Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Sony: Emotion-Reading Games Possible In Ten Years

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the level-up-by-experiencing-a-towering-rage dept.

Sony 69

Calidreth writes "At Gamescom last week two of Sony's executives stated their belief that in merely ten years' time, video games will have the ability to read more than just movement on the part of the player. Reading player emotions will be a key feature that is possible now and might be implemented into games in the future."

cancel ×

69 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Oh dear... (2)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 3 years ago | (#37187904)

...they will have to install special self-preservation chips inside consoles, so they don't commit seppuku when an Emo kid plays on them.

Re:Oh dear... (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188154)

I can see it now...

Clippy: I see you are trying to commit seppuku, would you like help with that?

Re:Oh dear... (2)

wgoodman (1109297) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188748)

They really just need to figure out drunk vs sober.

Re:Oh dear... (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189778)

What they really need is deep enough gameplay to utilise such a feature. What are they going to do with emotion reading games if the games are all two dimensional characterless rehashes? You are playing a first person shooter, a bot shoots you, it makes you sad, so the bot stands out in the open and lets you shoot him back? Yay what a game altering feature. What about a scripted one dimensional storyline game where you watch endless cutscenes and you only real choice is "continue?". Oh the player is disgusted at the lovey dovey scene, we can skip this (guess I did find a real use for the tech, but nothing a skip button couldn't also have fixed ;-), the player is not sad about the love interest dying/being kidnapped, we need to make the music even more poignant and emotional...

My point is that unless you have a deep and detailed open world, with characterful npcs, detailed pc back story and REAL LANGUAGE processing or something similar that allows you to actually effect the players emotions, then there is little you can do about the players emotions other than recommend they quit the game and try something else.

Well I guess it would be a great tool for advertising, testing reactions to products and formats. They better give the hardware away for free though if that's all it is for

Re:Oh dear... (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189510)

What Sony really needs are emotion sensing executives.

Re:Oh dear... (1)

CPTreese (2114124) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190448)

mod parent up! for the love of God!!!!

I'm not sure I really want the box to know my emotions. When playing MW3 I tend to say "that's bullshit!" when someone shoots me. Of course it isn't really bullshit, that person is actually better than me.

This. (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#37192068)

I don't see how this will work, since Sony management is so lousy at detecting the emotions of the criminals^Wcustomers out there using their products.

So this means (1)

Ryantology (2388210) | more than 3 years ago | (#37187906)

Ninja Gaiden will know when it's pissing me off? And then it'll, what, get even harder?

Re:So this means (2)

mkraft (200694) | more than 3 years ago | (#37187982)

I'd think this could be done now. Game systems with motion controllers should be able to tell when the controller hits the wall when thrown out of frustration. I suppose the Xbox 360 is at a disadvantage though since there's nothing to throw with Kinnect, unless you throw some random nearby item and the Kinnect sees it. That or you start swearing at it and the voice recognition kicks in.

Re:So this means (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188778)

That or you start swearing at it and the voice recognition kicks in.

That's actually brilliant - they need to keep a constant swear rate, a little difficulty is fun, too much is off-putting, more than two or three an hour should probably lower the difficulty. If it could also speed dial my favourite order into the takeaway when it hears my stomach start to rumble, that would be doubly great.

This won't end well. (1)

DamienNightbane (768702) | more than 3 years ago | (#37187910)

It was bad enough when all we had to worry about was breaking a controller when a game made us angry. Now the game will know we're angry on its own and react accordingly?

Re:This won't end well. (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188082)

It was bad enough when all we had to worry about was breaking a controller when a game made us angry. Now the game will know we're angry on its own and react accordingly?

Nothing to worry... not until they'll supplement the console with self-defense capabilities. Bonus points for "preemptive strikes" refinements in the AI.

Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#37187922)

First of all this is speculative gibberish. It may be 2 years, and it may be 20.

Secondly, I can just see a status console showing "User status: Bored" 95% of the time.

Stop trying to build clippy for computer games.

