Some of the most popular free to play games are criticized for being mindless tap-fests, devoid of strategy or meaningful gameplay. And, for many free to play games, it’s a valid criticism. There’s an artificial sense of progression from opening up a game, making a few taps and collecting in-game rewards, and doing it over ad infinitum as you work towards whatever “goals" the game has laid out for you. In fact, it’s the sort of “gameplay" even a robot could handle, as proven by Uli Kilian who built himself a robot out of Lego that could tap away at Jurassic Park Builder (Free) and earn him in-game income as he slept. Seriously, check it out.
The Lego Technics robot is powered by an Arduino board and connected to a Windows computer. Kilian created a simple program that tells the robot where in the game to tap and at what time intervals in order to collect the rewards from his stable of dinosaurs. Pretty ingenious if you ask me. Wired has a more in-depth article on Kilian’s creation and his motives behind it, as well as a gallery of photos of the robot, so be sure to check that out. What strikes me as funny is that humanity has always tried to build automated ways to get work done that humans didn’t want to do themselves, so if we’re now building a robot to play through a game for us, is it still even a game? Or is it just busy work disguised in a fancy package?