Valve Wants Your Brains…Scanned

image

Is the Left 4 Dead developer suddenly taking an unhealthy interest in cranial anatomy?

The folks at Valve may not want to eat your brains, but they sure seem interesting in what’s going on in your noggin. In an essay published in Edge today discussing development of the popular zombie-laden first-person shooter, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell divulges his desire to make even better games by studying players’ brain activity and bodily responses.

Newell explains human play testing was a crucially important component of the development process in Left 4 Dead. However, the team can only conjecture how design decisions in a game affect a player, by watching how they react. While that’s helpful, there’s a more effective way to track the results: hooking players up to machinery.

“Right now we have to filter our observations of players by simply by watching them, and then we have to guess as to how certain things are affecting the player,” he said. “But there are new technologies where we can wire players up with EEGs and actually have direct exposure to their physical reactions to the games. We can know for sure of something is actually frightening the player – their heart rate is going up, their respiration stats are peaking, appropriate parts of their brains are being activated.”

The prospect of measuring a player’s responses to in-game activity is “super exciting,” he said. This will allow the team to develop elements within a game to intentionally create specific reactions in players. Spooky.

Recommended Videos

The Escapist is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Zack Snyder Stills Wants to Make His Justice League Trilogy
James Gunn and Peter Safran are committed to a shared movie and TV universe for DC Studios, but why -- is that good or wise, dismantling Superman Henry Cavill Batman Aquaman and everything else
Read Article Ratchet & Clank’s Most Exclusive DLC Weapon is Finally Free After 8 Years
Insomniac Games 2016 Ratchet & Clank PS4 PlayStation 4 remake reimagining
Read Article All Elemental Shrine Locations in Fortnite Chapter 5 Season 2
fortnite fire elemental shrine
Related Content
Read Article Zack Snyder Stills Wants to Make His Justice League Trilogy
James Gunn and Peter Safran are committed to a shared movie and TV universe for DC Studios, but why -- is that good or wise, dismantling Superman Henry Cavill Batman Aquaman and everything else
Read Article Ratchet & Clank’s Most Exclusive DLC Weapon is Finally Free After 8 Years
Insomniac Games 2016 Ratchet & Clank PS4 PlayStation 4 remake reimagining
Read Article All Elemental Shrine Locations in Fortnite Chapter 5 Season 2
fortnite fire elemental shrine