Immersion - Gamer Rage Headset

By: on January 26, 2014

My 13-year-old nephew has had gamer rage for, like, 5 years now. Oh man, he used to get SO MAD when the levels got harder in Super Mario Galaxy. Sometimes, if he knew he was about to die, he'd pause the game, hurl the controller at the floor and just run out of the room screaming and dropping lexical bombs I never learned until I was at least a sophomore in college. If Sam Matson proceeds with mass production of his Immersion headset prototype--or is even looking for beta testers along the way--there is going to be one big, shiny software-integrated biometric feedback system with little Kaleb's name on it.

Said to be growing and spreading within the gaming community, gamer rage is defined as "intense frustration resulting from playing a video game." Immersion seeks to help players gain control over that rage, and therein ease their frustration, by incorporating a headset that monitors heart rate into gaming software.

Matson chose heart rate because it serves as a basic indicator of a player's stress levels. When these levels rise, physical responses include muscle constriction, sweating, and elevated heart rates. Of the 3, heart rates tend to be the easiest and most accurate biometric to measure and track.

Using a pulse sensor positioned at the wearer's ear, the Immersion headset is able to detect and approximate heart rate continuously. Its microprocessor sends this information via Bluetooth to a compatible video game, which uses the feedback to adjust its own actions.

Currently, Matson has custom built one computer game to work in tandem with the Immersion headset. Using the Unity game engine, he modified the Bootcamp template with his own enemy AI, plus an OSC reader to interpret the pulse sensor's data. When a gamer wearing the Immersion plays Matson's game, his or her heart rate data cues the software to adapt its environment and characters to reflect the gamer's presumed state of being.

As depicted in two of the photos above, when Immersion senses a calm, steady heart rate the game is easier. Enemies are fewer and weaker. As the gamer's heart rate escalates play becomes increasingly difficult. More enemies and enemies who are more difficult to kill emerge. The goal over time is to train gamers' minds to stay calm, manage the stress of gaming more effectively, and ultimately level out the extreme emotional and physical manifestations of gamer rage.

Check it out

Working Pip-Boy 3000

The electronic Personal Information Processor (PIP) manufactured by RobCo Industries in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas is now a viable acquisition to your non-gaming, non-digitized, biological life. Which is not only...

Check it out

The Fragment Smash & Bash Rage Room

$38 - $220 from The Fragment Room »

For $220...and the cost of a trip to Singapore...you could enter The Fragment Room, and unleash 60 uninterrupted minutes of all-out rage. Smash the plates and vases. Bash in the monitor. Take a bat to the walls. Scream....

Check it out

Pip-Boy: Deluxe Bluetooth Edition

$349.99 from ThinkGeek »

Die-hard Fallout fans, avid gamers, and gadget-giddy dudes in general, I present to you: a working Pip-Boy Model 3000 Mk IV replica. Also known as: your Sunday morning hard-on. Sure, you could call ThinkGeek's Deluxe...

Check it out

Mattel Classic Football Game Keychain

$11.99 from Perpetual Kid »

Mattel's handheld Classic Football gets sized for even smaller hands in this mini version of the iconic 70s game. Calling it a "keychain" is a bit of a stretch - unless you like stuffing keychains the size of Little Debbie...

Buy Now

Atari Flashback Portable

$48.10 from Amazon »

The Atari Flashback portable console is indeed here to console. The handheld 2600 will give a there, there pat on the back to everyone who didn't get an NES Classic before Nintendo announced they're discontinuing them...

Check it out

TinyScreen Video Game Kit

$74.95 from Tiny Circuits »

The Tiny Arcade goes handheld. Tiny Circuits' TinyScreen Video Game Kit gives DIY gamers the chance to build their own miniature console. At the heart of the kit is the TinyDuino processor board, an Arduino Uno board...

Check it out

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Classic Controllers

$199 from ColorWare »

ColorWare's Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Classic Controllers are pretty fly for a game guy. And also pretty pricey for a paint job. I don't care how precise and professional the controllers look, or how hard their red retro...

Check it out

Playable PONG Coffee Table

$990 - $1,290 from Table PONG Project »

The Atari PONG Table isn't the first example we've seen of an element of the gaming world transformed into a coffee table...that's still fully functional as an element in the gaming world. Remember this Nintendo controller...

Check it out

Teslasuit - Full-Body Haptic Suit

$1,100 - $3,665 from Teslasuit »

No, the Teslasuit is not for racing your Tesla. Or, more realistically, the Teslasuit is not a 3-piece Armani with embroidered logos and a gold-threaded pocket square to wear while cruising your Model S around the suburbs....

Buy Now

An Anthology of Erotic Pokemon Go Stories

$8.88 from Amazon »

It's hard not to fall into daydreams of bondage and public groping when someone mentions Pokemon Go. Jason Miller, having lost one too many Ivysaurs and Wartortles to visions of dominating them with more than just his...

Check it out

Anki DRIVE - Real World Video Game

$149.99 from Anki »

Artificial intelligence and robotics, the virtual reality video game and the actual reality physical game, Anki and iOS: these are the parts of Anki DRIVE that make it a whole new experience in the gaming industry. A...

Check it out

Portal GLaDOS Ring


Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating Systems now come in finger-sized. GLaDOS rings make it easy for all to show off their loyalty to the eye of Portal's most beloved piece of sociopathic artificial intelligence. Created...