I have had this idea for a really long time, even before i got into robotics.
Ok, the idea is that you create a robot in a virtual world then program it to be able to interact in that virtual world. It would be online so the robot could interact with other's robots and even battle them.
I would like it best if it was as realistic as possible, as much like the robotics hobby as possible. The interface should be nearly the same (for example, servos would work the same way by giving them a pulse width). You'll have to take care of vision and such yourself, so when you start the game and maybe build a virtual 50$ robot you wouldn't see more than the sensor data you get. Then you'll maybe proceed with a robot featuring an IR range finder and encoders for your wheels. Then you can at least start to see something of the world by applying a wavefront algorithm.
There would have to be some kind of score or money system restricting people from directly using high level sensory such as cameras.
An existing game that is on the track of what I'm thinking about is ROBOFORGE: http://www.roboforge.net
Still, this game is not made for roboteers. I would like a game that is made for roboteers.
So, what do you think? Would it work out? Is anybody interested in working on such a game? I don't have the time or will to pull this off on my own, especially not right now...