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      Valve’s Gabe Newell imagines “editing” personalities with future headsets

      Sam Machkovech · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 25 January, 2021 - 14:33 · 1 minute

    Dota 2 tournament trophies might look if Valve chief Gabe Newell pushes any further into brain-computer interface (BCI) research.' src='https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/gabe-newell-brain-listing-800x494.jpg' >

    Enlarge / An artist's interpretation of how future Dota 2 tournament trophies might look if Valve chief Gabe Newell pushes any further into brain-computer interface (BCI) research. (credit: Getty Images / David Jackmanson / Sam Machkovech)

    For years, the open secret at Valve (makers of game series like Half-Life and Portal ) has been the company's interest in a new threshold of game experiences. We've seen this most prominently with SteamVR as a virtual reality platform, but the game studio has also openly teased its work on " brain-computer interfaces " (BCI)—meaning, ways to read brainwave activity to either control video games or modify those experiences.

    Most of what we've seen from Valve's skunkworks divisions thus far, particularly at a lengthy GDC 2019 presentation , has revolved around reading your brain's state (i.e., capturing nervous-system energy in your wrists before it reaches your fingers, to reduce button-tap latency in twitchy shooters like Valve's Counter-Strike ). In a Monday interview with New Zealand's 1 News , Valve co-founder Gabe Newell finally began teasing a more intriguing level of BCI interaction: one that changes the state of your brain.

    "Our ability to create experiences in people's brains, that aren't mediated through their meat peripherals [ e.g., fingers, eyes ], will be better than is [currently] possible," Newell asserts as part of his latest 12-minute video interview. Later, he claims that "the real world will seem flat, colorless, and blurry compared to the experiences that you'll be able to create in people's brains."

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