One of the random-but-nice things about being an academic is when students come to you and ask you for thesis advice. It's a chance to really help people think through their creative process, which I've always enjoyed. As super-junior faculty (I'm only one year out of school myself!) I've only gotten to help on a couple, but here are a couple of student projects I've gotten a chance to advise:
Broken Hallelujah is an interactive narrative project that began fairly standard - "It's a website that the user can navigate through!" - and ended up using computer analysis of user-generated text to make story decisions. It's still a basic branching narrative, but it doesn't feel like one, and that's a real achievement.
Fiasco is a totally super urban-based multi-player game involving making a fool of yourself in public and having other people rate your stupid stunts - think Jackass meets Am I Hot Or Not. Sheer brilliance!
A couple of people have suggested I teach a thesis class; I think it could be really fun, if I decide to stick around next semester instead of running off to do something wild ......