Spiel 1


Spiel 1 involves a Brain-Computer-Interface (BCI) that is connected to a USB rocket launcher, which is directed at a teddy bear shackled to the wall. During the game, players are asked about negative emotions and aggressive tendencies, and finally are “tested for peacefulness”. The BCI, which picks up brain wave patterns is triggering rockets if the individually calibrated alpha/beta ratio rises over a certain threshold. This represents roughly the calmness of the players during the testing phase.

While I am aware of the technical limitations of a consumer grade BCI setup, I like to explore technologies and their cultural impact in a playful manner. In this project, the focus lies on the performative aspect and the dialogue with the players. However, I am interested in scientific aspects of game interfaces as well. I originally developed Spiel 1 in Python based on open source drivers for the OCZ NIA Brain-Computer-Interface. Recently I started  working on a new version that uses Rebecca Fiebrink’s machine learning toolkit Wekinator in order to improve the accuracy of the classification.

Finally, Spiel 1 is a satirical comment on the concept of Serious Games, games that are supposed to played for external purposes such as education and self-improvement. It is labelled as “game for peace education” and purports to make players more peaceful. In a sense it illustrates some of the theoretical distinctions such as play vs. work, playing vs. learning and Serious Games vs. games that I draw in my thesis.


Serious Game Experience with a Brain-Computer-Interface

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