Some of the firms that are researching and developing BCI technology intend to use it as a new, innovative way to play video games. The non-invasive headsets would be used in place of traditional video game controllers, allowing users to play games with thoughts rather than buttons. This version of the technology is still rather rudimentary and must be calibrated for each user.


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These non-invasive devices would be easy to calibrate, making it accessible to a wider market of consumers. Just like buttons on a controller, the system would ask for certain commands, and “listen” while you think the command. For instance, if you wish to make your character in a game go “forward”, then the system would request that you think “forward” and record the resulting brainwaves. Once it has learned the command, then anytime it recognizes the brainwaves again, it will know what you intend the character to do.

Using BCI technology for video games does not directly harm any people, but the debate comes with the amount of comfort that people would have with the technology. Since video games are predominantly played by younger people, the technology would be introduced to them at an earlier age. Therefore, by implementing BCI headsets as video game controllers, a decision is being made that the technology should be treated casually by the masses.

Lécuyer, A., Lotte, F., Reilly, R. B., Leeb, R., Hirose, M., & Slater, M. (2008). Brain-Computer Interfaces, Virtual Reality, and Videogames. Computer41(10), 66-72.

BCI being used for the popular video game, World of Warcraft:

Questions to ask yourself concerning BCI used for video games:

Should BCI be used in video games?

By using BCI for video games, is it being marketed towards kids that are too young?

Does using BCI as a video game controller make the games too realistic for kids?

Articles regarding BCI use in video games: article on BCI use for video games