The developer, Keith Makse, said the game uses biometrics to understand a player's fear and employ it against them.
This is supposed to improve the gaming experience and signals a new direction for the gaming industry.
Read to find out more.
What is the game about?
The player is a sole survivor of a subway crash and has to navigate through the tunnels. However, the tunnels have monstrous creatures that players must avoid. The game is compatible with VR headsets and has a PC version that does not require VR.
How will this game know our fears?
This game deploys biometrics and AI to understand fear. This will increase the interaction between the user and the game.
As players navigate the game, the heart monitors which they wear will provide feedback to AI.
Based on the heart-rate, the game will increase the horror, or regulate it.
Makse believes that this will let players enjoy horror safely and have a better experience.
Biometrics in games
New players in an old game
Since 2000s, game developers have used biometrics. However, 2015 saw it being ingrained into a commercial game- Nevermind.
Erin Reynolds, the game developer, called it a stress management tool.
The game used heart rate monitors and micro facial recognizers to read heartbeat, facial stress and anxiety. Depending on these, difficulties were regulated.
Notably, MindLight used a headset to read the brainwaves.
Every coin has a flip side
Biometrics might be the next step, but its accuracy in understanding emotions has been questioned.
Graham McAllister, the founder of UK based gaming research studio called Player Research, said that 'it is not a linear mapping between these physiological measures and player emotions'.
Without other methods, it would be guesswork.
Notably, Nintendo didn't release the Vitality Sensor due to the unreliability of the feedback.
The ethics of knowing others' fears
With great power comes great responsibility and game developers should realize that they are dealing with private sensitive medical information. Thus player's data collected and later interpreted, for the game, should remain completely anonymous. However, as with all things, there is a huge risk.