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Emotion-Aware Video Games Will Know What You’re Feeling

Do you want to play a video game that knows if you’re angry, gets more difficult if you’re scared, and can see if you’re crying because you can’t get your stupid, heavy fingers to pick that master lock? Well Affectiva, a Boston-based startup born out of The MIT Media Lab, has been working on bringing you this exact futuristic technology: a software that scans your facial expressions and shares them with the video game you’re playing in real-time, changing the course of the game based on your emotions. That’s right, the future of gaming is here, and it can see you smile!

This could be the next big thing in gaming, joining virtual reality, augmented reality, and motion controls in taking immersive videos games to the next level. The first game to use the “emotion-aware gaming” technology is a psychological thriller called Nevermind that gets more difficult the more stressed out you are. While this is just one example of how your emotions can be applied to gaming, we think the possibilities are endless. Could it be used as a makeshift motion capture tech? When you smile, your on-screen avatar smiles too. When you get mad, your character looks mad. Outside of straight-forward gaming, the tech is reportedly already being used for some big-brother-esque monitoring: market research companies are using it to measure shoppers reactions to their advertisements.

Let us know in the comments how you would like to see emotion-aware technology used in future games. What pre-existing titles would you want to read your emotions?

Image Credit: Sony/Naughty Dog

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