Top 5 Reasons For (and Against) Brain-Controlled Games

What is a “Brain-Controlled” game?  To oversimplify the mechanics: stimulate the mind, and the game responds. A variant of the EEG (an electroencephalogram) is essentially hooked up to the gamer, and the other end feeds information into a computer program designed to interpret the stimulus into power levels. The level of intensity is recorded and applied by degree. The more the gamer concentrates, the more data is compiled, and the more likely the paddle is to volley the incoming ball. It’s far from telekinesis, but who can complain?

Playing video games with the mind sounds like a Godsend, but there are some things that simply won’t jive with gamers. Then again, there are a few big reasons to overlook these issues. Here are some interesting and fun points about the potential future in brain gaming:

Top 5 Reasons Why Brain Controlled Games are Bad News for the Hardcore Gamer:

1. Regular showers are required

No, this isn’t a shot at your hygiene, and yes, regular showers are never bad news, but even a dirty scalp and oily skin can affect the sensors. A cruddy sensor means crummy controls. So no late night grinds unless you pause for some scrubbing.

2. Mountain Dew is a no-no.

Any caffeinated beverages can cause difficulties in the EEG equipment. Try pulling an all-nighter without performance enhancing sodas!  You’re left with nothing more than a pathetic bag of ooze.

3. No more nostalgia.

An EEG is designed to record various brain waves. There are certain waves abundant in children that are less often found in conscious adults. Depending on the wave emissions future brain games are programmed to detect, there could be a significant difference between games adults and children could play. It would also change the way the game itself can be played. Don’t pick up the game and expect to be rushed back into childhood. There is no more feeling like a kid again when the game has to be played like an adult.

4. Nurse a cold, kill a gamer.

Certain types of viral infections, like chickenpox and influenza, can affect brain activity during an EEG. This means no more playing brain games at home while out sick from school. That also means no more game sessions after calling out from work because of that unflattering cold sore. Take a man’s gaming away from his sick day, and he’s left with only the cold grip of daytime television: the leading cause of self-inflicted blindness.

5. Mindlessness is a gamer’s safe haven.

There’s a certain level of leisure involved in picking up a controller and zoning out for lengths at a time. Asking a gamer to solve complex math problems to reach a higher control response is daunting. Brain games mean no more relaxation. Thus the biggest reason mainstreaming brain games seem like an improbability.

Top 5 Reasons Why Brain Controlled Games are Awesome News for Hardcore Gamers:

1. Cram that gully!

Not eating can actually throw off the proper results of an EEG. So make sure to grab a bag of munchies, mow down, and brain game away.

2. We’re Running Out of Controller Shapes

There are only so many different designs before we run out of practical controller shapes. Let’s not let the Gamecube controller happen ever again.

3. Gamers can finally mean it when they say “I can beat that game in my sleep.”

The brain emits higher levels of certain waves while in a state of sleep. If games were designed to pick up on these waves, gamers could literally play games overnight. When the gamer wakes up, they can see how they fared during shut eye. Gaming 24/7 is now a hardcore gamer’s waking dream.

4. Homework arguments go out the window.

Concentration is vital in successfully controlling games like Brain Pong. So all that time spent doing homework is just more time to play video games more effectively. Mom and Dad are forced to remain silent. How can they argue about the level progression of your MMO character while you’re finishing up that compare and contrast essay on Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla? They can’t. Because you would learn Edison and Tesla’s inventions inspired the technology used in creating Brain Pong. In fact, it was the very type of brain game which motivated you to learn more about them in the first place. Mulling over that reciprocity, you come to a conclusion: you’re now smarter than your parents. Maybe they should go play some games!

5. Hardcore gamers would rule the world.

Stimulation resulting from concentration is what spikes Brain Pong’s control sensors. Unsurprisingly, math problems seemed to do the trick at the latest demonstration. Think of the man hours necessary to prestige twice in every Call of Duty title. Then couple it with the dedication required to find every Crackdown orb, Assassin’s Creed flag or feather, and every Halo skull. Multiply it by the concentration it takes to solve complex mathematical problems in order to emit higher brain waves to power Brain Pong’s controls. If you can’t do the math, it’s because you’re a gamer, and haven’t yet been properly motivated. Look at how popular Brain Age became in such a short time a few years ago. In less than a generation, gamers would play enough of these brain games to become unparalleled critical thinkers. Controls would be set down for more reasons than just the Kinect and these EEG-inspired sensors. Think games like Brain Pong are science fiction? Open heart surgeries would be performed by the guy who grew up dismembering minions in God of War: Ascension. Fingers would vigorously peck at a keyboard as that little kid who used to beat you in Black Ops II quantified the contrasting efficiencies of fossil fuels and renewable resources. The future is about to spawn the super gamer. Now that’s some science fiction.