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37187938)

It would be a great advance in human computer interaction when and if this becomes a reality, but the use it will have in games is, imo, extremely minimal.

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (2)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188790)

"It would be a great advance in human computer interaction..."

It would be a great advance in human interaction, if men got such a gimmick to read emotions, like women can do from birth.

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190688)

"It would be a great advance in human computer interaction..."

It would be a great advance in human interaction, if men got such a gimmick to read emotions, like women can do from birth.

What a bunch of sexist bullshit. That is no less sexist than saying that women can't do science and math, or saying that women are so irrational that reading their emotion is useless anyway because they make no sense. Sexist stereotypes like that hurt both sexes. The engender an adversarial us-vs-them mentality that makes co-operation impossible, and it allows assholes of both sexes to continue to be assholes and blame it on their nature instead of taking responsibility. I've known rational men and I've known rational women, and I've never known anyone that made all decisions rationally. Likewise I've known emotionally distant and emotionally sensitive people of both sexes.

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (1)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190982)

Mod parent up. This is one of the truest, most insightful things I've read on Slashdot in ages, to say nothing of it being in a gaming discussion.

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37197048)

Is your name Pat?

Seriously, fuck off. Both sexes were created that way, it's the way we're supposed to be. Go with the flow and stop trying to be special, pussy.

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#37187950)

yes because keeping on pushing out the same shit and never trying anything new even at the risk of being called "gimmicky" is the way to innovation! Really!

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188230)

yes because keeping on pushing out the same shit and never trying anything new even at the risk of being called "gimmicky" is the way to innovation! Really!

There is a difference between a gimmick and an innovation. Reading the emotion of a player just for the sake of it is definitely a gimmick. Find something you can actually use this for, besides deciding when a player is easiest to target with ads, and we might have a conversation. Until then this is not innovative at all - a first person shooter is not innovative because it can tell you're stressed or annoyed or bored if it does nothing interesting with the info...and I can't think of much it could do - perhaps tailor difficulty or plot to your mood? But then the game wouldn't be as escapist would it. It would cause you to delve further into real life. Try to increase it's intensity or mood if you're in an intense mood? But then why would you want it to be tame and lame if your mood is different. I honestly don't see the benefit.

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188438)

so just because you don't know what it's useful for immediately means that it's just a gimmick?

Talk about argument from ignorance.

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190638)

so just because you don't know what it's useful for immediately means that it's just a gimmick?

Talk about argument from ignorance.

In itself a computer game reading emotions is not useful. If it has a purpose, that purpose is the innovation. Presenting the emotion reading without presenting a decent application is very much a gimmick.

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#37191944)

Innovate: to introduce new methods, devices, etc. Any ability to detect emotions would by definition be innovative, because it would be new.

As for what to do with the sensed emotions - well that opens up a whole world of possibilities. FPS games are a perfect example. If you sense that your enemy is scared you would certainly use different tactics (exploit the fear, back them into a corner) than if your enemy is just plain crazy with anger (go into defensive mode). That would increase the realism, not detract from it.

The emotions sensed should not be the emotions of a detached person sitting on the couch holding a controller, they should be the emotions of someone fully immersed in the game.

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (2)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188308)

I believe Hocking is somewhat wrong. Although judgment of visual, external, expressions can give clues to internal states, emotions work a bit like this: 1) a person has various goals. As he progresses through the present world-state, he experiences success or failure, or partial success or partial failure of progress towards goals. 2) this progress is cognitively monitored by parts of the brain, and a metric (an 'emotion type and intensity value') is mapped and matched to the goal progress. 3) other factors are combined with that metric. For example, if you've lost something but someone is attacking you, you do not feel sadness of loss first but instead anger over the attack. The amygdala is kind of an interrupt prioritizer for this. 4) the person internally decides (moderates) an external expression of the metric. (some of this is done at an unconscious level and rapidly). For example, an expression of anger, happiness, sadness.

Now, a camera and perceptual system might be developed that can measure facial metrics and 'decode' them for that person into likely emotion states IF the system can measure and adapt to that person's particular ways of expression (over time and experience (learning)).

