A Headset That Could Help Cure Gamer Rage

A Headset That Could Help Cure Gamer Rage

Visual designer Samuel Matson has an idea on how to rid the world of gamer rage. It’s not through medication, counselling or discipline. It’s through prevention.

He’s designed a headset called Immersion, which not only uses biometrics to track a user’s heart rate, but can then adjust what’s going on in a game accordingly.

Based on researching a number of gamer’s heart rates while playing a shooter, and using a raw prototype hooked up to an Xbox 360, the Immersion would gently adjust the difficulty and content of a game based on how the player was feeling.

Which sounds a lot like it would only benefit singleplayer experiences, but who knows, maybe the data it captures could be useful for a multiplayer server as well.

It’s exactly the kind of stuff Nintendo were thinking of with the now-dead Vitality Sensor, and at the moment it’s just as real a product. But given his idea has both community and game design benefits, hopefully he can get it made!

Immersion[Design, via Slashdot]

A Headset That Could Help Cure Gamer Rage


  • This is an interesting and innovative an idea.
    That said, in this age of entitlement, where the majority of games pander to bad players in need of massive amounts of hand holding to complete even the most menial of tasks.
    Where people expect the reward at the end of a game/dungeon/boss/level etc without actually earning it and get butthurt when they are told no.
    Where and entire demographic get their panties in a bunch over the end of a game, a creative work of art mind you, and have the writers and developers change the ending (note that blondes didn’t bitch when Da Vinci gave the mona lisa dark hair). I feel that no amount of technology is going to change the fact that people, gamers especially, are going to piss and moan when things aren’t going their way, especially when they have nobody but themselves to blame for being unskilled.
    Sorry folks, that train of thought got out of hand quickly, I am going to deal with it in a well adjusted way and go do something else for a bit rather than look for some other piece of tech to do it for me

    • Sorry folks, that train of thought got out of hand quickly, I am going to deal with it in a well adjusted way and go do something else for a bit rather than look for some other piece of tech to do it for me

      But that’s not what you did. You still hit post. You couldn’t hold your tongue any better than someone yelling at their XBOX because they’re losing or people who were extremely dissatisfied with the sloppily written ending to Mass Effect 3. Unlike the people you’re claiming are self-entitled, putting their opinion above all else, you were barely even prompted for an opinion. You just read something and added your loosely related thoughts on a similar subject.

      So either you’re just as rotten a husk of a human being as you imagine those people are, or you’re just another person who has an opinion and the 45 seconds it took you to get that off your chest don’t reflect on who you are as a person in the slightest.

        • I’m just saying that he spent most of the comment ranting and raving about all the types of gamers that are ruining things (for him) by being so self centered, painting them as terrible people for simply getting frustrated, then ends with ‘but I’m going to deal with it in a well adjusted way’ only to do the exact opposite of that and post his rant anyway.

          • Yes it does, he is effectively claiming “peace and love” then punching out the guy next to him. Its hypocritical to the extreme.

            Dog man is entirely correct.

          • I didn’t say he wasn’t a hypocrite, I said that didn’t invalidate his point. Just because he doesn’t 100% practice what he preaches doesn’t mean his point that people are always going to get pissy (Hint: they do) wasn’t spot on.

          • But this isn’t fairy tale land. In real life people don’t listen to others preach while they do exactly what they were telling people not to do.

            At that point it doesn’t matter what they were talking about vast majority of people fob them off, its practically human nature. You certainly don’t listen to a bunch of prison inmates talking about how awful humanity is and take their word for it do you?

            Here we have a guy talking about how shit internet users are because they can’t hold their tounges and are a bunch of whiners blah blah while he is doing the exact same thing. THEN trying to claim moral superiority its hilarious and it does infact make everything he has said a moot point.

            While it does not make the point incorrect or false, it does remove any and all credibility from the person which makes what they say meaningless.

    • So you’d rather just keep complaining than look for solutions such as this?

      And ME3 was an abortion man. Terrible ending to a great run of games. Recently played the whole series through again. 3rd time I’ve finished ME3. Was totally planning to get into multiplayer after. Got to the ending and was so bummed by it’s crappiness that I deleted it all.

      ME2 was by far the high water mark for the series.

      • Oh come on, I’ve seen better series with worse endings.

        and I didn’t even find the ending to be al that terrible.

        • Like what? But horses for courses man. I thought the ending was pretty damn bad. Not bad enough for me to freak out on the net about it for hours and hours, but it wasn’t great.

