Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mind-controlled gaming becoming a reality

Mind-controlled gamingControlling a video game with your mind might seem the stuff of science fiction, but then again, so did the idea of motion controls.

While still a ways from being a mainstream phenomenon, mind-controlled games are already on store shelves -- and more are coming.

Leading the charge is Neurosky. The San Jose, CA-based company is the, well, brains behind Mattel's Mindflex (Buy|Search) children's game -- which lets kids raise and lower a small foam ball solely by focusing their concentration -- as well as the Star Wars Force Trainer (Buy|Search), which basically does the same thing, only with a heavier geek vibe.

The company has slowly been branching out into the video game sector, though. At the recent Game Developers Conference, Neurosky showed off its MindWave headset, a gadget that monitors brainwave impulses from your forehead and categorizes them into different mental states, like relaxed or stressed. Using a device from tech company Puzzlebox, developers can learn more about how people play the game, seeing their levels of concentration and relaxation in real time.

For the player, that could mean titles with more emotional impact, as game makers can use the device to fine-tune their games.

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