Valve's co-founder and president wants to revolutionize the way we play through a connection between the human brain and a computer, a relationship that is known as BCI (brain-computer interfaces).
During an interview with a New Zealand media Gabe Newell admitted that it is an elaborate concept but that it would be unwise to ignore the potential of this area.
Newell guarantees that Valve is already working with OpenBCI helmets in order to develop software that facilitates the understanding of the signals emitted by the brain.
Brain-computer interfaces could be the future of video games
In its most basic form this can allow a computer to be able to identify whether a player is enjoying a particular video game, adjusting the experience accordingly.
A practical example is the possibility of the difficulty being increased if the machine detects that the player is getting bored. Despite this, Newell has more ambitious ideas, which involve inscribing signals in the brain instead of just reading them.
The executive and producer suggests that our ability to experience existing games is limited by our bodies. A direct interface with the player's brain can thus open up a wide range of new possibilities.
Newell guarantees that the real world will look discolored and dull compared to the experiences he will be able to recreate in everyone's brain.
Valve has been investigating BCIs for a long time
This interview does not mark the first time that Valve speaks openly about brain-computer interfaces. The company's experimental psychologist spoke in 2019 about his work in the area, touching on the various possibilities left open by this technology.
BCIs can be applied in a variety of areas that go far beyond video games. Technology can be used, for example, to improve people's sleep.
One of the practical forms of application is the creation of an app where you put the number of hours and REM sleep you want, with BCI taking care of the rest.
Despite all this potential, Newell himself admits that this type of interface carries some risks. It is possible to use a BCI to hurt others, making them feel pain, for example.
It is a complicated topic, added to the possibility of creating viruses for these systems, with all the harmful effects that they can have for the user.
Other companies, like Elural Musk's Neuralink are also working in this area, with very ambitious goals. The technology will necessarily have to be safe to be placed on the market, with special emphasis on non-invasive methods of application.
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