Horror Game Nevermind Learns Your Fears, Knows When You Are Afraid

Horror Game Nevermind Learns Your Fears, Knows When You Are Afraid

Nevermind, using a heartbeat detector, becomes more difficult the faster your heart rate becomes.

When Nintendo unveiled its Wii Vitality Sensor several years ago, no-one really knew what to make of it. Even Nintendo later admitted that they were basically grasping at straws. But a terrifying new horror game, Nevermind, is using a similar technology to determine how frightened you are while playing. Simply put, the more scared you are, the more difficult the game is. If that's not frightening enough, Nevermind can also learn what you are most afraid of, and use it against you.

"The more scared you are, the harder the game becomes," says Erin Reynolds, who started the project as a USC grad student in interactive media and was heavily inspired by the movie The Cell. "To complete the game, you have to get pretty good at learning how to manage your anxiety on the fly."

Players take on the role of a "neuroprober," who is a kind of trauma psychologist that helps patients overcome their fears by literally delving into their most disturbing memories. The goal is to "solve" a level before your fear, measured by heart monitors, catches up to you. An example given was one level where a player must solve an anagram in a creepy kitchen. As the player gets more frightened, the room starts filling with milk. If it completely fills up, the player drowns and you die (it looks like Matrix rules apply).

But possibly the most horrifying aspect of the game, is that through dialogue choices and gameplay, it learns what frightens you the most, and begins to use those aspects more regularly. For example, if the player becomes uncomfortable around sexual dialogue, the monsters will become more sexual in nature.

Reynolds says that she isn't just trying to scare the pants off of her players, but believes Nevermind can have a tangible benefit on people's real-world lives. "The tiniest tight feeling in your stomach is a very biological response and the game will acknowledge that," she says, "Which then forces players to figure out what stress management techniques work for them."

If this sounds like something you'd want to try out, you should head over to the official website for more information.

Source: Fast Company

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That's actually pretty cool. Responsive horror game AND it may help you realize how to manage your stress? Sign me up!

Hmm, seems interesting, but is there a specific heartbeat frequency that denotes fear? Couldn't a fast heartbeat, for example, reflect excitement as much as it does fear?

"Which then forces players to figure out what stress management techniques work for them."

Pills. There, game beaten, moving along :p

It's almost a running theme with nintendo now. New controller ideas that they develop, manufacture and can't think of anything to do with that other people see so much potential in it.

But yeah, this game sounds cool but I'm really bad with horror. I give this game credit though.

dyre:
Hmm, seems interesting, but is there a specific heartbeat frequency that denotes fear? Couldn't a fast heartbeat, for example, reflect excitement as much as it does fear?

http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15799coll3/id/36104

See

HEART RATE VARIABILITY (HRV) ..............66

Sounds like an interesting game. Hmmm female developer. Wonder how many misogynistic dickweeds have harassed her seeing as the Internet gaming culture is so evil and antifemale.

There is just one problem, I know exactly how to calm myself (lower my heartbeats) when I play games or watch movies. I actually taught myself the technique because I started disliking how the fake heartbeat sounds are used to effect your body. If the difficulty of a game increased along with my hearthbeat then I would most likely end up removing myself from the experience and ruin any immersion I might have.

Sofus:
There is just one problem, I know exactly how to calm myself (lower my heartbeats) when I play games or watch movies. I actually taught myself the technique because I started disliking how the fake heartbeat sounds are used to effect your body. If the difficulty of a game increased along with my hearthbeat then I would most likely end up removing myself from the experience and ruin any immersion I might have.

What techniques are those? I actually want to learn these. :D

LetalisK:

Sofus:
There is just one problem, I know exactly how to calm myself (lower my heartbeats) when I play games or watch movies. I actually taught myself the technique because I started disliking how the fake heartbeat sounds are used to effect your body. If the difficulty of a game increased along with my hearthbeat then I would most likely end up removing myself from the experience and ruin any immersion I might have.

What techniques are those? I actually want to learn these. :D

Breath slowly (not deeply) and then start focusing on your heartbeat. I have no idea if it will help you, but it has worked surprisingly well for me. If the game or movie uses heartbeat sounds then you will have to try make sure that your breathing doesn't end up matching them.

Ok I actually want my bro to play that game just so that I can get to know what his fear is! Apparently my bro says he doesn't got a proper fear unlike me (spiders).

Well, this should be interesting to watch horror LPers play....

As someone with a chronic rapid heart beat, I feel like I'd be arguing with the game every step of the way.
"YOU'RE SCARED, HAVE SOME DIFFICULTY!"
"No, game, I just have a faster heart rate than the average human due to...."
"I SAID HAVE SOME DIFFICULTY!"

JSoup:
As someone with a chronic rapid heart beat, I feel like I'd be arguing with the game every step of the way.
"YOU'RE SCARED, HAVE SOME DIFFICULTY!"
"No, game, I just have a faster heart rate than the average human due to...."
"I SAID HAVE SOME DIFFICULTY!"

Hopefully it takes some time to measure what your normal heart-rate is. Hopefully.

JSoup:
As someone with a chronic rapid heart beat, I feel like I'd be arguing with the game every step of the way.
"YOU'RE SCARED, HAVE SOME DIFFICULTY!"
"No, game, I just have a faster heart rate than the average human due to...."
"I SAID HAVE SOME DIFFICULTY!"

Or if the programming is done very meh-ly you could break the game and make the A.I lock out.

Other than that i am very interested in this game, although it doesn't seem very scary...i mean...a room flooded with milk instead of guts , blood, feces or copies of Justin Bieber CDs is not exactly a scary room.

I'm not a fan of responsive horror games. Silent Hill: Shattered Elements went on and on about that, even had a warning at the start of the game to that extent.

And guess what? The game was not scary, all the changes were absolutely superficial and amounted to nothing.

I'd like to think it could be done well, but we'll have to see. I wonder if a better strategy would be to spend all the time working on pointless responsiveness and instead focus on trying to be as scary as possible.

Jandau:
"Which then forces players to figure out what stress management techniques work for them."

Pills. There, game beaten, moving along :p

Haha! I couldn't help but laugh at that. No need for cheat codes, kids! Have some codeine!! :D Life lessons learned.

One question, is this game for the wii U or just completely seperate? It would be nice of them to put a decent horror on that console

Interesting idea. I have to wonder if there's inexpensive heart-rate monitoring hardware cheaply and readily available. a $20 price hike on every unit sold could easily make something like this untenable, especially if there's only one game the doodad is promised to work with.

This could be a super game...It would be fabulous potentially as a trainer for people with anxiety issues. You could program it so there are real world situations and use it to help get data and earlier interventions to help people manage anxiety more effectively.

Pretty awesome actually...

I'd like to see the pro speedrunner/psychopath that can game the pulse system into doing stupid things to become easier.

 

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