For decades, scientists and researchers have worked to create brain-computer and brain-machine interfaces. In a nutshell (which I deciphered while reading a few paragraphs of an extremely long Wikipedia article), our brains use electrical impulses that can be detected, measured, and in some cases translated to control things like prosthetics or prosthetics. even to run computers. .
For example, just this year in a study carried out at Stanford University, a participant was able to enter words into a computer by to imagine they were holding a pen and writing letters on paper. Quite astonishing! There are a lot of things that go beyond just sticking a few electrodes on someone’s head and letting them embark on a novel. with their mind, but it’s the closest we’ve yet gotten to a mind-reading machine.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, but can I use my brain’s electrical signals in Skyrim? That’s what you’re thinking on screen right now, isn’t it? And yes, you can sort of do a little bit in Skyrim VR. But you’ll need another semi-expensive device strapped to your head along with your VR headset.
First of all, there is the mod for Skyrim, which is called Real virtual magic. It was created by Cangar, a modder and YouTuber VR who also happens to be a doctoral student in neuroscience at the Technical University of Berlin. Using a Muse 2 or Muse S device, the mod lets you plug your brain into Skyrim (remember, you’ll be wearing a VR headset as well) and, as Cangar puts it, “channel your mental power into the Game .”
I’ve never heard of the Muse until today, but it’s a meditation headband that claims to sense and measure your brain activity, just like heart rate monitors keep track of your lub. -dubs. Muse “is a multi-sensor meditation device that provides real-time information about your brain activity, heart rate, breathing and body movements to help you build a consistent meditation practice,” explains the website. Provided you don’t mind paying several hundred dollars for it, of course.
Does the Muse work? Does it help meditation? I do not know. I’m not here to tell you. But it seems to work when it’s on your head and connected to your PC with a Bluetooth dongle, while you are also connected to Skyrim VR and running the Real Virtual Magic mod. The mod replaces Skyrim’s magical system with a new one that depends on your mind and mental focus.
Before you imagine yourself standing in Skyrim throwing lightning bolts and fireballs just by thinking about it, that’s not what’s happening, at least not yet. The mod allows you to refill your magic meter by focusing on it. With your mind.
In the video, you can see Cangar in VR using his focus to fill his magic meter. When it loses focus, the meter begins to empty. This is important in the mod, because while you can cast unlimited spells, if the meter is empty, they won’t do any damage. If filled, they will do double the damage. So the ability to focus on keeping that meter full is pretty important.
In another video, he demonstrates that when running and jumping in Skyrim – or even doing things like blinking his eyes or moving his head back and forth – he loses his focus and when he checks his meter it’s empty. By staying still, calming down, relaxing, and focusing (as in meditation), he is able to refill the magic meter.
I admit, it’s a little frustrating that neither of the two videos actually shows Cangar, you know, casting spells. After you’ve filled up the meter using nothing other than mental focus, you might think you’d like to rain lightning bolts or throw a few fireballs. But the mod is still in alpha, and right now I’m guessing it’s more of a proof of concept that brain signals can be used to do Something in Skyrim. If you want to test it out and save your brain data (you’ll need the Muse headset to do that, remember), Cangar has a Discord server linked to the mod page on Nexus Mods.