But a key problem is that mere external visual cues do not give a reliable backward mapping to the goals or the internal responses to the goal success or blockage, and certainly not be able to deal with the complexities of various simultaneous emotions rising and perhaps inhibiting each other. In other words, the camera-based perceptual system cannot fully recreate the true internal cognitive states that gave rise to the emotion. It would have to be able to guess at and reason about the person's goals and his internal framework of mental state.

I base this on my own work in AI understanding of emotion, which differs a bit from the accepted AI model of emotion used by Ortony, Clore, and Collins.

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188986)

I'm being highly cynical, but I expect they'll tie in an achievement/trophy reward for anyone who plays X% of the game with a smile on their face, then they'll use this in their marketing to say "our customers are happy over 95% of the time!"

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189852)

The Computer is your friend.
Be happy citizen.

Re:Nonsense, and why do you want to read "bored" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188678)

It would be awesome if it could detect bored users. Maybe that'll end the "Pirates stole our profits"-nonsense

I don't really see the point... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#37197868)

There are already a few "zen"-like games which work via biometrics -- you're supposed to calm down (or get really excited) to cause certain things to happen in-game.

But really, I don't see the point in an actual game. What effect would my emotions have on gameplay? Do I really want them to have an effect? I can only think of two games I've played recently where the player could really effect their character's emotional state:

Penumbra. In this series, if I'm hiding and I look directly at a monster, my character will slowly start to panic, eventually making enough noise to draw attention to himself and get eaten. So I have to look away to stay calm. This is partly scary because it's now left to my imagination what the monsters look like, and partly because as my character starts to get nervous, I get nervous...

Imagine if the game instead read my emotional state. It might read it as "panic" regardless, or maybe as "calm" anyway, considering I have a savegame a few seconds ago and I know I'm really sitting in a chair playing a game, not hiding behind a crate from a Lovecraftian horror. I suppose it could work, but it seems like it'd either translate into always panicking or never panicking. And in any case, I doubt any of these will make me actually physically panic the way my character does, to where I'm actually making noise...

Or, Mass Effect, or anything similar where I can choose a "good" or "bad" path. But convincing the game to do what I want is hard enough without this -- the menu options are often deceptive. Mass Effect 2 will often provide an opportunity to intervene during a cutscene, but it's already decided whether it's a "Paragon" or "Renegade" action to do so...

But these are role playing games. One thing that makes them so much fun, and so replayable, is to see what happens if I choose renegade. I don't want to be choosing renegade options because I had a bad day at work, or paragon options because I just got laid.

The only way I can see this being useful is with MMOs, but even there, my complaint is with the number of ways my character can emote, not that I have to tell it to be happy or sad. I suspect this would have similar problems to adding voice chat, in any case -- just as voice chat kills the ability of a guy to play a girl, or a 12-year-old nerd to play a 25-year-old hero or a 150-year-old drunken dwarf, sensing my actual emotions would make it much more difficult to play a character who reacts differently than I would to a given situation.

Welcome to yesterday Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37187974)

During the Valve Dota2 tournament at GamesCon, all participants were wearing custom hardware in the form of biometric bracelets that recorded their 'emotional' state straight into the replay: http://blog.dota2.com/2011/08/570/

Autism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37187994)

Before we use these in games, can we use it to help autistic folks read people's emotions?

And unicorns will pilot jet fighters. (3, Insightful)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 3 years ago | (#37187998)

Don't forget that ten years is the standard length of time for bullshit PR spin.

Want to make a bold claim with no evidence whatsoever? No problem! Just prophecy that it will happen "in ten years" and you'll enjoy the infinite respect and worship afforded to the likes of St. Peter, Confucious, and Warren Buffet.

Worried about being wrong? Again, no problem! When the ten year mark rolls around you'll have a wealth of available options for deflecting the shame. Your best hope is that you'll be dead by then. If by some grave misfortune you are still alive, you'll still have an average of 2.7 presidential administrations (adjusting for the assassination coefficient), dozens of religious leaders, and countless others to blame for derailing the path to paradise in the prior decade!

