Perhaps I’m just delirious from lack of sleep but given that you can have “perfect information” from within an emulator, it should be possible create Mario, Zelda, Contra, etc playing “bots”!
If you don’t want to “cheat”, it can be based on the screen image (like a human would get) but this would be significantly more difficult. I’d be really impressed if you could make something that navigates a signal level through “vision”.
That would make a damn good master’s thesis/senior project I think.
Some quick googling didn’t turn up anything, but I wouldn’t be surprised if such a thing already exists. Any takers?