As a gamer, how many times have you come across one of the following scenarios, making you feel uncontrollable red hot rage boil up inside you?
A: In an FPS, having an amazing match with a very desirable kill death ratio, only to be sniped in the back of the head by camper.
B: Spending gruelling amounts of effort on a level, slaving away trying to beat it but for some reason nothing is going right, then having to start all over (e.g. Dark Souls).
C: Coming across prepubescent kids online who claim to have done naughty things to your mother.
More times than you’d like? Does it make you want to do this?
To the gaming community these incidents are not isolated, nor is the frustration and humiliation that follows. Currently in the works is a headset that claims to prevent gamer rage by helping the player handle their stress better when confronted with aggravating situations. Named “Immersion”, the headset is developed by visual designer Sam Matson who has previously worked with Sony and Nike on other innovative creations.
Immersion aims to track the users heart rate as a determiner of where stress levels are at their peak. As Matson states:
“Added stress elicits an immediate response from the gamer’s body. They will perspire, their muscles will tense and their heart will beat faster. As a result, one effective indicator of the gamer’s stress level is their heart rate.”
After many prototypes, trial and error, Maton’s current design is simplistic yet effective for doing its job. A pulse sensor that sits in one ear measures the users heart rate, and provides feedback as to what is going on with their stress levels on screen. From the results that Immersion sources, it will then adjust the games difficulty settings if required, adapting to the current situation in game and the state of the player. Matson tested the headset using several gamers on a game designed by himself for optimal readings and interpretation of results. As one test subject aptly puts it:
“[gamer rage is] Kinda like road rage. The other people don’t know you so you say whatever… It’s easy to get too into it and lose your cool.”
If this sounds like something you could benefit from in the future, fingers crossed Matson can find ample funding to bring the product to consumers. In the mean time, don’t get too mad; it’s only a game after all.