Stanford boffin invents emotion-detecting game controller

Stanford engineers have created technology that may drastically alter the way people experience games in the years to come, reports the University’s newsletter.

The technology utilises physiological sensors, located on a modified Xbox controller, to measure autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity during gameplay. The ANS controls various involuntary visceral functions like heart rate, skin temperature, breathing, sweating, swallowing, even sexual arousal.

Not surprisingly, your level of engagement directly affects the ANS resulting in specific visceral output. In other words, if you are encountering a particularly difficult boss or obstacle in the game, your heart rate and level of perspiration may increase. The controller is particularly innovative because it will allow game developers to modify gameplay based on the individual user’s experience.

For example, if the ANS output reads that the user is quite calm, indicating disengagement, then the game will adapt and become more difficult. Conversely, if the gamer is overly stressed, the game might get a bit easier. Who knows, with this new technology a completely inept gamer, like myself, might even be able to enjoy gaming.



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