When you look at the history of video games, most innovations come from stuff that gamers had been clamoring for all along: better graphics, more intuitive controls and the ability to tell fellow players to eat a bag of dicks through a computer screen.
These are not like that. These are the ridiculous innovations nobody asked for, and yet somebody went ahead and made them real. Like ...
7Metazoa Ludens -- The Game That Lets Your Pet Murder You
If you own a pet but don't have time to play with it because you're too busy, you know, playing GTA and stuff, the Metazoa Ludens project was made for you. It's a system that allows humans and animals to interact in fun, productive ways. For example, by turning your hamster into a giant monster that wants to kill you.
Only one of those things isn't true in the real world.
In Mice Arena, developed by Mixed Reality Labs, you and your hamster share the same virtual space, only the tables have somewhat turned. As your actual hamster chases a piece of bait in the real world, in the virtual world you are the one being chased by a giant hamster.
By making the character in the game run in terror, the human is actually controlling the crane that carries the piece of food the hamster is chasing. At the same time, the movements of the hamster are replicated by its oversized man-eating version inside the video game thanks to a series of sensors and cameras built into its tank.
But this isn't just for hamsters: Other possible Metazoa Ludens games in development include Jellyfish Trone (a Tron-like game where a real jellyfish is the snake that cuts you off) and Chicken Pacman (in which the chicken is represented by a ghost chasing you through a maze).
So to summarize, it's a way to play with your cuddly pet without actually touching it (you can even play over the Internet), and it trains your pet to successfully chase you down and eat you (since it's learning all of your real-life evasive maneuvers and how to defeat them).
"Animal is prone to shit-talking, even though he's barely ahead if you look at it hourly."
To be fair, it is also a great research tool: scientists can learn more about animals from the decisions they make. And we won't really feel the downside until all those trained hamsters escape and figure out a way to make themselves giant. We can only hope that they'll let us play video games when we're the ones put in cages.