Valve Experiments with Left4Dead that Responds to Sweating

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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  • "These experiments involved measuring sweat, arousal, eye movements"
    Arousal? In left4dead? wtf?
  • Other Comments
  • "These experiments involved measuring sweat, arousal, eye movements"
    Arousal? In left4dead? wtf?
  • Valve actually still make games??
  • "arousal"??...uh um, is that a banana in your pants or are you just playing LFD4