      • I thought the ending was damn near pitch perfect. ME1 was great, but clunky. ME2 was an oversimplified chest high wall shooter with almost all of the RPG elements stripped out. ME3 was the sweet spot between RPG and action mechanics. The ending was perfect for its ambiguity.

        • I LOVED ME2!!!!!

          I don’t know why. I agree with everything you said. At first I didn’t like it. But after a while, it felt like it had been just simplified enough that the essence came through strongly.

          Love it.

          But I though the arbitrariness of the ending was just gawdawful. All those choices. All those actions. And it all meant nothing. Came down to 3 bad options. I hated that. I’m not raging, don’t get me wrong. But I thought it was a big come down from ME2.

          • I honestly believe the idea that Shep was being slowly mentally manipulated by the reapers and that the entire final part of the game was a fever dream. The choices did matter, just not in that constructed, psuedo dream world where the reaper influence was trying to get her (I keep trying to stop writing her but I played a female Shep) to give up. If you did make enough ‘good’ choices and take the ‘bad’ ending as described by the god child, Shep takes a breath from under the rubble at the end. that alone is enough to convince me that the ending wasn’t really an ending. It was the shape of things to come.

          • I thought the only game in the series worth its weight was ME1. It had a story a mystery, it had discovery. You learnred about these people who keep wiping out all civilisation and that expands you learn more back story as you progressed. You became a specter and brought forward Humans to be “accepted” all with fantastic experiences between your comrades and RPG elements.

            In the 2nd and 3rd every single aspect that made the first good was removed, talking to your team was irrelevant, there was nothing new to discover no plot and certainly no story. It was a stupid linear TPS that forced you from one crappy world to the next. Your choices meant nothing, the RPG elements were all removed and the 3rd one went even further and after all the boasting that our decisions would change everything every single one was meaningless.

            It didn’t matter if I was a dick or the 2nd coming of christ, if i sabotaged the galaxys efforts to survive or maximized the meter in our favour everything that had ever happened in the game was irrelevant and to cap it off was possibly the very worst ending in the history of such a famous series. Not even because it was a bad ending, because i’m sure there are much worse. But because compared to what was promised right from the start EVERYTHING was a lie and that pissed me off.

            IT pissed ALOT of people off and rightly so, those tosser Devs had basically lied to us for years, continuously hyping there game even more with every article and pr stunt only to then thrown a giant turd in out faces and yelled surprise. It was a worse betrayal than the recent wretched alien game.
            I personally didn’t go on the forums and bitch and moan but I don’t begrudge those that did (except those who you know send death threats and go psyco), I just got a refund on the game because that was not what I was promised.

  • How the hell does it “adjust” the difficulty? How annoying will that be going for the harder difficulty achievements? Constantly dropping whenever you die and having to start all over again.
    Honestly it sounds like another way to avoid learning patience.

    and how will this affect horror games, it can pretty much kill any kind of dread.

  • Literally less than a minute ago I was playing Metal Gear Solid Revengeance. I got so frustrated at the camera and parry system that I rage quit, Alt-F4ed, opened chrome and found myself here. This sounds like a great idea. I don’t often rage quit games but when I do, I am in a state of pure rage and will probably be angry the rest of the day. Adjusting difficulty according to a players state of being sounds incredible but im not sure developers would jump at this opportunity. Hope this comes to the market someday.

  • So it’s a device that punishes you for being calm and rewards you for getting angry?
    Yeah I don’t see any downside to that at all >_>
    (and yes I know reward/punish is debatable, but you know what I mean)

  • It would awesome if rpgs could utilise this to effect npc reactions towards your character. Like if an npc insulted you and you weren’t angry they might insult you further.

  • Unfortunately difficulty doesn’t make me rage very much, because I know it’s my inadequacies. However, what makes me flip the shit is poorly-designed and stupid game mechanics – which seem to be everywhere these days.

  • It seems inherently flawed in that it uses the assumptions that a raised heart rate is necessarily due to aggression, and that making the game easier will necessarily reduce aggression.

  • I’m kind of disappointed it wasn’t my initial expectation of the gamer equivalent of a shock collar. I highly doubt it will cure gamer rage since changing the difficulty is not removing the stimulus. It’s like giving the guy punching you in the face with his bare hands boxing gloves to soften the blows, or taking pain killers because your appendix hurts. It makes you a little more comfortable but the cause of your aggravation is still there. I see many other uses for it though, some medical and some to help heighten the experience in response to your current levels of tension, etc.

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