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Biofeedback and RPG research

by Hawke Robinson published Oct 30, 2011 02:05 PM, last modified Aug 16, 2015 03:08 PM
On October 30th, 2011, I was having a discussion about the various bio-feedback and neuro-feedback experiments I have performed related to music therapy, and it occurred to me that the same technology could potentially help make it easier to develop a therapeutic modality with role playing games using the same equipment, at the very least to try to determine the recreation therapy goal of a state of "flow" more objectively....

If participants in the game were attached to biofeedback and/or neuro-feedback equipment while playing the game, when they reached their states of "flow" and/or other desired states (focus for those with ADD/ADHD, relaxation for those with high anxiety, etc.), it would be interesting to see exactly when they had the matching body and brainwave patterns to account for the flow state, and what events were happening in the adventure at that time.

This information could then make it easier to target the design of future modules for specific brainwave patterns desired. The equipment is not too expensive (hundreds of dollars to a few thousand), but could potentially shorten the research time by years with such immediate feedback rather than relying only on the currently planned observation-questionnaire-testing tools.

Those tools would still be important, but using biofeedback could much more quickly isolate the cause and effect process.

I wonder, has anyone ever done biofeedback or neuro-feedback research with RPGers?

How about fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), or PET (Positron Emission Tomography) real-time brain imaging during the activities as has been done with music therapy experiments? A lot more expensive, but could be very insightful.

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