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Valve psychologist explores controlling games directly with your brain

March 24, 2019 / DEAN TAKAHASHI

Mike Ambinder, a psychologist and researcher at Valve, packed a room at the Game Developers Conference with a talk on whether you can control games directly with a brain-computer interface (BCI).Increasingly, game developers are asking whether a 17-button controller or a mouse/keyboard are the best possible interfaces for interacting with games — or if there is something more “naturalistic” that could improve the connection between what we want to do in a game and what actually happens. It may be the stuff of dreams, but Ambinder said many researchers are working on solving the problem today, and it’s hard to predict how soon someone will make a breakthrough.The whole point is to cut the middleman, in this case the game controller, between the intention of the player and the game simulation. “In the long run, this will give us the most bang for the buck,” said Ambinder, in terms of directly wiring into our brains.For instance, we know there are both ...