Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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3D Billiards/Pool

Using Vacuum Balls (or lighter than air filled carbon fiber bubbles)
 
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Along time ago in a city far far away from here I started a sci fi book which had a segment describing this game. I can't remember all of it but I have some memory of opponents being able to attempt to deflect your shots or vice versa resulting in a more chaotic speed pool (no "turns") in which you would also get a penalty for being struck by a ball.
This game was used to hone ship gunners targeting skills.
The cue balls could contain a hard core fan, battery, and servos giving them short term mobility directed by a laser hand held pointing device. Penalty results in one of your scored balls being reintroduced into the field of play. When the Cue ball's battery declines beyond its acceptable maneuverability limit capability check (runs out of juice) it darts into a pocket to be replaced by a fully charged Cue which tries to assume the previous Cue's position and intention.
Zimmy, Jul 19 2003

From the Halfbakery: Air Pool http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Air_20Pool
Somewhat related. Circa May 2003. [bristolz, Oct 04 2004]

Levitating pool http://www.halfbake...a/Levitating_20pool
With magnets. [phoenix, Oct 04 2004]

Anna Rapoport, computer scientist http://www.wisdom.w...ments/Proposal1.pdf
Multi-dimensional billiard-like potentials [LoriZ, Jun 19 2006]

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       Good idea. But why not start it as a computer game?
Great Satan, Jul 19 2003
  

       Define: hard core fan
thumbwax, Jul 19 2003
  

       I think that "hard core fan" means a fan with a directed tunnel of air. A virtual pool cue.
Eugene, Jul 19 2003
  

       How about using a custom, felt-lined hoberman-type sphere as a table? You wouldn't need anything more fancy than a set of regulation poolballs, and since the table would be collapsible, you could take it somewhere (say, on a shuttle flight, or as a Soyuz space tourist to the ISS) where you could actually use it in zero-gravity. I'm not sure what one would use to set the balls... I guess you could collapse the table after each game to get them in the middle again...
cloudface, Jul 19 2003
  

       Hang on DrCurry, you're assuming he read it in a sci-fi book, how do you know it wasn't a book he started writing?
simonj, Jul 20 2003
  

       one imagines that if he wrote it, he would remember it.
po, Jul 20 2003
  

       // felt-lined hoberman-type sphere as a table //   

       How would one shoot balls that are inside a felt-lined sphere? You couldn't see inside, let alone get a cue through the felt.
waugsqueke, Jul 20 2003
  

       [simonj & Dr. Curry] I did write it (or at least start to), but it was so long ago and there are so many that I start and abandon, that my ability to recall it is not so great. I think it was going to be a "Star Wars" type book.
My intention was that the players would be in the field of play, though I hadn't thought of it as a sphere.
The Long Range Telescope idea originated in the same way.
Zimmy, Jul 21 2003
  

       mea culpa: I thought you meant you started reading it, not writing it. Since it's your original idea, no problemo!
DrCurry, Jul 21 2003
  
      
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