Sometimes there are benefits of being That Dilbert Guy. After I mentioned the brain reading technology from Neurosky (Neurosky.com) one of their headsets and some software showed up at my office. You slap on the headset and control what happens on screen by either concentrating or relaxing. The headset reads your brain waves and communicates via Bluetooth to the game.

The sample games are limited, designed just for demonstrating the technology. I understand that some cooler things are in the pipeline from third party companies. This got me wondering what would be the coolest game you could develop with this technology. I think I came up with the best game ever.

Imagine an online multiplayer game where you control an avatar that is a wizard in this imaginary world. So far, that sort of thing exists. Now imagine that when you encounter an enemy wizard, you do battle, Harry Potter style, with an assortment of spells. So far, I imagine this already exists too. (I'm not a gamer.)

The new part involves integrating voice recognition and the Neurosky headset with the game play. Imagine that you speak the name of your chosen spell, and the game recognizes it and raises the magic wand of your avatar. But to actually apply the spell, you have to concentrate, and the Neurosky headset picks up that brain wave and translates it into the power of your spell.

Imagine that the available spells in this online world are an elaborate form of paper-rocks-scissors, meaning that every spell has a spell it can best and one that can best it. And even those results would depend on how effectively you concentrated to empower your spell. So a weak spell with good concentration could beat a powerful spell poorly done.

And perhaps you can escape from a spell through relaxation, becoming like a vapor to avoid chains, for example. The headset would pick up relaxation brain waves too.

I probably just pissed off some game developer who is working on this exact idea in a top secret lab somewhere. Sorry.
Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +22
  • Print
  • Share


Sort By:
Aug 20, 2009
You've got this all wrong. In a virtual environment aka video games. there is nothing really that intriguing about using this technology as the input device. All it means is that you now can't multiask or talk to friends while you're playing. The added level of concentration would be counter productive for the average person who just wants to play video games to unwind and relax.

Now in a PHYSICAL environment this would kick butt. The BEST game ever.

Mind controled robot wrestling.
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 20, 2009
The game from Mattel that uses this is called "Mind Flex" and it's amazing. I played it at GenCon last week, and amazingly, I won a pre-release copy while I was there! [NEVER happens to me]. It can be pre-ordered I think right now, but won't be available until October or something.

Essentially, you have a fan that you control through concentration. More brain waves = stronger fan. The fan keeps a ball floating in the air, so as you concentrate, the ball goes higher. The fan is also on a circular track with various obstacles, and as you turn a knob with your hand, the track spins (fan located inside the track). So you try to keep the ball at the "right" level based on the obstacle in front of you as the fan/ball make a circular path.

My 8 year old crushes me, which is either really cool or sort of sad...
Aug 20, 2009
i think it could be a great game. but whenever I lost, I would be convinced that the winner had figured out a way to hack the technology and simply use coding abilities to beat me. Of course, technically, that would probably mean they are smarter than me, anyway.
Aug 20, 2009
Okay Scott, time to start plugging someone else's products and see what else you can get for free. Mention that you own a BMW a few more times and mayble they'll give you a new one. Need a barbeque for your new house, start dropping names like Weber and Fiesta. Start blogging about how Sears has such great appliances and you could end up with a new kitchen full Kenmore. You never know who is listening out there.

Okay, back to the game thing, I guess we will have to wait to see what the first wave of third party software developers come up with before we can see too far ahead. I would like to see some Star Wars games use this technology for Jedi characters, and of course any RPG type game that uses wizards would work. And I think the hardware needs to get a little more sophisticated too when it comes to detecting the brain waves. If a 16 year old boy was wearing one of these headsets and a cute girl walked by, he could probably produce enough brain waves to burn toast, but it would have nothing to do with the game he was playing.
+9 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 20, 2009
I enjoyed the fact that today's glowing post about a company that just gave you some free stuff followed yesterday's post about political donations influencing the policy agenda in Washington.
Aug 20, 2009
That would be great. Something that could emulate The Force (Tm) in a game, now that would be seriously cool.
Get the new Dilbert app!
Old Dilbert Blog