Computers are superbly fast and accurate at playing games, but can they be programmed to be more fun to play – to play like you and me?

People like to play against opponents who are like themselves – opponents with personality, who can surprise, who sometimes make mistakes, yet don’t blindly make the same mistakes over and over.

The BotPrize competition challenges programmers/researchers/hobbyists to create a bot for UT2004 (a first-person shooter) that can fool opponents into thinking it is another human player.

The competition has been sponsored by 2K games since 2008, with up to $7000 prize money. It was created and is organized by Associate Professor Philip Hingston, of Edith Cowan University, in Perth, Western Australia.

In the competition, computer-controlled bots and human players (judges) meet in multiple rounds of combat, and the judges try to guess which opponents are human. To win the prize, a bot has to be indistinguishable from a human player.