Games and competitions have played a significant role throughout the history of artificial intelligence and robotics. Machine intelligence games are examined here from a distinctive methodological perspective, focusing on their use as generators of multidisciplinary research programs, and relying on Robocup as an exemplary case of research program developing from machine intelligence games. These research programs are schematized in terms of framework building, subgoaling, and outcome appraisal processes. The latter process is found to involve a rather intricate system of rewards and penalties, which take into account the double allegiance of participating scientists, technology trading and integration, competence and methods sharing, in addition to expected industrial payoffs and a variety of other fringe research benefits in the way of research outreach and results dissemination, recruitment of junior researchers and students enrollment.
Keywords: Double allegiance of scientists, Machine intelligence games, Methodology of AI, Methodology of robotics, Multidisciplinary research, Research gamification.