Would you pay $100 to control the outcome of a movie with the power of your mind? That's what NeuroSky
and Triete Labs are banking on with MyndPlay. Simply put, it uses NeuroSky's $99 Mindwave headset
with a custom video player that monitors your mental activity during critical points in specially designed films, and offers multiple outcomes depending on your focus and relaxation levels. For instance, in Paranormal Mynd
(above), you play an exorcist who must drive a evil spirit away -- if you don't focus intently, this woman will choke to death. Another gangster film has you dodging bullets and sports multiple endings; depending on how relaxed and concentrated you are, you could come away clean, take a bullet to the head, or dodge poorly and have the projectile strike your friend dead instead. MyndPlay plans to produce a raft of such short-form content for $0.49 to $1.99 per episode, and also let you shoot and share your own, scripting sequences with a tool to be released next month called MyndPlay Pro.
We gave Paranormal Mynd
a try at GDC 2011, and came away somewhat impressed -- you definitely can
control the outcome of a scene, but it doesn't work quite like you'd expect. Since NeuroSky's technology is still limited to detecting the mental states of concentration and relaxation, you can't "will" the movie to go the way you'd like with your thoughts -- in fact, thinking about anything rather than what you're seeing on screen seemed to register as a form of distraction, and lowered our scores. Instead, the ticket to success seemed to be focusing intently on processing the images on screen and clearing our head of all thought or emotion, making us feel totally brain-dead even as we aced the scene. If that sort of zombification sounds like fun, watch a couple video teasers after the break!