Saturday, 6 February 2010

Brain Maze, mobile brainwave game

Mobile-games researcher Dr Paul Coulton and PhD student Will Bamford from Lancaster University UK have recently unveiled their new game ‘Brain Maze’, in which players use ‘tilt’ controls and a brain-wave reading headset (NeuroSky's MindSet) to progress a marble around a course.

At certain key checkpoints around the maze, the phone (Nokia N97) picks up electromagnetic waves from the player’s brain. Brain Maze uses alpha waves, which are associated with a meditative state, and beta waves, which are associated with an attentive state, to control access through the mind gates that form part of the game. If the players want to get through the mind gates then they literally have to think about it.

Of course learning to adjust a mental state during the game can take some practice and people often find one state easier to control than others (this appears to be the biggest question mark over this technology anyway).

I've just had my first go on BCI a few days ago (the Emotiv one rather than the NeuroSky one used for this research) and I intend to feature more posts in this area which is fast becoming a 'hot topic' for gaming and interaction alike.

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