Anyone who has ever indulged in a first person shooter game knows a thing or two about ‘gamer rage’. However most of us are unaware of the fact that this stress also invites a physical response from the human body. Researchers monitored gamers when they were playing Halo and they found that gamer rage caused them to perspire, it tensed up their muscles and made their heart beat faster. US based visual designer Sam Matson came to know about the effects of gamer rage when he saw that his brother, who is a good Call of Duty player started getting beat harder and harder whenever he got more frustrated. He then started interviewing other gamers and noticed a similar trend. So he started the Immersion project in order to tackle gamer rage.
He started his work by modifying an Xbox controller by adding a pulse sensor to check the heart rate of the gamer. Next he designed a futuristic looking headset that housed in an optical pulse sensor that reads minute colour changes in the user’s ear tissue to roughly calculate the pulse rate. The headset also contains an audio input, speaker unit and a microprocessor with a Bluetooth transmitter. He employed the headset to work with a third person shooter game he developed using Unity engine. The game works in a counterintuitive manner. When the player is calm the difficulty level is set to easy but once the user starts getting stressed the game gets harder to play. Matson thinks that in this way users will learn to calm themselves and will be able to handle stress in the real world as well.
The project is still in the prototype stage and Matson is yet to conclusively prove its effectiveness, so you might have to wait for some time and until then just take a few deep breaths.
Source: Gizmag via Sam Matson