By Nathan Grayson on May 14th, 2013 at 1:00 pm.
Keyboard-and-mouse versus controller? Pfft, only dinosaurs still have that argument. And motion control? That requires primitive hardware like living room boxes and flesh-infested bodies. No, today I’m bringing you a vision of our collective brain-in-a-gelatinous-tube future – the next mighty step in progress’ inevitable march. Son of Nor, you see, is set to allow for partial mind control. Using a wearable cyber crown called the Emotiv EPOC, you’ll be able to cast spells by thinking really, really hard until something cool happens. Or at least, that’s the impression Still Alive Studios’ video gives, and it’s quite an impressive thing indeed.
So yes, keyboard-and-mouse for movement and sheer, unfiltered thought – the essence of human existence, the backbone of all sciences and arts since the dawn of time – for magic powers. Sounds sensible enough.
Of course, it’s perfectly understandable if you’re still harboring some skepticism. I know I am. This, apparently, is how the EPOC device works:
“Based on the latest developments in neuro-technology, Emotiv presents a revolutionary personal interface for human computer interaction. Emotiv EPOC is a high resolution, multi-channel, wireless neuroheadset. The EPOC uses a set of 14 sensors plus 2 references to tune into electric signals produced by the brain to detect the user’s thoughts, feelings and expressions in real time.”
There are different suites calibrated for specific sorts of detection, too – for instance, facial expressions, emotions, or conscious thoughts. The latter sounds most similar to Son of Nor’s razzle-dazzle-spontaneously-combuzzle tech. “Users can manipulate virtual objects with only the power of their thought,” reads Emotiv’s website. “For the first time, the fantasy of magic and supernatural power can be experienced.” And so can passive voice!
I highly doubt Son of Nor will launch with a perfect implementation, but the very fact that games are starting to dabble in this stuff at all is basically insane. Back in my day, the best heavy lifting brains could do was advanced physics or teaching Furbies how to curse. Now: boulders. Take that, physicists.
Son of Nor’s still accepting monetary sacrifices at Kickstarter‘s monolithic altar, and it’s about 1/3 of the way to its $150,000 goal. Has this one caught your (mind’s) eye?