Controlling computer games with only your mind is a step closer thanks to the work of RMIT researcher Jens Stober.
The PhD candidate from RMIT’s Games and Experimental Entertainment Laboratory (GEElab) recently hosted two European Neurogame Jams at Karlsruhe, Germany, and Vienna, Austria, where participants used brain-computer interface tools to develop creative concepts.
Stober’s creative and artistic research project, Ride Your Mind, aims to create a real-time virtual reality game that forces the user’s conscious to compete with their subconscious.
“The concept of Ride Your Mind is based on a playful strategy for designing artistic games that is extracted from the history of hacking,” he said.
“The idea of Ride Your Mind is based on my theoretical work about the history of hacking and the extraction of the creative process of hackers and my personal background as media and game artist.
“Hackers transformed computers from military devices into entertainment devices. I am transforming knowledge gleaned from neuroscience into neurogame design.”
Stober said the idea for Ride Your Mind came up during a discussion in early 2013 with his supervisor, GEElab Director Associate Professor Steffen P Walz, about the future possibilities of the brain computer interface technology used for games.
“Since then, I started to develop the concept, creating first prototypes and right now I am finalising the playable prototype,” he said.
Gaming and neuroscience are becoming increasingly important in the treatment of some illnesses and conditions, such as ADHD, stroke, autism, epilepsy and emotional disorders.
But Stober is looking to develop design strategies for neurogames that entertain. At the moment it is the technology, that is holding him back.
“Working with brain-computer interface is very complicated at the moment. The setup can take up to 30 minutes, so this needs to improve to make it easier for designers and developers.
“It could be a few more years before you can control actions in games just by thought, without prior calibration.”