New Biometric Headset Punishes Gamer Rage

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New Biometric Headset Punishes Gamer Rage

The custom headset makes the game get harder the more stressed you become.

It's no coincidence that the first studio to popularize the first-person shooter was named after the part of the psyche responsible for aggression and primal desires. In certain circles, the FPS is still referred to as an "Id Shooter". Especially in a multiplayer environment, these games have the magical ability to transform a normally docile player into an seething ball of hate and adrenaline. Even if you can resist its pull, you still have to deal with a lobby full of raging man-beasts. This got designer Samuel Matson thinking about ways to combat this Jekyll and Hyde phenomenon. Using a headset modified with biometric sensors, he created a game that only gets more difficult the more you rage at it.

Dubbed "Immersion", the device uses an Arduino microprocessor and pulse sensor inside a custom-designed headset. From there, it feeds your heart rate to a simple FPS game running in the Unity engine. The more stressed the player becomes, the more difficult the game gets. The idea is that players can use it as a way to control their stress, and thus their rage.

The Immersion is just a prototype, so don't expect anything mass market. However, it's a pretty intriguing idea. I remember how the (mostly forgotten) Sin Episode used an adaptive AI that would scale with the player. Now, imagine that same idea, only with a game that can smell your fear. Personally, I think this would make a great companion device to Bastard Tetris.

Source: Sam Matson

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i would be interested to try this but im probably the wrong person to do it. gaming is relaxing for me and i cant remember the last time i got angry playing

I can only see destroyed tvs, headsets, controllers, cats, and anything smaller and nearby resulting from this.

sounds like it wouldn't have any impact on multiplayer, which is probably the venue that stands to benefit the most from forcing certain gamers to check their rage. XD

still, probably could have used a device like this in my teenage years.

Gets harder the more you get angry with it being hard?

Yeah...I can see a problem with this.

balladbird:
sounds like it wouldn't have any impact on multiplayer, which is probably the venue that stands to benefit the most from forcing certain gamers to check their rage. XD

still, probably could have used a device like this in my teenage years.

I concur.

though I have to wonder; how is someone supposed to put this thing on? it looks so bizarrely shaped I can't tell if any parts of it are supposed to go in your ears or not.

A game does get more frustrating the more you become enraged - even without this device. That's how I learned to stop playing if I get mad at a game, many years ago.

Erm shouldn't it be easier the more frustrated and rage induced you are. I can tell you if a game starts to deliberately piss me off the angrier I WILL get I'm not going to calm down and relax if things get harder. Although it may push me beyond the realm of rage and into the nirvana state of tranquil fury.

balladbird:
sounds like it wouldn't have any impact on multiplayer, which is probably the venue that stands to benefit the most from forcing certain gamers to check their rage. XD

still, probably could have used a device like this in my teenage years.

Oh, I can think of a couple of ways you could use this to punish raging players in multi-player.

1. Dial back the damage of their weapons when they're angry to make it considerably harder to score kills.

2. Lengthen their respawn time when they're angry, and maybe force them to watch some video of cute kittens while they wait.

3. Auto-mute players if they hit the threshold where they're likely to start swearing.

4. If they get really angry, have the game kick them until they calm down.

5. Add bots to the server who target the angry players and ignore the calm ones.

Misterian:

balladbird:
sounds like it wouldn't have any impact on multiplayer, which is probably the venue that stands to benefit the most from forcing certain gamers to check their rage. XD

still, probably could have used a device like this in my teenage years.

I concur.

though I have to wonder; how is someone supposed to put this thing on? it looks so bizarrely shaped I can't tell if any parts of it are supposed to go in your ears or not.

My guess is that it goes around the back of the head, with the two little things on the end going over your ear, one on the skull side, and one on the open-air side.

dark/demon souls would have body counts associated with them, i cant wait till the news reports of people having aneurisms from entering ultimate rage mode.

great, a "downward spiral device for anger and hatred".

i cant see nothing wrong with that.
-

who the fuck would buy that?

Roxor:

My guess is that it goes around the back of the head, with the two little things on the end going over your ear, one on the skull side, and one on the open-air side.

No, I think the large hoop of the device goes over your ear and the pincer-like thing gets put on the earlobe where it measures heartrate and maybe the temperature and the conductivity of the skin to detect sweat etc.

And to those saying that this is contraproductive because games should get easier if you're getting frustrated while making them harder would make you spiral into even more anger: The point is the exact opposite. Games using this device wouldn't be there for you to win. You would use these games to train your anger management. You're supposed to be able to only win the game if you keep calm, the end boss being your own stress. It's just meta like that.

