Gaming is having to push new boundaries to find untapped potential, the latest consoles give us incredible visuals, the Wii gave us physical interaction, Pokemon Go took gaming our into the wild, and VR brought the wild to us. The latest gaming technology brought to my attention is Emotionally Responsive Gaming (ERG).
What is ERG?
Emotionally Responsive Gaming uses bio-monitors to measure the emotional state of the player and capture their bio-metric readings, this allows a game to monitor the affect it is having and modify it’s performance accordingly.
What Impact could Emotionally Responsive Gaming have on the player Experience?
Imagine a game that punishes the nervous or rewards the calm, for example you are playing your favourite footy game online, and a tight game has gone to penalties, with ERG if a player is showing signs of pressure then the accuracy of their shots may be decreased. Or in Resident Evil when you come under a sudden Zombie attack, if you panic then your controls are reversed or if you are taking everything in your stride suddenly a few extra head biters appear.
So ERG could compliment most other gaming technologies and could add an extra level of immersion to gaming, and the reality is that the technology may be here soon thanks to BfB Labs who are hoping to come to market soon via an educational establishment focused Indigogo campaign with Champions of the Shengha.
Champions of the Shengha is a fantasy card battler which uses the BfB Sensor to measure the players heart rate, and uses the data to alter your in game skills, as the video below shows it’s an interesting proposition.
BfB labs have run trials using the technology to see the impact it can make on gamers, they state:
- Players spent on average 26 minutes per play session focusing on breathing
- Over 4 in 5 participants were able to reliably double their heart rate variability, spending 40% of focused breathing time over this threshold
- 3 in 4 reported getting better at staying calm and focused within the game
- 1 in 4 reported they had already started applying these techniques outside of the game by the end of the trial.
Is these stats stack up with larger sample sizes then the benefits to the gamer could be measurable, if you are interested in hearing more then you can check out the BfB Labs Website.
ERG is still emerging technology but one which compliments gaming, including mobile gaming, perfectly and I for one will be looking forward to seeing how it progresses. Perhaps the next PS4 controllers or iPhones will have ERG integrated into them