Turns Out Even Our Brains Have Lag

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Did you really press that button in time, or did your brain just think you did? Chances are your brain just thinks so and it’s just too stubborn to believe otherwise.

Anthony Carboni, ex-Revision 3/ex-Discovery News host and current friend of Kotaku and yours truly, explains what it is about our brains that makes them suck at video games. A lot of that has to do with the lag that your brain experiences and, sorry, there’s currently no Deus Ex-style implant to make your brain register events in as real-time as they’re happening.


  • Well, for Australians it actually is the lag of the game. Considering our internet is basically just dialup or developers are stupid enough to leave out a local only search option.

    I remember some developers wanted their game to be pixel perfect for the “hardcore” gamer. You only die if you hit the wall. But testers who were for the idea always complained about the invisible pixels causing them to die despite the fact that they did actually hit something. So they had to add a buffer to push the player away when they think they’ll be clear.

  • This is a moot point.

    If all people on earth (for argument sake) have 80ms lag from information transmission due to the brain, then all people are playing on the same playground, with the same rules.

    Australians playing video games are a minority by nation’s numbers. Without local servers, Australians will verse a lobby likely filled with a number of other nations that are much closer to each other and distant to Australia.

    My entire career (yes, sadly) of Halo 3, spanning over 5000 games would have been at the 3/4 (yellow) bar connection for at least 2/3 of said 5000 games.

    I’ll stop now before I begin raging about the changes to our NBN plans. Meanwhile Japan gets a new Google 60 terabit sea cable laid to america…

  • The old test of having someone else suspend a ruler between your fingers and thumb, they let it go and you try to catch it before it drops demonstrates the brain lag pretty clearly.
    There is an effed up experiment where they effectively remove the lag-response time in a test, and your brain still caters for it, so you believe the event occurs before your button press, even though your button press launches the event. It makes you feel really whacked out.

    The weirdest thing is there can be up to 15 seconds of lag!

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