No longer pedestrian in pedestrian creation

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In real life, I love people watching.  It’s so fun to laugh at weird looking people as they walk by – and I have no problem being gawked at either.  But in video games, I rarely (if ever) even notice the looks or details of NPCs.  Unless they are really interesting or important, they’re just people for me to kill/avoid/use for missions/buy stuff from/completely ignore.  But that’s not how game developers see it, at least not anymore!

In two separate games, there is a distinct focus on pedestrians.  First, we have inFamous: Second Son.  In three days, they scanned 75 people’s faces – friends, family, possible hostages.  These souls were captured and will be forced to wander the streets of Seattle in the upcoming title… as pedestrians.  Seems like an awful lot of effort for things most people won’t notice, but the technology is still pretty cool.

Second, Ubisoft is offering 15 people the possibility of having their essence used for pedestrians in the upcoming open-world adventure Watch Dogs.  Contestants enter on Facebook by providing their name, birthdate, occupation and three interesting facts about themselves (entrance only available to US residents).  I actually really hope we get some hilarious trolling out of this – I’d love to see some bizarre interesting facts that show up in the game.  These pedestrians won’t look like you, though – just have the same job and interesting facts.

While the technology is interesting, this seems like such a gimmick to try to “reach out” to gamers.  And in such a fake way!  What do you think?  Do you even notice the pedestrians in games?  Would you like to be one?

Last Updated: May 27, 2013

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