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'Playing' Crave with nifty Chrome World Wide Maze

A cool new experiment uses HTML5 to turn any Web site into a 3D labyrinth and any smartphone running Chrome into a game controller.

Rolling all over Crave in 3D...
Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

Finally, Chrome has given me a way to turn work into a game.

Chrome World Wide Maze is a nifty experiment from the Google Japan crew that syncs the mobile Chrome browser to a tab on the desktop, turning your smartphone into a controller that navigates a digital pinball on the desktop screen around a 3D rendering of any site on the Web.

Sounds like an odd concept at first, but once your device and desktop are synced up via HTML5 WebSockets (it took me a few tries, as I got a couple of "null" responses on the connect codes) and you've picked your site, the gameplay is exceedingly smooth.

The game takes advantage of Javascript, WebGL-powered 3D graphics, HTML5 accelerometer support, and other modern Web wonders. The potential for a new form of console-less gaming is pretty clear, but some of Google's coolest experiments are also known to be quickly shelved or forgotten (R.I.P. Google PowerMeter).

Watch the full demo below in Japanese, or enter the URL for this post and interact with my writing in whole new ways.