Valve is experimenting with player sweat as part of experimental research into biometric feedback as it relates to games, Valve experimental psychologist Mark Ambinder explained during a session at the NeuroGaming Conference and Expo last week, attended by VentureBeat.
According to Ambinder, the company has conducted a number of biofeedback experiments based on player sweat, player calmness and eye tracking. This so far has resulted in a version of Portal 2 that can be controlled with your eyes as they can move much more quickly than your hands. Data from experiments based on sweat levels and player calmness has also fed into Left 4 Dead and offers insight into how much time should be required in completing an objective.
This isn't the first time Valve has made it known it is looking into biometric controllers; however, so far this is only part of a testing phase.
"One thing we are very interested in is the notion of biofeedback and how it can be applied to game design," said Ambinder. "There is potential on both sides of the equation, both for using physiological signals to quantify an emotional state while people are playing the game. The more interesting side of the equation is what you can do when you incorporate physiological signals into the gameplay itself. If we could start tapping into that, we could tap into a whole wealth of data."
During his talk, Ambinder also stated that biofeedback could potentially be used in finding better multiplayer matches, creating game profiles and influencing content design. Check out the video above for the full session.