Put heart in gaming

tech

June 21, 2007|By Chip and Jonathan Carter | Chip and Jonathan Carter,Tribune Media Services

You know how your heart pounds when you're in the middle of a multiplayer Halo battle? How you get flushed and excited when you're nearing the end of a particularly tough video game challenge? Researchers in Beijing have found a way to incorporate that into future games.

Digital Bamboo and Quantum Intech have partnered to bring HeartMath technology to video gaming. An ear-clip sensor measures heart physiology; the data it collects feeds to a CPU, allowing thoughts, emotions and stress levels to be measured and incorporated into game play. It's not just for fun -- researchers say the technology can be applied in stress-reducing scenarios, a la biofeedback.

No titles have been announced yet, but Digital Bamboo says it will bring the Heart 2 Game sensor to the market as a stand-alone product as well as incorporate it into future games.

Sneak a peek at Grand Theft

Mark your calendar -- the second trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV goes online June 28 at rockstar games.com. While you wait, you can look at some actual screenshots from the game, and view the first trailer. This one -- titled "Looking for That Special Someone" -- promises to reveal some of the first real details about the game, due in stores Oct. 16.

Rockin' the '80s

We are now officially a nation of rockin' musicians -- talent is no longer required; Guitar Hero has proven to be the great equalizer. We bow before it. And we are not worthy of this latest news.

Activision has announced the tunes lineup for "Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the Eighties," due in July for the PlayStation 2. Among the 30 fist-pumping classics included are: "I Wanna Rock," "I Ran," "Round and Round," "Metal Health," "Holy Diver," "Hold on Loosely," "No One Like You," "Radar Love," "Ballroom Blitz," "What I Like About You," "Heat of the Moment," "Nothing But a Good Time" and "Synchronicity II." For more, go to guitarherogame.com.

I got rhythm ... and more

Agetec's looking to help you actually learn a little something about music with its Rhythm 'N Notes, coming this fall for the Nintendo DS. It's a series of drum and piano games that provide rhythmic and tonal training via lessons that begin with simple notes and patterns and progress to complex chord structures.

Harvey Birdman lands in the fall

Adult Swim top legal eagle Harvey Birdman is coming to the PS2 and PSP this fall, courtesy of Capcom. The game promises an interactive story, rather than a series of puzzles or challenges. Harvey has to visit crime scenes, gather evidence, interview other characters, have a few drinks when appropriate, and show off his stuff in the courtroom in a handful of cases. The show's writers will be handling the script.

Counterfeiters beware

That game you bought for five bucks from the guy on the corner near your office? It's bogus. Not that you didn't know that. The U.S. Trade Representative for the World Trade Organization has filed a request for formal consultations with China regarding the lack of intellectual property protection and enforcement of anti-piracy laws in that country.

In the past four years, almost 8 million counterfeit video-game products have been seized from 300 Chinese factories and retailers, despite previous pledges from the Chinese government that they would try real hard to do better. Many of the bogus game makers got off with slaps on the wrist.

The U.S. Trade Representative also monitors piracy in other problem spots such as Hong Kong, Mexico and Paraguay.

Go airborne

You've fought your way through France and the Netherlands, island-hopped in the Pacific, battled bad guys on land and sea. ... Ready for something new?

On Aug. 28, EA's acclaimed Medal of Honor series takes to the skies in MOH: Airborne, a free-roaming adventure that the company promises will let gamers leap from a plane, "land anywhere and truly fight the way they want to." For more, go to moha.ea.com.

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