You read the headline correctly: at the Neurogaming Conference last week, the fine folks over at Valve discussed their findings from a few tests they had run on Left 4 Dead players. In the research, Valve Experimental Psychologist Mike Ambinder measured how much sweat players had secreted during their play sessions with the zombie-heavy FPS, as correlated with levels of arousal. They then took a look at how much anxiety players experienced while being given four minutes to shoot 100 enemies on-screen.
This all comes after the news that Vavle also was successful in creating a special version of Portal 2 that could be controlled by a player’s eyes. Talk about some sci-fi stuff! Needless to say, all of this biometric data seems relevant to boss man Gabe Newell’s talks about how the Steam Box will integrate biometrics in some fashoin. In the interview where he discussed this very topic back in March, he stated:
What we’ve found is you can directly measure player state and it turns out to be very useful. You need to be able to directly measure how aroused the player is, what their heart rate is, things like that, in order to continue to offer them a new experience each time they play.
And there it is: Valve, leading the way in how we play and experience video games.