distance-labMicrosoft Surface and the like are working at making gaming less tactile, yet still face to face. The Distance Lab is working in another direction: they’re trying to make gaming that is not face to face more tactile.

The lab straddles some area between industry and government in Scotland, and they’re not focusing on games, but games are what I thought of when I saw some of their prototypes.

For instance, the Mutsugoto is an erotic, sensual device for adults. Partners lie in different beds wearing rings, and however they move their hand, a standing light beam is drawn on the other bed (or body). Actually, I really couldn’t see how that works, either erotically or sensually, but game ideas – such as long-distance Tic Tac Toe as a trivial example – spring naturally from it.

Remote Impact is a wall that depicts the shadow of your opponent. If playing boxing, for instance, you have to jab the shadow on the wall, and avoid the shadow’s jabs. The physical wall makes give a tactile sense that the Wii can’t.