I Controlled A Video Game With My Mind

If I could just focus, Lat Ware (pictured above) told me, then I'd be able to launch a vehicle across the room. Simple, right? Earlier this year we told you guys about Throw Trucks With Your Mind, a game that's pretty much exactly what it sounds like -- not that that makes mind-controlled games any less, well, mind-blowing.

Reading about it, learning about how it uses your brainwaves to determine how calm and focused you are is one thing. A far out idea, but merely an idea nonetheless.

I tried Throw Trucks With Your Mind today; Lat Ware is the developer behind the game. I put on a headset in the middle of an expo floor that was buzzing full of people, and I tried my best to move the truck in front of me.

It was difficult, because really -- how do you do something you're not sure how to do? I narrowed my eyes, I 'thought hard,' so to speak. The numbers that calculated my brainwaves flashed in front of me on a separate screen. Nothing happened on the screen with the truck, though. Was this for real or...? I wondered.

I tried to imagine actually lifting something in real life, I tried to imagine psychic stuff -- like bending a spoon, or using force power. Trying to describe what one taps into while thinking about these things seems impossible to me; I can't tell you what it feels like.

I can tell you that the truck started shaking after a while -- which was great! Progress. It took me at least five minutes of concentrating until eventually I did it. Lat Ware congratulated me, and then reset the truck.

"Now prove that wasn't a fluke," he challenged me.

F*ck. I honestly did think it was a fluke, though! But the second time, moving the truck was easier. It took less time as I tried to recreate what I was feeling when I moved it initially, which felt cool.

There was one final test given to me by Ware: levitation (in the game, of course.) I had to find calm, had to clear my mind -- which makes using the tech behind the game feel like an exploration in meditation or zen or something! Weirdly I found that thinking about that moment right before I fall asleep worked the best.

I asked Ware to show me how good he was with the game himself. It was partially curiosity, partially that after spending 15 minutes with the game, I still felt wary of it. How did I know it all wasn't just for show, how did I know the trucks didn't just move randomly? Surely, if this was for real, Ware would be able to do it easily -- unlike me.

He did indeed fling the trucks easily. Granted, that's relative to how long it took me to do it. There was a delay when he did it, albeit a small one (I don't think it took more than 20 seconds or so).

I can't imagine playing a game with the tech behind the game -- Ware told me he had two years of practice with it -- without ample training. But to be fair, like I initially said, we were standing in an expo hall at the Game Developers Conference. Hardly the time of environment that is conducive for focusing or clearing one's mind!

Between this and the smell device I wrote about earlier, I can't help but wonder how the heck I'll be playing my games in a few years.


    This paired with the oculus rift for their second version would be sweet. Then we can get nerve gear from SAO. :]

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