If you look at any of the patents doing the rounds, you'll quickly get a sense for how important Biometrics are going to be in video games. Microsoft for example have been looking at patenting different ways of measuring and responding to your emotions by reading signals directly from your eyeballs and your heart-rate. And at a recent NeuroGaming Conference, Mike Ambinder from Valve discussed how he has been measuring how much players sweat while playing Left 4 Dead.
“One thing we are very interested in is the notion of biofeedback and how it can be applied to game design,” he said, as reported by Venturebeat. “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.
“The more interesting side of the equation is what you can do when you incorporate physiological signals into the gameplay itself.”
Valve has been actively measuring the amount of sweat a player excretes during games, and has been correlating that figure with the amount of recorded arousal while playing. Perhaps more interestingly Valve ran experiments with games that responded to that feedback — sending in more or less enemies depending on levels of arousal.
I think I find that part the most interesting.
Comparing this to what Microsoft seem to be working on, what really seems to be the end goal here are interactive experiences that directly respond to your emotional state. That really could be the future we're looking at. Games that know precisely when to scare you, when to lull you into a meditative state. I find those possibilities super exciting.