Somehow we missed Sony Computer Entertainment America's fourth wall-breaking patent application earlier this month, but here's how the concept would work: Using a PS3, you'd control an on-screen avatar to throw tomatoes at actors and even kick their arse… literally.
"Avatars displayed to a user, in response to user gestures in the real world, e.g. in response to manipulation of a game controller or other such expedient [PlayStation Eye or wand-based motion control?—Ed] , may toss tomatoes that stick to the actor's face or bounce off the actor's face and roll along a table that appears in the movie or television show."
The virtual avatars would be overlaid just like Joel Robinson's silhouette in Mystery Science Theatre 3000. In fact, the patent application actually mentions the cult US comedy series.
"The avatar of the audience member 39a is now out of its seat, has rushed up to the actor in the scene, and has kicked the actor in the behind while the target is still displayed. The first participant to accomplish this may be awarded points…The kicked individual may be displaced or the portion of the body that is kicked may respond. Key to this aspect of the invention is modelling the physics and the interaction of the impacting object, e.g. the duck and the underlying object, e.g. the water, in a way that is realistic. Known game technology techniques can be used to accomplish this modelling."
Sony's patent also mentions the possibility of overlaying advertising like Nike and Coca-Cola logos. Come to think of it, being able to throw tomatoes at ads might actually get me to stop skipping them. At least until the novelty wears off. Either way, crazy stuff, no? [USPTO via Silicon Era via Kotaku]