In an interview with New Zealand’s 1 News, Valve co-founder and president Gabe Newell talks about engineering a future where brain-computer interfaces create better-than-reality visuals and can actively edit who we think we are. You know, terrifying science-fiction stuff, only real.
Why use your eyes and ears—which Newell sinisterly refers to as “meat peripherals”—to experience a game when you can have the visuals, sounds, and even feelings fed directly into your brain. That’s the idea of a brain-computer interface or BCI. Long-time proponents of body-interface technology like eye-tracking, Newell and Valve are currently working on an open-source BCI software project to give developers easy access to brain-reading tech. Using a headset like the ones developed by OpenBCI, developers can read signals from users’ bodies and minds, telling them if players are sad, surprised, scared, or bored. Armed with such data, developers could then adjust the game to ramp up the excitement or invoke the desired emotion.