With mind game, players move characters by thinking

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London, Mar 13 (UNI) Ever thought of a computer game, where you think of a move and it appears on the screen? No need to stress your fingers as technology companies have developed a mind control software, which allows game players to move characters just by thinking about it.

One game, which is due to be in the shops in a few months, is based on the schoolboy wizard Harry Potter where players are able to lift boulders and throw thunderbolts simply by concentrating on making it happen.

Already a game called Mindball is on the market, an addictive ''mind game'' in which the winning strategy is to remain as focused and relaxed as possible in the heat of battle.

The ball rolls away from the player with the calmest mind, as measured by sensors on their headbands. Because EEGs are a non-invasive and near instantaneous way to read brain activity, they have long been touted as potentially useful in gaming.

Emotiv of San Francisco, who came up with the Harry Potter game, has developed a headset with 16 sensors it says allows players to control aspects of a game simply by thinking about them.

The dazzling success of Nintendo's Wii, 20 million consoles sold and rising, dispenses with the traditional joystick and instead uses gestures to control the game via a hand-held wireless motion sensor.

Microsoft researcher Desney Tan said, ''With the Wii, Nintendo did something right in designing a suite of tailored games.'' Wii games offer features that are not possible with a regular joystick, such as swinging the controller like a tennis racquet or brandishing it like a sword.

''The mind-game companies intend to emulate this, though without abandoning the traditional controller altogether. Their games will still be largely controlled by hand, with biofeedback offering additional features,'' said Dr Kiel Gilleade, a computer games researcher at Lancaster University, UK.

''Whatever form biofeedback games take, the world is ready for them,'' The Daily Telegraph quoted Dr Gilleade as saying.


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