Immersion, A Headset Built To Prevent Gamer Rage

Designer Samuel Matson has created a headset that prevents gamer rage.

Gamer rage: we’ve all experienced it. Maybe you had a bad match in League of Legends or just couldn’t get past that damn waterfall in Tomb Raider, but gaming rage happens to the best of us.

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No stranger to this phenomenon, visual designer Samuel Matson has created a device that marries biometrics and video games in order prevent in-game rage.

The headset, called Immersion, uses an optical pulse sensor to track the user’s heart rate and in response, adjusts what’s happening in the game.

After initially testing a pulse sensor in a modified Xbox 360 controller, Matson went through dozens of sketches and iterations to find the perfect design. The final result? A sleek, ergonomic piece that fits perfectly with the 360 aesthetic.

Matson then developed a basic shooter using the Unity game engine.  The game changes its environment and enemies according to the data received from the headset’s pulse sensor. A steadier, calmer heart rate makes the game easier with fewer and weaker enemies, while an escalated heart rate causes the game to become increasingly difficult with a jump in hard-to-kill foes.  Immersion uses negative reinforcement to encourage gamers to calm themselves down.

As of now, Immersion is Xbox 360 specific and sounds like it would only be practical during single-player game play. The device is still just a prototype however and hopefully Matson will explore its possibilities further.

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Lauren Puga
Designer, Dovahkiin, and aspiring Disney princess.