The human brain is wonderful, beautiful and complex! This rubbery, squishy, 3 pound organ can do a lot more than we can imagine, and every day we are amazed by its capabilities. One of those capabilities that we have learnt recently is controlling objects – be it a prosthetic arm, navigating the TV menu, or operating a tablet.
An amazing “mind control” invention we have seen recently is Mindball, a game typically seen at science centers that involves moving a physical ball with just sheer focus and mindfulness. This game is played between two players – both wear brain wave sensing helmets and sit at the two edges of a table facing each other. A ball sits in the middle of the table. When the game starts, both players stay as calm and focussed as possible. Each player’s brain waves are measured, and the player whose brain is calmer manages to move the ball away from them until it goes all the way to the opponent’s side at which point they win.
This classic Mindball game, which has been played by over 40 million people around the globe, can now be played in the form of a video game! Mindball is available for both Windows and Mac via Steam and can be played with an inexpensive brain sensing headband and/or a regular video game controller which means that people with disabilities can play this game with able bodied people and have a ball of a time! (see what I did there?)
Uses of Mindball
Entertainment & Leisure
There is no doubt that games like Mindball can be an amazing option for anyone who cannot use a regular gamepad. People with disabilities – amputees, anyone with motor skills disorders, spinal cord injuries etc. can entertain themselves for hours.
Mindball involves high and stable focus to move the ball with your brain. Along with entertainment, Mindball also brings in focus training, which can help students perform better in classrooms or in e-sports where they can use their minds to play other games. In addition, regular practice can help a player transfer their improvement in focus to performing daily activities as well.
There is no doubt that controlling a game with just a brain sensing headband is an amazingly inclusive feature for anyone who cannot control a regular controller. In addition, Mindball can be played with regular gamepads, mouse, keyboard, and Tobii Eye Tracker.
Mindball is an exhilarating game that is not only entertaining but also making gaming accessible and inclusive. Imagine if every game could give us the option to play using our mind in addition to gamepads?
Mindball is available for $15 for Windows and Mac coming to Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android soon!
My mother and I had the amazing experience to play Mindball Classic at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix recently! See for yourself how it works – we both were wearing helmets which were reading our brainwaves. The calmer person (me!) won!