I am currently working on a project experimenting with Artificial Intelligence design methodologies for "online world" avatars. When I say "online world", this is fairly to interpretation; "Second Life" is just as applicable as "Counter Strike", for example.
In order to carry out these experiments I must first develop an intelligent agent for the world, or game, in question. However I am honestly quite stuck as to which game I could use for this. My preference was to develop an intelligent "bot" to play an MMORPG, however the legal restrictions of such games seem to prevent me from doing this. Likewise with "Counter Strike: Source" and such FPS games; the use of an intelligent agent in place of a human player is considered cheating by most game developers.
The alternative, of course, is to create an NPC bot; an intelligent agent that populates the world alongside the player(s) rather than replacing a particular player. However I'm struggling to find a game that would enable me to create an intelligent opponent, too.
I suppose the main requirements would be a game that might allow a third party program to use the function calls usually utilised by players and read feedback on the state of the world.
Quake III and Unreal Tournament are games that have been suggested to me before, however my preference is not to use these since they have been used in previous work on this research project.
Short of writing my own online game from scratch, what games are there that would allow me, through middleware, an API, or otherwise, to create either an artificially intelligent player or a bot? Thanks in advance.