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Screw VR...This Game Gets Beamed Directly Into Your Brain

VR might be the next "big step" for video games, but this group of researchers took things much, much further...

Researchers from the University of Washington have developed a way to play video games using something other than a screen or headset to process and produce audio/visual effects.

You may be wondering what device could possibly render such an experience without a screen. The answer is simple -- your brain.

The study used a helmet that emits electrical pulses to stimulate particlar areas of the brain. With the right frequency, these pulses stimulated the brains of the test subjects in a way that allowed them to visualize and interact with the game in their heads. And the researchers succeeded in making a group of these play-testers walk through a 2D maze that was streamed directly to their brains. 

This may sounds as the concept for a sci-fi film, but it is not.

The electric pulses applied to the brains of the players created phosphine in their line of sight, which is the light you often see when you close your eyes. Applying the right frequency of electrical pulses to the brain allowed the scientists to place these lights where they wanted, thus making it possible to create a maze in people’s head -- one which they can not only see, but also interact with.

The experiment reached a success rate of 92%, which encouraged the team behind it.

While we regard virtual reality as the future of immersion in gaming, in a distant future we may take an even bigger step forward and use our brains to process games, instead of relying on computers to do the trick. It would certainly do away with hardware limitations....

You can read the full research here for more information about the study. 

What do you think about this experiment? Is it just fringe science, or the first steps toward a revolutionary era of gaming? Let me know in the comments!

Published Dec. 8th 2016

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