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‘Elden Ring DLC’ Publisher Will Beat The Game With ‘Mind Control’

‘Elden Ring DLC’ Publisher Will Beat The Game With ‘Mind Control’

Anyone who has been online in the last month has probably seen new Hand Ring expansion Erdtree’s ShadowThe first and only major update to one of the best RPGs of the last decade has caused quite the stir, not just because of its incredible gameplay, but also because of its overwhelming difficulty that has stumped even veterans of the soulslike genre.

But for some, the extreme difficulty of FromSoftware’s latest release isn’t enough, leading to some impressive examples of creativity as creators find new ways to make the notoriously difficult game even more challenging. One of these players is based in the UK YouTuber And Twitch Publisher Perrikaryal’s attempt to complete the DLC in a completely hands-free manner gives new meaning to the term mind game.

While many people are struggling right now Erdtree’s ShadowA streamer who goes by the name Perri on social media and has done a lot of challenging boss fights with just a standard controller Rolling Stone The gamer, who wished to withhold his real name for privacy, has chosen to tackle the game using so-called “mind control” – that is, programming devices that recognize both brain activity and eye movements to control gameplay. In doing so, he hopes to showcase ways to expand the scope of hands-free gaming design in the future, and make it more accessible.

Perri’s installation is a earphones It is a device known as an electroencephalogram (EEG for short) that measures the electrical activity in the brain. The special device he uses, EmotionalEEGs are traditionally used to diagnose epilepsy, and they can read brain activity to determine how patients’ minds perceive stimuli.

“From a psychological research standpoint, it’s good for seeing if someone is reacting to something,” Perri explains. “So, for example, if you slap someone in the face, you can see what happens (and) when it happens.”

To play the game, Perri attaches 14 electrodes to her scalp that read her brain’s response to certain thoughts to trigger cognitive activity, as well as a pair of EEG headphones by recording the pulse of the ear muscles, they get a more direct physical response to certain actions. Then, a separate eye tracking camerauses eye and head movements to simulate mouse or joystick positioning. Through a mix of Emotiv BCI software With her own “jerky” coding, Perri assigns individual in-game abilities to specific thoughts so she can use subtle movements to direct her character and manipulate the in-game camera, performing more complex actions by imagining actions like spinning a plate or moving a block.

“I have two different profiles,” he says. “One for boss fights, and one for running around. Pushing a cube to escape, spinning a plate to[use a skill]. I’ll imagine a little cricket jumping while I’m vibrating my inner ear muscles, so it’s a little clumsy, but that’s what happens when I want to attack.”

It took a lot of trial and error for Perri to get to this point. The broadcaster first encountered EEG machines while studying psychology in college and was very impressed. Consumer-friendly versions of the headsets not cheapBut the version he uses is readily available online and much cheaper than the version you’d see in a lab or hospital.

Perri’s story, which chronicles her experiments through podcasts and YouTube videos, took a serious turn when she turned her attention to: Hand Ringa game he doesn’t even play normally.

Of course, all of this required a big learning curve. Of all the actions she must routinely balance, improving her character is one of the most difficult, as Perri must consider being agitated or tense in order to regain her health. As she soon discovers, faking anger can easily be misconstrued as the genuine frustration of playing a very difficult game over and over again. If Perri allows herself to be truly frustrated, her headset will interpret it as a call to recovery. However, Hand RingEnsuring full control is essential.

“You have to calm down. It’s like mindfulness,” he says. “I meditate the whole time, and when I imagine I don’t become tense; I imagine being tense.”

Emulating the tension without succumbing to it is a challenge in and of itself, but the game itself frequently throws wrenches into the mix by design. When asked which of the game’s boss encounters were the most difficult to beat, he looked back Hand Ring In 2023, she beat the base game, where she repeatedly failed to defeat a medium difficulty enemy due to one particularly challenging element: the fight features a camera that constantly rotates around the fighter jet, which triggers a spinning saucer image in Perri’s head, causing her to constantly use the wrong inputs and become disoriented.

Since that run in 2023, Perri has made some upgrades to her setup. Initially, she needed a controller to handle movement, but with the addition of eye-tracking and gyroscopic sensors to the kit, as well as in-ear headphones to measure muscle tension, she can now control everything completely hands-free. But it’s also possible that this is all down to luck. Hand Ring While it may be suitable for this method of play, other games are definitely not suitable.

During a month-long marathon of trying different games, Perri started to experience issues with menu navigation. She could play online games like: Bravehas fluid modes that require very little fiddling with choices, but something like Counter-Strike there were too many to choose from, as in-app purchases were required at the beginning of each round. However, the most difficult game to play was Tetris — “Even though it’s a very easy game to play, it became unplayably difficult using its setup. When I played it TetrisI’m thinking, ‘rotate a plate’ to move (the pieces) to the left, or, ‘push a block’ to rotate it. So, it’s very, very confusing. And Tetris “It’s very fast.”

But Perri’s biggest challenge isn’t actually the game, but convincing skeptical viewers that her efforts aren’t fake — an argument she takes on every day. Rolling StoneDozens of commentators have jumped in to claim that her work lacks credibility. It’s easy to see why viewers might dismiss her claims at face value, but Perri tries to maintain transparency with eye-tracking data and real-time on-screen mapping of brain activity.

Emotiv representatives, Rolling Stone That the implementation is both possible and relatively simple compared to more complex uses of the technology, and that Perri’s achievements are real to the best of our knowledge based on conversations with the publisher. Still, even a direct statement from the company’s scientists would not allay any doubts.

But Perri acknowledges that there needs to be a healthy skepticism about what she has accomplished.

“Ninety-nine percent of the people are really lovely and really supportive,” she says. “The biggest criticism I get is that I can’t prove it and I’m online, which is valid. The criticism I get a lot is that million-dollar companies can’t do it, so how can these random people on the internet do it? First of all, they can. Second of all, it’s different.”

But much of what the streamer has to face as a woman online comes from internalized misogyny from those who think she can’t do the complex coding work she does, or even play games. Hand Ring none.

“People will say my boyfriend plays for me,” she says, “There’s a kid under the table. He’s always under the table, which is pretty funny.”

According to Perri, much of the criticism of the EEG style of play stems from a misunderstanding of the psychology and science around the technology.

“Science can be one of those things where people try to make themselves look smarter by throwing out jargon and surprising everyone,” he says. “And fewer people are actually interested in learning it.”

According to this report, Perri defeated the third boss. Erdtree’s ShadowMessmer the Impaler is one of his toughest challenges to date. Beyond Hand RingShe hopes to use her posts to spread awareness of the work that can be done with EEG for accessibility, but she makes it clear that what works for her is not a real solution for most people with disabilities.

“It’s really hard to use,” he explains, “And it takes a lot of dexterity just to plug it in, you have to use your hands to even plug it in and set it up. I’m very lucky that I haven’t had first-hand experience of not being able to play traditionally, but I think that would have been more stressful and more upsetting.”

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Perri points to the general lack of funding for accessibility research groups as a major factor in the lack of meaningful breakthroughs in the field, and he’s cautiously optimistic about potential advances like Elon Musk’s experimental Neuralink. For now, he’s doing his part by working informally with Emotiv to provide case studies and feedback that can be used to improve the functionality of their devices and hopefully open up new ways to help people with disabilities. But the programs he’s currently using aren’t applicable to many neurological disorders, but the data could help.

“Just letting people know that this exists is a pretty good goal for me,” he says. “I want to make this as good as possible so that potentially people can imagine a use case for accessibility.”