Who needs a game controller? Use your thoughts with this one...

Heck of a concept -- a video game you control with your thoughts. Or more precisely, your mood. But this isn't about brain probes or monkeys playing pinball... it's nothing short of a journey to the Wild Divine

By JC

Heck of a concept — a video game you control with your thoughts. Or more precisely, your mood. Journey to Wild Divine (buy it here) isn’t the first game to use biofeedback, but it’s the first one that people who aren’t specifically interested in biofeedback would have any interest in. It’s a beautiful creation, easily rivaling Myst and Riven… but the puzzles here aren’t really in the game, they’re in yourself.

OK, that sounds a little flakey, I know, but it’s true. Essentially, Wild Divine offers you a series of tasks, but as with the zen monks, the tasks are only the path you are travelling, not the place to which you will arrive. They simply occupy your conscious thoughts while the subconscious performs the real task, changing the state of your body. For example, there is a task where you must control the movement of a feather as it falls from the sky. Relax, and it will float slowly to the ground as you become more and more calm. But it’s not all about being calm, either — to juggle three balls in another task, you must raise your energy level up, become excited. The game gives you hints on how to convince your body to accomplish these tasks… laughing, shouting, breathing fast, and remembering times of great excitement raise your energy… breathing slowly and deeply, thinking on calm experiences, and so on will relax it.

Take a look at the demo video and trailers for an idea what the game looks like. As for how it works… essentially, there’s a small plastic box which connects to your computer via USB, and it has three wires with “magic rings” on the ends. You slip them on three fingers of one hand, and they measure your pulse rate, the conductivity of your skin, and probably a few other things, and from that can determine shifts in your mental and physical state.

Give it a try… at a bit under $150, it’s a bit pricey for a game, but it’s mostly the equipment you’re paying for, and it will be reusable in other games in the series, which are planned (I think one is being written now). Have fun… and enjoy the benefits of learning to control yourself at the same time. Enjoy!

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