Hands On: NeuroBoy, a Game You Play With Your Brain

TOKYO — intercommunicate controllers and the be of attribute port strength cost whole the be this year, only how come advise Laotian monetary unit all?

The Adventures of NeuroBoy is alphabetic character wager that monitors your kill trait via alphabetic character Bluetooth receiver (called alphabetic character "MindSet") and uses that information to move with essential objects. The bailiwick is stock-still finite to activity "concentration" and "meditation," indeed the wager itself stock-still relies along holder and manipulate commands to go NeuroBoy along screen. In order to handle any object it must first be selected with a mouse click. Players have a choice of four abilities: pushing, pulling, levitating and burning.

The short demonstration I received on the floor of the Tokyo Game Show was as much about the technology itself as it was the software. The MindSet fits over your head like a set of stereo headphones, with a small arm and sensor that presses against your forehead. The staff warned me to make sure my hair didn't cover the sensors, as that would obscure the signal.

Once I got my sensors aligned, they showed me a basic display of my brainwaves, including two large dials indicating my "concentration" and "meditation" levels. As I looked at the screen, I couldn't help but notice that my concentration meter was maxing out. Just looking at my own brain data was hard work. By contrast, the meditation meter had nearly bottomed out. I found that relaxing my mind and closing my eyes was the best way to send it soaring again.

What about the game? I didn't get to see much of it, but I got a taste of all of NeuroBoy's abilities. Everything other than floating required me to concentrate as best I could. I squinted a lot and as silly as it sounds, I found my results improved dramatically when I moved my hand towards the screen. There's something about telekinesis that demands a wave of the fingers. Those Jedi were onto something.

The object or goals of the game were never made clear to me, although the staff told me that there would be a multiplayer mode that would have Neuroboys running around and hurling barrels at each other. Other software is apparently on the way, as they told me their company was working with other, larger developers like Square Enix to put the technology to wider use.

Even in this early stage of development, I cannot deny how amused I was to use my brain to control 3-D objects in a video game. The Adventures of NeuroBoy and the MindSet are coming to Japan next month but are already available in the United States.

Photo: Daniel Feit/.com