Alt.GDC: Playing Tug of War… with Your Mind!

Alt.GDC: Playing Tug of War… with Your Mind!

As brainwave-reading technology becomes more affordable, mind-controlled video games may one day be the next big thing, the motion-control of tomorrow.

MAKE readers have already been introduced to the Neurosky headset in previous projects (see below). Now, with the release of iOS and Android support, you can capture your brainwaves on the go (not that the subway would be conducive to concentration games, and imagine the funny looks you’d get wearing this kooky headset in public).

I got to demo MyndPlay, a game which presents you with a series of videos and prompts you to concentrate, meditate, or both (I couldn’t figure out the latter for the life of me). Your success or failure steers the progression of the story. It’s like Quick Time Events, but instead of pressing x to not die, you have to meditate to not die. There was even a 2- player tug of war game where the person with the higher attention score wins.

One of the most interesting applications is a game, called Focus Pocus, aimed at kids with ADD, to help strengthen their attention levels. I love to see technologies that are capable of both entertainment and helping to solve real-world problems.

Oh, and it can also be used for emotionally-reactive cat ears. (I think she likes me.)


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I design games for work and for fun. I recently graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design, and am now employed as a designer at Toys for Bob.

View more articles by Blake Maloof


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