Bet on ten years and no one can ever prove you wrong! Guaranteed or your money back! Thank you for shopping Ronco, operators are standing by!

Re:And unicorns will pilot jet fighters. (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189020)

Indeed, always remember to check all research/marketing claims against the chart [xkcd.com] .

Just hard code it. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188030)

Emotion = ({Bored},{ Slightly aroused});

Re:Just hard code it. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189088)

Sony is working on perfecting their emotion-sensing technology right now; they're currently working on anger. Unfortunately, they have hit a roadblock, as studies indicate people are angry at Sony all the time.

Perfect game for my girlfriend ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188068)

She can stop playing with my emotions, and start letting the console play with her emotions.

possible now (2)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188076)

if you want to do something like that now all you need to do is record and analyze input patterns from regular controllers, redundant or excessively long button presses and repeated attempts at disallowed actions, significantly lower than average (for a particular player) numbers of actions taken in a minute (not counting walking around) and significantly worse than normal reaction times would indicate boredom or lack of attention Redundant button presses along with high actions per minute would indicate excitement.

all without creepy "computer is watching you" shit

Re:possible now (1)

indeterminator (1829904) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188838)

Redundant button presses along with high actions per minute would indicate excitement.

Or frustration.

Re:possible now (1)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 3 years ago | (#37192002)

A period of acceleration followed by a quick deceleration is often a signal of dissatisfaction with a controller.

Forget emotion-controls, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188090)

I want to see something like this in professional gaming tournaments.
At Gamescon in the DOTA2 tournament, the players had sensors connected to them that sensed the electrical conductivity of their skin, thus it sensed their excitement.
Seeing that in accordance to what's on the screen is great, you get to know how nervous the players are at what point, you can even point at a time in the graph and see where they knew something bad was going to happen to them due to increased conductivity.

Re:Forget emotion-controls, but... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190340)

No, it measured their sweatiness.

We just happen to have these emotion reading TVs (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188116)

So since the 3D thing is an abject failure Sony's got something else lined up to sell us all new proprietary hardware with.

Honestly, I don't doubt reading basic emotions could be possible in 10 years, which is an eternity - we already can do it fairly well with crude emotions (fear is easy to recognize!). What I really worry about is what the people who brought you Playstation Home might try to do with it. Who are so tone deaf they don't realize that continually neutering the console they sold you for $600 might might make anyone annoyed. Who don't realize that pissing off hackers is a bad move. What are they going to do, if they see you frown pop up a biiiiiig yellow screen filling smiley face?

Re:We just happen to have these emotion reading TV (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189574)

I think they're just talking about more sophisticated gestures when they're talking about emotion sensing - it's hard enough with humans, harder with hardened actors and what's more important guessing the reason behind the emotions is even harder.

or will the machine do mind reading too and thought control detection?

This being Sony and everything... (1)

FlexPlexico (1357415) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188130)

I can't imagine there being a wide range of emotions that can be expressed while playing something made by Sony (hate and super-hate come to mind). Sony may very well be right about the creation of such a feature but I doubt they'll be the ones implementing or taking advantage of it to the fullest.

Game Difficulty (1)

daniel142005 (906427) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188174)

So does this mean games could get easier when I'm about to throw the controller at the wall? because that seems counter productive to Sony, who makes money when I have to go buy a new controller.

Oblig XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188266)

http://xkcd.com/678/

Take your time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188324)

Five years ago at a PS3 dev conference where they were showing off their real time face recognition to us developers (which included a 'smile' amount) I told them they should be tracking the 'smile' amount of the player as a real time difficulty adjuster. They said they hadn't thought of doing that and it's a cool idea.
Obviously nothing came of it. Oh well, I should have patented it.

