Robotic Players

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Physical robots created or appropriated to take part as players of a game.

Already the first computers where used to emulate players of games[1]. However, these were games that did not need interaction with the physical world or require complex social interaction either due to the nature of the game or by being possible to implement and mediate completely within the computer system. Although an uncommon phenomena currently, Robotic Players are the use of computer programs controlling physical robots to play games.


RoboCup, which is actually versions of Soccer players by robots, is the prime example of using Robotic Players.


While the mechanical turk[2] was claimed to be a machine that could play Chess, it was in fact a machine in which a human could hide and play the game pretending to be the machine.

Using the pattern

Robotic Players are created by giving AI Players control over robots, typically with the intent of letting those AI Players engage in Physical Enactment or Physical Navigation.

There are several patterns that put specific requirements on what Robotic Players need to be able to do. These include most clearly Player Physical Prowess, Pervasive Gameplay, Real Life Activities Affect Game State, and Unmediated Social Interaction but any patterns related to social interaction between players are also relevant.

Interface Aspects

Robotic Players is an Interface Pattern.


As said above, Robotic Players can give AI Players the abilities to perform both Physical Enactment and Physical Navigation.


Can Instantiate

Physical Enactment, Physical Navigation

Can Modulate


Can Be Instantiated By

AI Players

Can Be Modulated By

Player Physical Prowess, Pervasive Gameplay, Real Life Activities Affect Game State, Unmediated Social Interaction

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.


  1. Björk, S. (2013). On The Foundations of Digital Games. Foundations of Digital Games 2013, May 14-17, 2013, Crete, Greece.
  2. Wikipedia entry for The Turk or Mechanical Turk.