Oh Well, Whatever: Nevermind

One day, perhaps, all games will respond biometrically. For now, though, we get to examine the experiments and the prototypes, and this is one such project: Nevermind is a student game which involves thirteen students at the University Of Southern California. Their idea is to create a horror experience which you must keep calm to win against. The higher your heart-rate goes, the harder it gets. The calmer you remain, the easier the game will be on you. Of course there’s hardware involved, because you need a USB-pluggable biometric heartrate monitor doohickey, but as they point out on their IndieGoGo campaign, you can also just buy the hardware from Amazon, should you want to try your luck against Nevermind’s horrors. Oh, and you’ll need to support that aforementioned campaign to actually get the game, of course.

The developers discuss their gaming in more detail in a fascinating “making of” video, which you can see below. There’s a bunch more on the site.


  1. djbriandamage says:

    What a cool idea. It’d be a great way to condition yourself to act reliably and controlled under duress.

    This technology has the potential to do great good – some self defence classes get its students to scream profanities at eachother so that they can be exposed to it and won’t be shocked when challenged.

    Also, that’s a rather curt headline you picked, Jim.

  2. Terragot says:

    Oh, you think fear is your ally. You merely adopted the fear. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the calm until I was already a man. By then, it was nothing to me but boring!

    The fear betrays you because it belong to Frictional.

  3. Javier says:

    It is said, if you confront Nevermind with imperfect courage, it will utterly annihilate your soul.

  4. JoeFX69 says:

    Gaming Nirvana???

    • aliksy says:

      All apologies, but I think I’ll wait until this technology is really in bloom before I try it.

    • Rictor says:

      An interesting idea, but I feel like this experience could drain you quite easily.

    • vatara says:

      You guys should all have to pay a Penny Royal-tea for all these references.

    • disperse says:

      New technology like this is still in utero; I’ll be interested to see what it’s like when it matures.

    • Krimson says:

      So in order to win the game, you have to pop some lithium if it gets too scary.

    • mineshaft says:

      Not for me, I don’t want to be trapped inside a heart rate box.

    • SouperMattie says:

      Cool collaborative uni project. Really smells like team spirit…

      [edit]…. and my congratulations must go to the (wo)man who sold the (game)world.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I thought it was pretty sappy and kind of blew. But maybe I’m just a negative creep. I shouldn’t scoff and be a downer when others are clearly feeling a love buzz.

    • mnem says:

      Just come as you are

    • brulleks says:

      Could well turn out to be the Big Cheese of gaming.

  5. Mr. Mister says:

    I want this applied to MOBAs.

    • lasikbear says:

      “u experiencing a heightened heart-rate bro?”

      • Mr. Mister says:

        nope, never played any MOBA.

        Now that I think about it, it would be interesting to see this applied the opposite way:

        “Can’t get past that segment? 20 pushups per difficulty reduction!”

        • lasikbear says:

          I should have put that in quotes, meant to reference the general “u mad bro” comments that come up in LPG’s

  6. bowlingotter says:

    What a brilliant idea. Could you imagine if Amnesia got HARDER when you became frightened? I would love to see where this idea could go.

  7. ElvisMZ says:

    Someone told me that with the lights out, it’s less dangerous

  8. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Can it differentiate between a high heart rate due to being scared and wanting to rage-quit? Because if it ramps up the difficulty when it detects you’re about to punch your computer, it could get expensive.

  9. JenkNekro says:

    I was in the class that made this game. In fact, I should have been on this team but the professor screwed me out of it. This game is amazing and I don’t think I’m ever getting over not working on it, go support it

  10. Shralla says:

    So Nintendo proposes this two years ago and everybody laughs at them, and now you have to buy an external peripheral to play ONE GAME, and it’s suddenly a great idea?

  11. Hyoscine says:

    Looks amazing, though cue Daily Mail headline about the game you win by desensitizing yourself to it…

  12. GameCat says:

    Only hard games can make my heart beat faster. That feel when you and that freaking gargoyle from Dark Souls have both tiny amount of HP and you hit first and after 2 days of playing you finally kill that asshole. My heart was pounding like crazy. But in horror games like Amnesia? Nope.

  13. BestFriends4Ever says:

    Either I’m deaf or their sound has been fornicated.