“Nevermind,” a Horror Game That Responds to Real-Life Fear and Stress
In Nevermind, an upcoming horror game for the PC, players take on the role of a doctor working with traumatized patients to unlock repressed memories of their traumatic experiences. The game uses biofeedback to respond to players’ real fears while they’re engaging the game.
A few years ago, I checked out a demo of Taiyoung Ryu’s Maum at E3. Maum was a proof-of-concept of the next evolution of immersive games, using a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) device called Mindset to collect brainwave data and change the play experience. In Maum, players had to keep themselves calm to avoid dangers.
Nevermind seems to take that further, adding the biofeedback element to the horror game genre. As players become more stressed or frightened while playing, the game becomes harder and more frightening. A game that responds to players’ fear is a truly terrifying addition to any horror survival game.
Besides being a deeply creepy horror game, Nevermind seems like a useful behavior-change game. Players who are able to control their physical response to stress in a game might have an advantage in dealing with real-life fears. I’m not saying that handling stress in games would delete stress from our lives (although that would be pretty great), but that being able to control some of the physical responses, like a racing heart or sweating palms, would be nice advantage in real-life stress.
Nevermind has a working beta and has been pre-approved for distribution on Steam. Their Kickstarter, seeking an ambitious $250,000 goal, will allow the dev team to create four more levels and make the game available for more platforms.