Wednesday 19 October 2011

Heresies are experiments in man's unsatisfied search for truth.

News today that Microsoft is intending to patent a celebrity shaping system for their search engine Bing.

“A search for an evening dress using the persona of Jessica Lange, explains Microsoft, would return dresses that reflect the actress’s ‘style and/or fashion preferences,’ including ‘color, fit, designer, cut, etc.'”

Which quickly leads us to wonder which MMOs would be turned up when the term was searched for under certain celebrity personas. So we programmed a quick rough’n’ready plug-in for the KiaSA Captcha AI and tried out a few random personas.

Searching for ‘MMO’ when using the Naomi Campbell persona turned up EVE Online, possibly based on the fact that they’re both overly interested in their own appearance, while regularly turning around and biting the hand that feeds them.

World of Warcraft was, predictably, returned in many results. The persona of famed temper-tantrum prone singer Björk being a fine fit for a large section of the game’s populace, and the ‘once young, fun and whacky, but now old, tired and should probably just retire gracefully’ Robin Williams persona also provided a solid hit for the game.

We had to tweak the plug-in slightly when Patrick Stewart’s persona returned Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Mark Hamill’s returned Star Trek Online. Now Stewart returns DC Universe Online, while Hamill’s persona gives Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.

BBC presenter Clare Balding‘s persona returned LotRO as the top result for MMO searches, which we assume was due to her being charming, homely, and fanatically interested in horses to the point of distraction.

A search using the Lady Gaga persona returns City of Heroes as a top hit, probably due to the fact that everyone likes the game, but few people seem to openly admit it. Plus Lady Gaga could probably learn a thing or two from the crazy-mad outfits that can regularly be seen on display in Atlas Park.

The Richard Nixon persona always returned a nostalgia tinted version of EQ that never really existed, no matter how much we tried to refine our search terms.

The George Lucas persona returned the original version of Star Wars Galaxies as expected, but then consistently overwrote its results, first with the SWG Combat Upgrade, then the New Game Experience to cries of “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

A Sasha Grey persona? My word, how did that get in there? Regardless, although it’s probably not one that would be used from work, for an MMO search it returns Rift. Associations seem to revolve around a burst of popularity, a sudden realisation that you’re the best (in a sea of mediocrity) at something which is of only passing interest to the fans of your genre, followed by a gentle descent into obscurity.

And the persona for renowned flip-out maniac Christian Bale returned Hello Kitty Online. Hmm, well we’re still ironing out some bugs in the KiaSA Captcha AI Search system, but as a first attempt, we’d say it was an unqualified success.

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