I think this is apropos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188342)

http://megatokyo.com/strip/21

Re:I think this is apropos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189058)

First thing I thought of too. The strip's dated 29/9/2000 so, if Fred didn't just invent the interface (the Wikipedia entry on the game doesn't discuss it), Sony are already 11 years behind the curve...

Useless to me, probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188388)

How useful would this be for people who are borderline sociopaths and/or don't feel many emotions?

Re:Useless to me, probably (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188560)

I could definitely see an application, as long as it can be made mobile enough to, say, clip it to my glasses, and it tells me what the person is feeling while I talk to them.

I'm not so sure whether I really wanna know, though...

Re:Useless to me, probably (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189186)

How useful would this be for people who are borderline sociopaths and/or don't feel many emotions?

I expect you'll be too busy torturing cats to care.

The Joy of Emotions (1)

John Allsup (987) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188426)

The fun will be in inducing subtle variations in your own emotions so as not to be perceptible to those around you and yet force the interpreting code down long improbable paths, and see if the programmers covered every contingency.

Sony: Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188428)

Sony: Can Kiss the Fattest, Hairiest Part of My Ass

No need for sensor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188544)

Here's my emotion, Sony: Fuck you !

Re:No need for sensor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190526)

It's awesome that SONY is the one doing this. Maybe since they won't actually LISTEN to customers. Their boxes can read the utter contempt and rage we all have for everything sony.

Maybe... Somehow i think they'll find a way to blame someone else for being such monumental fuckups tho.

Yeah... (1)

Therilith (1306561) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188610)

"Reading player emotions [and sending all the data straight to Sony's marketing department and anyone else willing to pay] will be a key feature"

Emotiv (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188700)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotiv_Systems

"Emotions (Affectiv suite): "Excitement", "Engagement/Boredom", "Meditation", and "Frustration" can currently be measured. Emotiv admits that the names may not perfectly reflect exactly what the emotion is, and says that they may be renamed before market launch."

The one liner (1)

vikisonline (1917814) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188814)

With the way games are going nowaday, with most titles I could just replace the whole thing with one line: EMOT getPlayerState() { return BORED;

Face emotions varies with cultures (1)

dvaldenaire (52153) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188852)

I always heard chinese and japanese people smile when they are embarrassed.

About the "ten-years" : i once had a book, when i was a young boy, about year 2000. It was for kids, ok. But i remember it told a lot about things that never happens. (Like living on the moon). Things have changed in a so impredictable way !

I read that on ./ : there is no future in time travel...

Re:Face emotions varies with cultures (1)

jjp9999 (2180664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37194618)

Yeah, there's already stuff out there that can read emotions. They let users customize commands, so basically, if you have, say, 22 different emotions, thoughts, and expressions you can use, it will let you assign each one to a command of your choice. It basically turns each expression into a button, which you have to activate to give the command - it's not like it can tell what you're actually thinking.

Ten years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188910)

Why not put a heart rate monitor in the controller on each hand grip and use an existing webcam accessory to track facial expressions? ...

Welp, down to the patent office for me now!

What's this gadget called? (1)

LordNacho (1909280) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189432)

I read about a game you could buy at the gadget shop that measures how stressed out you are. The purpose, of course, is to be less stressed out than your opponent. The catch: loser gets an electric shock!

What will they name that? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189662)

I bet they'll call it the "Emotion Engine".

Oh wait, can't do that, marketing already took that one [wikipedia.org] .

In soviet russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190804)

LA Noire play you.

Angry German Kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37191006)

Decipher these emotions during game play Sony:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbcctWbC8Q0

Already done (1)

jjp9999 (2180664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37194490)

This has already been done, and stuff like this has been out for a few years already. The Emotiv EPOC EEG headset has games on it that can be controlled with emotion and thought. FYI, Spirit Mountain: http://www.emotiv.com/store/apps/applications/117/602 [emotiv.com] It never caught on as well as the developers hoped though.

Dangerous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37194954)

Reading the emotions of people can make games completely different. Especially dangerous. Imagine a depressive person would play a game which confronts him with his own fears etc.
What next? "Mind-Reading games?"

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?