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Input Devices Games

Bringing Neurofeedback Gaming To the Masses 37

New submitter captioning writes "The Los Angeles Times reports on Throw Trucks With Your Mind, a multiplayer first-person 'gunless shooter' that uses an inexpensive, wireless EEG (electroencephalograph) headset to measure players' brainwaves and move virtual objects on screen. Depending on the strength of players' beta waves (emitted while concentrating), players toss small items like crates or catapult objects like trucks. Players can also draw things toward them by relaxing (and emitting alpha waves). Greater relaxation results in more power as well, so players learn quickly to be careful when attracting trucks. The success of Throw Trucks could lead to stronger demand for neural feedback games worldwide."
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Bringing Neurofeedback Gaming To the Masses

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  • Neurosky headset (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wimpy ( 39015 ) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @07:04PM (#43128049)

    I have such a Neurosky headset but find it of no use - the output seems to be just random. Whether meditating, concentrating very hard or playing a game, it is always fluctuating in a similar pattern. What does work is eye blinking, but that is just picking up the muscle contraction and not the brainwaves.

    • Re:Neurosky headset (Score:5, Interesting)

      by EdZ ( 755139 ) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @07:47PM (#43128193)
      The Neroskys, as EEG headsets, are crap. You'd be lucky to pick up anything other than forehead muscle contractions. The Emotive EPOC isn't half bad, and is probably the cheapest way to get an actually functional EEG headset that you don't have to build yourself. If you want to do any actual controlling of things with conscious intent, it's the bare minimum, but you'd be better off with a full electrode mesh and some proper instrumentation amplifiers, but that's not going to be anywhere close to cheap or easy to work with without a good amount of prior knowledge.

      This "Throw Trucks With Your Mind" thing is a waste of money, unless you really want to play "Sometimes Throw Trucks With Your Forehead".
      • This [] ted talk was from 2010. Looks simple and like it works really well. Not sure why you'd need a "full electrode mesh." Not sure what the hell's taking it so long either.
        • by EdZ ( 755139 )

          Not sure why you'd need a "full electrode mesh."

          Because EEG is a measure of voltage from outside of the skull. With just two electrodes, the best you can possibly measure is whether the average of all anterior-posterior (front-back) aligned neurons is mostly in one direction or the other. Laterally oriented neurons are ignored, and you have no idea what's going on in different regions.
          As you add electrodes, you resolution increases and you can start to guess whether activity is occurring in which quadrant of the brain. Add some more, and you might even

    • Re:Neurosky headset (Score:4, Interesting)

      by drkim ( 1559875 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @01:16AM (#43129261)

      I've got the OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator Review (NIA) and it works fairly well for gaming.
      As far as I can tell, it does pick up muscle contractions (eyebrow raising) better than brain activity. Takes a lot of training, too.

      I had a lot of intermittent reading trouble with it, until I started smearing the sensors with electrode paste, then I got more consistent results. []

    • I find its fairly easy to get them fixed on one or the other, but I find it impossible to make them go up and down as a high rate of speed like I would need in a game.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @07:28PM (#43128125) Journal

    I find that, using only the nearest wall and/or bystander and my fists I am able to get incredibly realistic haptic feedback based on my brain's state. Even better, the graphics are amazing(except when I try to play it in the bar, not sure if there is a hardware compatibility problem)!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I tried this RL game as well, but it sucked. Grinding money takes like 8 hours a day every day. It's like a day job.
      The interface sucks too. I can never find my keyring in the inventory.

  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @07:43PM (#43128183)

    If neural controllers want to ever become practical, they should start recording signals from the cerebellum, the region of the brain responsible for motor control.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      While the cerebellum is certainly involved in motor control, you cannot really say that it is 'responsible.' Most researchers studying how the human nervous system controls movement accept that the cerebellum is involved in feedback error correction, motor learning, and possibly feed-forward modulation of control to compensate for changes in body orientation. This is why people with cerebellar damage present with cerebellar ataxia [] rather than loss of the ability to move.

      Controlling external objects based on

    • No mod points. This needs to be modded down and/or the other reply modded up.

  • So the calmer you are in what would normally be an adrenaline producing situation, the better you are at the game? That's going to produce some scary people.

  • And I just lost my Ono-Sendai Cyberspace 7 to Mitsubishi adapter plugs.
  • by narcc ( 412956 ) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @09:52PM (#43128611) Journal

    What's wrong with just good old fashioned GSR? They're less complicated, less expensive, and (compared to cheap EEG's) accurate and reliable.

    I guess technically you can do less with than with a working EEG, but I've yet to see a usable and inexpensive home model. (Strange, as the average electronics hobbyist can build a less expensive and more reliable two-channel EEG in an afternoon.)

  • Even with an invasive EEG, its pretty difficult to accurately measure brain activity. With a dry EEG, you're just wasting your time. Until gamers are ready to crack open their skulls to get more precise input, I think this one isn't going to happen.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham