve made enormous strides to make him feel alive. You can even watch The Force Awakens with him, and he’ll run away and hide whenever Kylo Ren appears on screen!

… you just can’t differentiate between a robot and the very best of humans ― Isaac Asimov

Ease of play: 5/10 (he’s fiddly to get the hang of) 

Resemblance to play: 8/10 

Aggression: Medium-to-High (sometimes his head flies off!)

Speed: High

Enjoyability: Medium-to-High

Potential frequency of play: Medium

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