The biofeedback games made to improve our well-being

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. When Space Invaders dropped into Japanese arcades, the alien shooting gallery was such a phenomenon that the 100 yen piece, the equivalent of an American quarter, became a rarity. The game’s action was straightforward and exacting, and the narrative spoke to everyone’s inner xenophobe. Ultimately, however, it was the stellar soundtrack — a simple pulsing heartbeat that accelerated with each passing minute —that made each playthrough a thrill. Videogames have always had the ability to affect a player’’s biorhythms but now games are being created to pull those physiological reactions into…


This Xbox controller knows if you’re having fun or not

A researcher at Stanford has modded an Xbox controller to tap into and measure a player’s emotional states, such as whether they are happily engaged with a game, or if they’re ready to throw his very expensive controller across the room. The hand sensors gather signals such as your pulse, skin temperature, and electrical transmissions from your heart, which are analyzed by a computer that predicts how much you’re enjoying the game. The dream is that such information could automatically adjust the flow of games without devs having to worry about difficulty levels and so forth. We’ve seen games that…


Nevermind, the survival-horror game that feeds on biofeedback, goes to Kickstarter

Most scary games just want to scare you, but Nevermind wants to scare you and then help you manage your anxiety. The concept for this white-knuckled first-person experience is really cool, taking advantage of biofeedback not just for self-help, but actually to adjust the thrills and chills as you play. It uses a headset that reads your pulse to hook into your biorhythms, and then pushes your panic button repeatedly. When you’re scared, the game gets harder; the only way to continue is to calm yourself down. And no cheating with Klonopin. We’ve talked about it before, and we’ll be…


We thought this headband that measures gamer rage was an Onion headline, but nope, it’s real

There is a growing problem among teenagers, if the website for this Immersion biometric ear-band is to be believed. (Hint: it shouldn’t be.) It seems millions of upper-middle-class, unbearably Caucasian male teens who use copious amounts of hairspray cannot control their gamer rage. But have no fear, moms. The Immersion will save us from the depravity of American youth screaming at their TVs because they keep getting no-scoped playing Call of Duty. The ridiculous device is an electronic band that monitors the angry gamer’s heart rate when inserted directly into his earholes. (Judging from the webpage, it seems this phenomena…


How a paralyzed boy will mind-control his robotic bodysuit to kick off the World Cup

Here’s a feel-good story to kick off your week. A teenager will be kicking off the 2014 World Cup in São Paulo. The catch? He’s paralyzed, and will be assisted by an amazing robotic bodysuit built by neuroengineers at Duke. To put this in language that everybody understands, the device is controlled by the boy’s mind. Just picture Iron Man and you’ve pretty much got it. But technically speaking the technology uses a headset that reads neural signals to control the robot suit. The fancy tech was researched by implanting tiny electrical sensors in the brains of rats and monkeys,…