Someone needs to tell this guy that you dont make the already pissed off gamer more pissed off, you're suppose to calm him down. This sounds like something that will result in a broken headpiece and nothing else...

No. See, when they master this in an entertainment sense that gets gamers to accept getting monitored, they'll bleed this tech into every day living. Retail jobs that can just link you up and fine you for "not thinking happy thoughts at the customer". No thanks.. This is not something I feel is going anywhere good..

Roxor:

balladbird:
sounds like it wouldn't have any impact on multiplayer, which is probably the venue that stands to benefit the most from forcing certain gamers to check their rage. XD

still, probably could have used a device like this in my teenage years.

2. Lengthen their respawn time when they're angry, and maybe force them to watch some video of cute kittens while they wait.

4. If they get really angry, have the game kick them until they calm down.

I would purchase the hell out of that if it did this in multi-player (just those two though; not that the other ideas were bad but these two I think are the most effective ones for myself at least).

OT: I'm not sure what it says about me that I would seriously consider purchasing something like this. I've gotten much much better about controlling my anger after an episode that involved a broken door, a hole in the wall, and a split trash can but every once in a while I go red with rage in a video game. I've yet to go "THAT" extreme again but hell, having a device that just is a voice of reason that says "Calm down bro; you're 29 years old; a video game should not get you this worked up" might really help when the vision starts going red.

Uhhh what?
I'm really surprised that no one else has mentioned this...but your pulse/heart rate/etc isn't exclusive to rage.
This seems like a really dumb idea considering a lot of factors could kick up your heart rate. Hell enjoying a game and getting super excited or pumped would be pretty difficult to distinguish from rage in a bio-metric sense. And there's other emotions like fear, or surprise that would have the same effect.

So basically you have to be an emotionless robot or the game gets harder...so why would anyone use this?

Rednog:
Uhhh what?
I'm really surprised that no one else has mentioned this...but your pulse/heart rate/etc isn't exclusive to rage.
This seems like a really dumb idea considering a lot of factors could kick up your heart rate. Hell enjoying a game and getting super excited or pumped would be pretty difficult to distinguish from rage in a bio-metric sense. And there's other emotions like fear, or surprise that would have the same effect.

So basically you have to be an emotionless robot or the game gets harder...so why would anyone use this?

Maybe I'm giving it more benefit than it deserves but I'm assuming that the news article and "how it works" is dumbed down for us filthy masses :)

As in, it takes more than just the pulse and has ways to tell the difference between "Holy shit! Did you guys just see that? That was so cool I feel like my heart is going to give out" and "RAAAAAAGGGH!! TIPPY2K2 SMASH!!!!"

Or at least I'd like to think it would since if you're correct, the thing is virtually useless.

(Smokes cigarette and jangles wallet chain) "What if all I can feel is rage?"

Man, teenagers are going to hate this. I mean, as a kid we are all hair triggers emotionally. The problem with this device is that it doesn't teach people to control their anger. It teaches them to control their physical reaction to it. Someone who screams during Call Of Duty games doesn't have a problem with the "game" they have a problem in general. The more angry gamers will learn to suppress their anger much like a lot of people might day to day. (A lot relieve this tension by partying the weekend) A healthy level of frustration is what makes games enjoyable. There needs to be tension for release. The problem with this system is that the anger is not from the game, and training people not to be angry in games does not mean the anger goes away. Just that it's bottled

I of course mean people with rage issues during games. We have all flung the controller on the couch. (Usually during the most enjoyable games) And that all said it's a cool idea and experiment. The technology just needs to be applied properly.

thaluikhain:
Gets harder the more you get angry with it being hard?

Yeah...I can see a problem with this.

No shit. This guy is a fucking moron. Let's throw some fuel on the fire.

And just because my adrenaline is pumping and everything doesn't mean that I'm angry, or that anger doesn't help my game. Michael Jordan had his best games where his opponents antagonized him.

I wonder, could I use this device to harness my rage, honing my skills and reflexes to superhuman levels while apocalyptically mad. Depending on my level of focus, I play better when I'm mad anyway. I tend to make better, quicker decisions so by playing a game that gets harder the more I get ngry I feel like this will only encourage a positive feed back loop of skill, anger and difficulty. Do you think my heart would explode before I became The One?

IanDavis:
Using a headset modified with biometric sensors, he created a game that only gets more difficult the more you rage at it.

Dubbed "Immersion", the device uses an Arduino microprocessor and pulse sensor inside a custom-designed headset. From there, it feeds your heart rate to a simple FPS game running in the Unity engine. The more stressed the player becomes, the more difficult the game gets. The idea is that players can use it as a way to control their stress, and thus their rage.

Except that it obviously doesn't work that way.

When I get mad at a game (usually either for a bug or some mechanic that's obviously designed to cheat me because The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard), I tend to stay mad until I've had time to beat that portion of the game. And sometimes that rage actually helps me focus myself on the task at hand. Making the game cheat MORE as a result of its initial cheating making me angry is a good way to end up with a broken headset.

No one in their right mind would buy a device that makes their game harder if they get pissed at it.

As a raging gamer myself, I can say with absolute certainty that this would only make things worse. This is like cornering an angry badger. Someone is going to get hurt.

I also don't believe the tech is sophisticated enough to tell the difference between "anger" and stress or excitement. Just because my pulse goes up and I get animated and loud doesn't mean I'm angry.

Being frustrated or annoyed when playing a game is a perfectly normal response to... er, frustrating and annoying things. Outright raging is bad but you can suppress it, whilst you can't not feel annoyance. It's really silly to punish people for that. Really, a good game should have its own ways of dealing with ragers. Or at least have a mute button.

And besides, who would willingly buy this?

tippy2k2:

Rednog:
Uhhh what?
I'm really surprised that no one else has mentioned this...but your pulse/heart rate/etc isn't exclusive to rage.
This seems like a really dumb idea considering a lot of factors could kick up your heart rate. Hell enjoying a game and getting super excited or pumped would be pretty difficult to distinguish from rage in a bio-metric sense. And there's other emotions like fear, or surprise that would have the same effect.

So basically you have to be an emotionless robot or the game gets harder...so why would anyone use this?

Maybe I'm giving it more benefit than it deserves but I'm assuming that the news article and "how it works" is dumbed down for us filthy masses :)

As in, it takes more than just the pulse and has ways to tell the difference between "Holy shit! Did you guys just see that? That was so cool I feel like my heart is going to give out" and "RAAAAAAGGGH!! TIPPY2K2 SMASH!!!!"

Or at least I'd like to think it would since if you're correct, the thing is virtually useless.

Looked it up on the actual site, nope. Looks like it is as dumb as we thought, it literally is just a sensor in the ear that measures one's pulse. The site seems to very much be what is basically a digital version of a an inventor's sketch pad/drawing board.

What kind of insane troll logic is this supposed to run on?

I not sure it actually changes the difficulty of the game the way most people seem to think, the bit about AI is from the article writer not the source. I would think what it would do in an fps is make you aim less steady mabey narrow your field of vision like having a rapid pulse can. This is mostly just a guess from it being called immersion.

Great. Thought control.

Make it impossible to remove from the [i]victim's[/s] player's head and I reckon you've got yourself a winner.

balladbird:
sounds like it wouldn't have any impact on multiplayer, which is probably the venue that stands to benefit the most from forcing certain gamers to check their rage. XD

still, probably could have used a device like this in my teenage years.

It could theoretically be wired to emit a painful noise whenever someone gets too angry, thereby conditioning them against anger.

I think whats supposed to happen is that when you get angry at the game the game will go "NOPE here's some nasty stuff for you to deal with".
and instead of letting it make it worse and worse in a downward spiral your meant to get up walk away and come back later when you've calmed down.

in other words good luck beating the game if you don't know when to walk away.

lucky for me I don't rage at games.

When i get mad i get better; theres nothing like plain hate feeding my body with adrenaline and making my heart pound 130 times per minute, so challenge accepted.

Tell me again how playing a game likely designed to make you angry and when it succeeds it starts cheating to make it even more stressful is supposed to help people keep calm? It's a perfect circle...a self-perpetuating cycle! Do you realize the applications for this kind of technology? Why, we could hook it up to a bunch of angry games and use the raw power of their infinite rage to fuel entire countries!

That or it's going to lead to a lot of broken controllers, Immersion headsets, and possibly a couple tvs.

Douse the fire with petrol, that will surely put it out...
So what they are selling is a peripheral that will poke and angry dog with a stick, I can't possibly see how anyone can resist a purchase.

So basically....a simpler, narrower, and likely far less robust version of the biometric feedback tech engineers at Valve and other studios were working on roughly two years ago?

That's interesting, I guess....

So it reacts to stress? This sounds like a bad idea, if anyone gets a little stressed at a difficult challenge, it's going to get harder, making them even more stressed, and it'll all just go downhill from there.

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