Yikes! This one ended up being a little more gruesome than I originally intended… buuuut I think I made my point. >)
I think this might be the only time I may ever concede that a “game” could promote violence. And here’s my theory… There have been a few little games out in the last few years that use a basic form of EEG to convert the electromagnetic activity of the brain into a game controller. At first, there were only a few, mainly just moving a ball back and forth (suspended by an air jet) and all you had to do was “think hard” or concentrate to move it. Of course, there was a Star Wars one and something that’s more useful for console or PC controls. The idea is pretty simple; the brain sheds tons of electromagnetic waves all around the exterior of the head, which is why they can give you brain scans and such to measure activity. I haven’t used one so I can not comment on the accuracy of control, but many reports say it’s pretty responsive.
But here’s the rub… Look up at my drawing again. Now down at me. Now up. I’m on a horse! And not just that! I’m on a high horse with a crazy supposition! That EEG thingy is resting right on the frontal lobe just above the eye. This region controls a whole host of psychological activities! One of which is your emotional responses to anger. (which is why old lobotomies would shove an instrument through your eye and scrape a little gray matter) So my stretch of imagination says, “if you exercise the part of your brain that’s related to anger, rage, strong emotions, and even been linked to stuff like schizophrenia, then all you’re doing is making that area stronger in those types of things”. Long story short, if you lift weights with the evil hand, then you’re going to punch puppies or something. *I’d like to insert here that this is all just massive speculation!
The way the EEG works is by measuring the electromagnetic energy being produced in an area. This much you know. I’m redundant. But that energy is caused by the electrical activity of that area… it’s like looking at a hard drive; if you access your picture files, they are on one part of the disk, if you access your music, they are on another, so without looking at the screen, you can figure out what’s being accessed by looking at what part of the hard drive the read write head is at. Same thing, parts of your brain light up like Vegas when doing different things. For instance, a very specific part of the brain lights up when a person is asked to imagine playing tennis. Cool stuff! But my point with all of this is that forcing yourself to concentrate on certain areas might have unknown effects. It may make this area overactive from stimulation and cause undesirable thoughts, or make you have better control of that area, idk! So if you focus or concentrate on the area that deals with tennis, does that make you a better tennis player? Even when you aren’t thinking about tennis, just concentrating on that location in the brain? I don’t know. That’s for the lab coats to decide. But I will say this, I think we’re entering a very cool, but very dangerous area of technology that starts to incorporate the brain directly into our activities. I encourage the development of this, but also warn of the dangers. Messing with the processor is really something you should do when you’ve got a fairly decent idea of what you are doing. Like, I am deathly afraid of overclocking my CPU because I’m 100% sure that I’ll probably fry it. So same thing here, when we tamper with the old sponge we need to proceed with caution.
That said, I’m all for the integration of technology with biology. I’ll probably be the first in line for cyber implants! Well… for nothing else but to have blinking lights everywhere. What can I say? The SWTOR feng shui bug has gotten to me. However, I just want to be clear… Before we start rolling out with technology that directly influences the brain or specific regions within, we need to be absolutely sure that the effects will not cause us to hoard bodies in a suitcase under our beds. Just saying, it’s good to err on the side of caution.