Your DNA Into a Video Game? Helix Profile Wants to Import It - Update 2

Your DNA Into a Video Game? Helix Profile Wants to Import It - Update 2

Helix Profile - Main

DNA Diagnostics Center, Inc. is working on a piece of technology that would allow gamers to import their genetic information into a video game.

Update 2: After publishing this story on Tuesday, a representative from DNA Diagnostics Center, Inc. asked me to include the following quote:

"For competitive reasons, DDC can not elaborate at this time" - Dave Silver, vice president of marketing at DDC.

Its hard to know what Mr. Silver means by "competitive reasons," but they're obviously worried about another company thieving their tech. Though, I can't imagine that many other companies think that genetic testing will become the next big video game technology.

Update: The Escapist's Senior Editor for Science & Tech, CJ Miozzi, was able to get in touch with Alexei Gorelik, a biochemist at Canada's McGill University. Gorelik isn't involved with Helix Profile, but he was able to shed some light on the project.

Gorelik explained that DNA tests typically produce results that fall into two different categories: "1) general traits like height, skin color, hair color etc... and 2) medical information like predisposition to diseases."

"If they use it for the first purpose, maybe it could be, like, an automatic character creation thing," Gorelik said. "If they use it for the second, they could have microtransactions, like 'pay us $1.99 and find out which one of these four degenerative diseases you will get!'"

Hopefully EA never gets its hands on this system.

Gorelik was obviously joking about Helix Profile's potential for disease-related microtransactions, but it does underline the fact that aimlessly feeding our genetic information into a computer that doesn't belong to a medical institution is probably a bad idea.

Original Story:A DNA testing company from Fairfield, Ohio is developing a process that would further blur the line between virtual reality and real life. The technology, called "Helix Profile," will use genetic testing to analyze player DNA. Once a genetic profile has been created, the data could then be imported into a video game.

Very little is currently known about Helix Profile. And the company behind the process, DNA Diagnostics Center, Inc., declined our invitation to comment. However, the trademark application is somewhat self explanatory: "Genetic testing for entertainment purposes to profile a person's traits for use in an electronic interface such as a video game"

I can't imagine that this kind of thing would be terribly popular with developers or gamers. Players would either have to purchase a piece of hardware that can analyze genetic data or send their saliva/blood samples to a testing center and wait several days for the results.

Either way, it seems like an awfully complicated way to skip the character creation screen.

It's also worth noting that DNA Diagnostics Center, Inc. might not have any intention to bring Helix Profile into the market. The company could simply be protecting possible uses for its existing technology or showing off for investors. However, DDC is best known for its consumer-level genetic testing--the kind of thing that Maury Povich is always using to determine paternity. So, Helix Profile isn't terribly far from the company's current business model.

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office, DNA Diagnostics Center, Inc.

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Oh dear.

And people get upset over credit card information and addresses being stolen.

This... this is just asking for trouble. I sincerely hope the industry doesn't latch onto this idea.

Tahaneira:
Oh dear.

And people get upset over credit card information and addresses being stolen.

This... this is just asking for trouble. I sincerely hope the industry doesn't latch onto this idea.

I concur, it's like there's a glowing neon sign above this saying "This is a bad idea, and could horribly backfire."

It has all the trimmings of a Doctor Who plot where everyone becomes part of an experiment being conducted by the alien race of the week. Seriously, though, just give me a good reason WHY we want this.

This makes..no sense, honestly. I mean whats the benefit of doing it? So you can create yourself in a Videogame? Most people dont do that, or dont want that even. Plus it would require a character creator that is ridiculously flexible, not Skyrim or anything where you have X number of preset options for lips and hair and nose etc, but more akin to character creation from games like APB or Black Desert, which are very flexible all things considered.

So yeah whats the point here really? I havent met anyone yet that plays any RPG games (given they tend to have character creation) just to recreate themselves in that fantasy world.

This made me think of a possible future scenario - read the following as if it was a movie trailer voice over :

We thought we were giving our blood to play ... but our blood was fueling something else ... something evil.

The game companies collected samples of our DNA's selecting only the best of the best, and they set out to do something sinister ...
It was strange how at first developments slowed down, we didn't get a Call of Duty or Assassins Creed every year ... everything seemed calm ... oddly calm ...

Little did we know that studios were turned into cloning facilities, where game companies produced supersoldiers, and equipped them based on their hit franchises ...

In 2029 the war begun ... it was devastating ... and at times awesome ... but very devastating ....

Now as the world lies in ruin, the three top game companies still wage war, for in their eyes their can be only one ...
One publisher to rule all gamers ...

It's up to a small rebel army of gamers, cosplayers, replica makers, indie-developers and DevinantArt-artists to put a stop to this ... once and for all!

Dumbest thing I've read in a while. Not only is this an ethical pit, but this would never work. It still costs at last 1 grand to sequence a genome and take a few days. Even if they only look at a few loci, there's no easy way to do it on a large scale and the turn around times would be retarded.

This is so without even considering that for most traits we don't know what/everything that influences them and for a lot of these like height environment places a huge role. At best this game would probably be able to say your character might be somewhere between less than average height to slightly above average.

This would be interesting if for no other reason than we can get see what people think we know about DNA. I read all the buzz science behind it all the time, but it's not very practical in real life terms, as least so far as hard science is concerned. I would be interested in seeing what my "genetic build" would look like. Though the science is not nearly as definitive as many people believe it is. For instance, whenever any researcher starts pointing to a single gene for anything, they are usually incorrect or more likely, things are determined by how that particular gene interacts with other genes. There are literally less than 10 diseases that can be said to stem from the mutation of a single gene.

On the other hand, no person in their right mind would upload their genetic information to anything, even something that could somehow be proven to be secure. Nobody with three brain cells to rub to together would even consider it.

Look up the 23andme.com lawsuit regarding medical information and DNA. That's 100% out with this thing if they ever check into lawsuits regarding DNA...

This is EVIL I tells ya! EEEEEEVIL!

Not sure whats more funny, the proposal of our DNA being used in game character creation or the knee-jerk rection of "its evil".

 

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