Smart Takes

Playing video games with your mind

Posting in Technology

Technology companies have developed ways to play video games using the electrical signals in the brain.

Companies like Emotiv Systems and NeuroSky, Inc. have developed a way to control video games with the mind.

The controller wraps around a person's head like a headset and contains sensors that translate brain waves into information that is sent it to a smartphone.

It’s kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure game because it allows users to manipulate movie or game plots so you can decide if the good guy wins or if the hero gets the girl.

Timothy Hay at The Wall Street Journal reports:

"The technology is still limiting, however, tracking mostly the brain's ability to concentrate and relax but not specific, purposeful actions. Some players of mind games might be underwhelmed that they don't have total control in the same way they could with a joystick."

The technology isn't only about fun and games, though. Some doctors say this concept could be used to improve mental health. By putting yourself in a state of complete focus or relaxation you are essentially calming the mind. This could be therapeutic for people suffering from anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. It could also help to improve concentration for people with attention-deficit disorder.

The headsets are available for sale on the NeuroSky website for $129. And games including "MindHunter" and "FocusPocus" are available for download in the ap store for between $5 and $20.

Mind-Controlled Videogames Become Reality  [Wall Street Journal]

Photo via Emotiv Systems

Share this

Amy Kraft

Weekend Editor

Contributing Editor Amy Kraft is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for New Scientist and DNAinfo and has produced podcasts for Scientific American's 60-Second-Science. She holds degrees from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure