Valve wants to give gamers something different than the motion controls that Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony have raced to create in recent years. Newell told us that he’s not particularly impressed with motion control, and that Valve wants to take advantage of advances in technology that can passively track what people are looking at (gaze-tracking) and how they are feeling (biometric feedback). That means games would be able to respond to your body in deeper ways, like adjusting the flow of a game based on your emotions.
It sounds like getting that kind of biometric feedback in a game would be a big leap, but Valve has worked on responding to players in sophisticated ways in popular games it already has on the market. The company invented an “AI Director” for its Left 4 Dead series that’s like a virtual Dungeon Master; the game can look at each player’s unique situation, like where they’re located and how much health they’ve got, and adjust the flow of the game on the fly to create new experiences in each playthrough. Biometric feedback is a logical extension of that system; it just adds more data points. Imagine if zombies in the next Left 4 Dead could literally sense your fear.
Yikes. Read the full article for the inevitable notice of Apple’s potential threat.