Plant Is First Person Shooter

A plant able to play first-person shooter games has been developed in the sensobotanics project of Thomas Hawranke from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.


(First person shooter plant set-up)

A plant plays a first person shooter. The virtual light, displayed by the monitor, is transferred to the light environment in the room and stimulates the plant. The botanical reactions are then sent back to the controlling of the first person shooter. This describes a feedback loop. Game real-time and botanic real-time are adjusted by time expansion and time compression. Both spaces melt into each other and delocalize.

Time is a very important aspect in this project. Nowadays, when speaking of Realtime, one describes the notion of velocity or even acceleration. Realtime in games, means, for example, an „invisible“ framerate in highly detailed and realistic designs. Simulations in realtime are fast calculations and so forth. Considering plants, realtime seems very slow, time, which realtime describes, is expanded or decelerated. If you assign the botanical realtime onto the accelerated realtime, the first is almost unperceivable. Mathematical opperations must be used to level the different velocities of time, before the possibility of communication of both areas is warranted.

I find myself wondering if the plants might start to see Thomas as the sender of the Monolith. SF fans may recall the end of 2010 (spoiler!) in which the moon Europa is thawed and a suitable monolith installed to inspire the protointelligent plantlife.

I think my favorite intelligent (and somewhat aggressive) plant in sf is Dr. Mrmm'mrm'mlrr, a sentient, meat-eating psychotherapist plant who practices assault therapy on his patients. The good Dr. appears in Doorways in the Sand, an excellent 1976 novel by the incomparable Roger Zelazny.

As the cablelike vines or tentacles seized me, thigh and shoulder, hoisting me into the air to a position where, wrenching my neck, I was afforded a view of the thing's massive trunk, down to where it emerged from the tub of slime in the center of the room, I reflected, as the enormous Venus-flytrap-type blades snapped open, revealing a reddish interior, that while it may be true that most accidents are caused by carelessness, I could in no way be held responsible this time...

From Thomas Hawranke Sensobotanics via Next Nature.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/10/2009)

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