The gaming industry lately has taken a massive leap forward in capabilities and the technology that goes along with it. With the release of augmented and virtual reality, the body sensor suit for first person shooters and headsets like the Occulus Rift and HTC Vive, there seems to be no slow down to these advancements.

Crowdfunding startup BfB have just introduced a new way of playing video games – by using our emotions. BfB has just released their new Emotionally Responsive Gaming platform, or ERG for short. The technology uses bio-monitors to track how you feel when playing, adding a new dimension to the style we use when invested in video games. Games at the moment reward players who can control their feelings and stay calm under pressure. The games are released under BfB Lab and are driven by a small BfB Sensor. The sensor is a Bluetooth earclip that measures changes in your emotional state such as your heart rate.

The first game to be released is a virtual card game named Champions of the Shenga, which involved collecting spells, creatures, weapons and armour. To use them, players must control their emotions. Breathing techniques have a serious effect and players much learn to control this to advance. Other games include Await Rescue which lets you be an astronaut and Big Steal which puts you in the position of a criminal at an interrogation table.

BfB Labs of Macclesfield will soon be launching a a new game using Emotionally Responsive Gaming (ERG) players wear a small ear-clip (BfB Sensor), which measures vital life signs such as heart rate, pulse and breathing. Pictured friends playing the game on their tables

BfB Labs of Macclesfield will soon be launching a a new game using Emotionally Responsive Gaming (ERG) players wear a small ear-clip (BfB Sensor), which measures vital life signs such as heart rate, pulse and breathing.
Pictured friends playing the game on their tables

BfB is based in London and received early on R&D support from Internet giants Google. Speaking on the new feat, Chief Operating Officer Duncan Brown says;

“The sector is currently focused on improving the physicality of gameplay through VR and AR, or a forever evolving challenge via Artificial Intelligence. What we’re doing is challenging players with not only conquering the strategic challenges of the game, but keeping a cool head whilst doing it.

“Our BfB Sensor is the nearest we can get to exporting an individual’s psyche into a game. We know stress and pressure affect our judgement and how we perform in the real world, so to be the first to transport those same biometrics into a virtual world is really very exciting and will open a whole new world of possibilities.”

Simon Fox, Creative Director, said: “Fantasy card battles are a classic gaming genre and for our very first foray into the world of ERG, we felt it was the right avenue from both a player engagement and technical perspective.We’ve never had a game that not only displays your self-control levels, but also makes your emotional discipline a critical part of your performance. With ERG and the BfB Sensor, how well you manage your feelings is actually a bigger factor in your progress than your strategic skills, which has never been done before.

BfB Labs of Macclesfield will soon be launching a a new game using Emotionally Responsive Gaming (ERG) players wear a small ear-clip (BfB Sensor), which measures vital life signs such as heart rate, pulse and breathing. Pictured friends playing the game on their tables

BfB Labs of Macclesfield will soon be launching a a new game using Emotionally Responsive Gaming (ERG) players wear a small ear-clip (BfB Sensor), which measures vital life signs such as heart rate, pulse and breathing.
Pictured friends playing the game on their tables

“If you look at martial arts – the common theme between all the different disciplines is self-control, the ability to find that inner peace, that emotional balance, and transform it into a key strength as you prepare for combat. That, more than your physical power, is what determines your future success. I like that famous saying by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, ‘The best fighter is never angry’. There is a nice parallel here with what we’ve set out to achieve with ERG.”

All this is going to be kicking off this September, so keep checking back here for extra coverage.

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Stef Murphy

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