View the WoW Pod at the MIT Museum through September 2009.

I imagine a lot of hardcore gamers who play massive multiplayer online role-playing games (like World of Warcraft or EverQuest II) have that fantasy where they don’t have to get up and waste time on mundane matters—like fixing a sandwich. Or walking. Or using the restroom. But the dream of complete sequestration and total focus on the raid at hand was always just that. A dream. Until now.

Sort of.

Media Lab Phd candidate Cati Vaucelle SM ’02 and Visiting Artist Marisa Jahn SM ’07 along with Steve Shada created the WOW Pod for serious World of Warcraft players. And by serious, I mean the-line-between-you-and-your-level-80-character-is-completely-blurred serious. The hut resembles architecture within the game’s Azeroth universe and anticipates all of life’s needs.

The Wow Pod's throne, keyboard, hotplate, surround sound, and water.

The Wow Pod's throne, keyboard, hotplate, surround sound, and water.

The user sits in front of the computer screen on a throne, which conceals a toilet, and has easy access to water and pre-packaged food, such as crunchy spider surprise and soothing turtle bisque. Scan the food item and the game automatically adjusts a nearby hot plate to cook the item for the correct amount of time. The virtual character will then announce the status of the meal—“Vorcon’s meal is about to be done!”—and put the player in AFK (away from keyboard) mode to eat. (No word on what that spider surprise actually tastes like.)

But before some of you start contemplating all sorts of vivid details you can’t unthink—how would that toilet work, anyway?—know this: it’s a work of art, not a commercial enterprise—a fact Vaucelle says is lost in much of the press the WoW Pod has received. Read one example here.

Just add water and eat!

Roast raptor and goblin deviled clams. Just add water and eat!

Vaucelle, who researches “the design of hybrid physical/digital objects for play, performance, and psycho-physiotherapy,” says the pod “is a cocoon that structures a relationship between your physical body and your avatar. The avatar reminds you that you have a body and walks you through the process of cooking in the very environment that tends to make physical and virtual self ambiguous.”

It’s also a revealing social commentary that many in the blogosphere failed to notice it’s art and believed it was a prototype.

Read more and view a video of the WoW Pod.