Skip to main content

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.

  • joebob2000
    "These experiments involved measuring sweat, arousal, eye movements"
    Arousal? In left4dead? wtf?
    Reply
  • Avus
    Valve actually still make games??
    Reply
  • warezme
    "arousal"??...uh um, is that a banana in your pants or are you just playing LFD4
    Reply
  • SirGCal
    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.
    Reply
  • casemods
    This would be terrible. A lot of times when I am gaming, I start to sweat for no reason.
    Reply
  • paladinnz
    10778387 said:
    "These experiments involved measuring sweat, arousal, eye movements"
    Arousal? In left4dead? wtf?

    10778591 said:
    "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.
    Reply
  • nevilence
    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
    Reply
  • elbert
    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.
    CSysSessionHost: CreateSession failed. Error 16
    Reply
  • lpedraja2002
    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!
    Reply
  • Herr_Koos
    10778439 said:
    Valve actually still make games??

    Nope. They find clever ways like sweat integration to procrastinate, so they don't have to make actual games.
    Reply