Video Game Measures Players’ Sweat To Make Play More Real [Video]

Video Game Measures Players’ Sweat To Make Play More Real [Video]
Design & Architecture

Valve experiments with biofeedback technology to improve design.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 9 may 2013

Video game developer Valve has been doing research on incorporating biofeedback technology into their video games. The company’s resident experimental psychologist Mike Ambinder talked more about it at the NeuroGaming Conference and Expo earlier this month.

Ambinder is leading the company’s work in finding new ways for video game design to respond better to how a player reacts to a game. The company has been experimenting on perspiration-based adjustments for the game Left 4 Dead and eye motion controls for Portal 2.


In one of their experiments, the company monitored players’ sweat levels and related that with how they were responding to the game. The data was fed into the game and the game designers attempted to improve the game experience based on the information.

In another experiment, players had to shoot a hundred enemies in four minutes. Calmer players progressed normally, but if the players got nervous the game would speed up.

The company also developed a version of Portal 2 that could be controlled with eye movements. The eye controls were said to work well, but they had to separate aiming and viewpoints to make it work better.


The research is still in the experimental stage, but the video game company hopes to see biofeedback technology help how they can improve video games in the future.

The clip below shows Ambider talking more about biofeedback in game design.


Video via Venture Beat

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