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Interactive Narrative Story Game: The Quetzal

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Tobias Weigand of morro images Inc. recently invited game developers Michael Evask and Mark Thoburn to the Niagara Interactive Media Generator to demonstrate their interactive narrative story-game  “The Quetzel”.  The Quetzel uses a NeuroSky brain-wave sensing headset which measures brainwave impulses from the forehead (from a position neuroscientists call FP1).  NeuroSky’s main sensor is placed on FP1 because this is the pre-frontal cortex where higher thinking occurs.  Emotions, mental states, and concentration are all dominant in this area.

Rather than using a keypad or joystick, you control the game with your thoughts via the headset.  The game develops the player’s ability to, on the one hand, concentrate, and on the other, relax.  Your ability to concentrate and then later relax determines your success in the game.

The resulting experience is amazing.

Following their presentation, Michael and Mark led a discussion on the future of video games and what this technology might look like in five years.  We assume the technology will be increasingly sensitive to changes in a variety of brainwaves.  We at OARN considered what would happen if you could incorporate this into an AR app, allowing the user to bend her AR experience around her emotions and frame of mind.

Fantasy haunted houses that respond to the users level of fear? Games that adjust their difficulty to your stress level?  Educational games that reward users with ADHD for concentration?   The possibilities for these apps are endless.

- Kevin



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