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Valve Experiments with Left4Dead that Responds to Sweating

By - Source: VentureBeat | B 16 comments

Company believes how people respond to games can help develop better titles.

Motion-sensing peripherals like Microsoft's Kinect allow you to game with your whole body, but Valve is looking into the idea of games that respond to your body.

VentureBeat reports that Valve has experimental psychologist Mark Ambinder working on game development and its response to player feedback. Ambinder was at the NeuroGaming Conference and Expo last week where he was talking about emotion in games. According to VB, he also mentioned that Valve is exploring the idea of biofeedback to determine how a user is responding to a game.

"One thing we are very interested in is the notion of biofeedback and how it can be applied to game design," he is quoted as saying. "There is potential on both sides of the equation, both for using physiological signals to quantify an emotional state while people are playing the game."

To that end, Valve has experimented with various different ways of measuring gamers' emotional states while playing its games. These experiments involved measuring sweat, arousal, eye movements (they even made a version of Portal 2 controlled via the player's eyes). The idea is that the game can take information based on these metric and modify the game based on your emotional state. 

It's not an entirely new concept. In June of last year, a Microsoft patent described a system that served advertisements based on users' reactions to content. In a nutshell, the system involves associating the content a person was looking at or interacting with online with certain emotional tags and analyzing their movements and facial expressions to match content with moods. Users would then be served ads based on their emotional states.

Valve Biofeedback

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  • 12 Hide
    joebob2000 , May 8, 2013 12:09 PM
    "These experiments involved measuring sweat, arousal, eye movements"
    Arousal? In left4dead? wtf?
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    joebob2000 , May 8, 2013 12:09 PM
    "These experiments involved measuring sweat, arousal, eye movements"
    Arousal? In left4dead? wtf?
  • -4 Hide
    Avus , May 8, 2013 12:18 PM
    Valve actually still make games??
  • 8 Hide
    warezme , May 8, 2013 12:55 PM
    "arousal"??...uh um, is that a banana in your pants or are you just playing LFD4
  • 0 Hide
    SirGCal , May 8, 2013 1:36 PM
    Ya, arousal... odd... But I enjoy both L4D games. Never sweat in either. Not sure where they are going with this. With my 3-monitor rig I can see eye movements being a possible useful thing though but... dunno bout the rest.
  • 1 Hide
    casemods , May 8, 2013 1:48 PM
    This would be terrible. A lot of times when I am gaming, I start to sweat for no reason.
  • 6 Hide
    paladinnz , May 8, 2013 2:56 PM
    Quote:
    "These experiments involved measuring sweat, arousal, eye movements"
    Arousal? In left4dead? wtf?


    Quote:
    "arousal"??...uh um, is that a banana in your pants or are you just playing LFD4

    Arousal in psychology just means responding to stimuli, being ready to take action etc and has very little to do with bananas, unless maybe someone is throwing them at you.
  • 0 Hide
    nevilence , May 8, 2013 3:01 PM
    This would suck if your playing on a hot day, or if you were getting a BJ at the same time or something, character would start flipping out and all your trying to do is sell some loot to buy a sword
  • 0 Hide
    elbert , May 8, 2013 4:38 PM
    In other new Valve gamers received a nice 20 minute blackout today. Some on valves counter strike global offensive forum said it was due to emergency server maintenance.
    Quote:
    CSysSessionHost: CreateSession failed. Error 16
  • 1 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , May 8, 2013 6:18 PM
    Wouldn't it be easier to start with a heartbeat monitor? Your heart rate or vitals could determine the amount of stress in your character, affect chance of dropping a mag while reloading, the accuracy of your gun while shooting a sniper or a rifle since your breathing heavier but I think we'd need an oxygen sensor for this lol.
    I can imagine a game like Amnesia having these features in where if your character's stress gets out of control you'll either go insane or kill yourself. Oh man!
  • 0 Hide
    Herr_Koos , May 9, 2013 1:17 AM
    Quote:
    Valve actually still make games??


    Nope. They find clever ways like sweat integration to procrastinate, so they don't have to make actual games.
  • 0 Hide
    immanuel_aj , May 9, 2013 3:18 AM
    What if I'm feeling utterly bored or unexcited when I'm playing a game? Can they change the game to become more exciting?! Once you've been playing games for over 10-20 years, a lot of it feels like something I've played before and not really exciting anymore.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , May 9, 2013 4:51 AM
    well... that would be an awkward erection to explain.
  • 0 Hide
    cscott_it , May 9, 2013 6:58 AM
    It's interesting that this has resurfaced again. Valve has been doing testing like this for at least a year or so - what interests me is what is different between now and then.
  • 0 Hide
    godnodog , May 9, 2013 8:24 AM
    In the year 2000
    - People will fart to lower scare levels in games. This will lead to bowels cancer as people will try and hold while playing games.
  • 0 Hide
    godnodog , May 9, 2013 8:34 AM
    In the year 2000
    - People will fart to lower scare levels in games. This will lead to bowels cancer as people will try and hold while playing games.
  • 0 Hide
    kitekrazy1963 , May 11, 2013 6:29 AM
    Meanwhile the real world is asking WHERE"S HALFLIFE 3!!!!!
    Average shooters and over graphed puzzle games get stale.