Students Create Eye Movement Peripheral
Who needs a PS3, Xbox or Wii with their fancy new peripherals... when the grandfather of gaming now sports the coolest input method of all time (apart from Steel Batallion, of course). Undergraduate students at Imperial College London have created a staggering piece of neurotechnology that allows Pong to be played simply by moving their eyes... on a budget.
The premise is simple: a webcam monitors eye movement and a clever piece of biometry software syncs the motion to the game. But don't take my word for it...
“Remarkably, our undergraduates have created this piece of neurotechnology using bits of kit that you can buy in a shop, such as webcams.”
"The game that they've developed is quite simple, but we think it has enormous potential, particularly because it doesn't need lots of expensive equipment."- Mr. Faisal, ICL Bioengineering Team Supervisor
The implications are huge. Sure, at the moment it's only Pong... but what if the same low-cost concept could be applied to a motorised wheelchair? Or speech software. Or a smarthouse. Who said that games never helped anyone? [The Hindu via VG247]
Penny Arcade and Molyneux more Influential than Clinton (Time Poll)
Time Magazine is currently running an online poll to determine the year's most influential people... and it appears that gamers have been making their mark. Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, the founders and talent behind Penny Arcade, are currently ranked at number 43- closely followed by Lionhead/Natal dev Peter Molyneux at number 44 [at the time of writing- Ed]. This places them above such luminaries as Bill Clinton, Arnie, Clint Eastwood, Steve Jobs and over 150 others.
Then again, Lady Gaga's topping the list at the moment. I don't think that they'll be taking the results too seriously... [Time Magazine]
Reach Update: Armour Locks and Shield Pops
Bungie's dropped another marathon (no pun intended) Reach Update- and whilst Halo fans can merrily hit the link, I'll do my best to quickly sum up the juiciest info.
Weapon and armour abilities are picked from a predetermined list that's tailored by Bungie to match the level at hand- sorry folks, there's no CoD-style custom loadouts. These new abilities include jetpacks, dodge rolls, super speed, armour lock (invulnerability) and invisibility; each of which has their own disadvantage as well as powerful strengths.
The new "popping" shield system will take some getting used to. It will be necessary to completely lower an opponent's shield before dealing health damage as there's no overlap between the last shield attack and the first unprotected hit. Whilst this is unlikely to affect your everyday life (and yes, I admit, it sounds fairly boring), this will certainly affect the face of Halo's melee combat and its online multiplayer in general.
The new weapons are also looking highly sweet- frankly, I can't wait to get my hands on them. The grenade launcher is looking especially tasty, with a remote detonator linked to how long you hold down the trigger. It'll be interesting to see how they handle in the upcoming Beta. [Bungie]
Gamers Threaten to Sue Sony over 3.21
Sony's latest firmware update has been causing a massive publicity backlash, since it removes the PS3's ability to support other operating systems (which was a unique selling point of the original fat models). This is fantastic news for gaming journalists everywhere, as it provides us with a juicy scandal that's chock full of divisive content that's bound to rake in the fanboy views.
Most gamers simply won't be affected by 3.21, but the minority are making their voices heard. The interweb's been rife with comments from both sides, and now the following message seems to be cropping up everywhere we look.
If you have been affected by Sony's 3.21 update file a complaint to the BBB and the FTC and your corresponding Attorney General.
It is very easy and completely online forms. Just go to the respective websites
www. bbb .org / us / --- click on file a complaint
www. ftccomplaintassistant .gov --- click on complaint assistant
There's possible grounds for a class action here- after all, many gamers have already installed operating systems for perfectly legal purposes. Check out both sides of the argument in our recent Game Buzz!