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Games on the brain at Tokyo Game Show

posted 20 Sep 2012, 06:26 by Mpelembe   [ updated 20 Sep 2012, 06:26 ]

Tokyo Game Show kicks off as brain wave monitoring games and goods show a new face to traditional gaming.

CHIBA, JAPAN (SEPTEMBER 20, 2012) (REUTERS) - Japan's largest game exhibition kicked off on Thursday (September 20) as brain games and goods complemented the more traditional lines normally displayed.

The show has over 200 exhibitors all looking to show off their latest and greatest creations in a rapidly changing market.

While not a game in the traditional sense, Japan's Neurowear is looking to put brainpower back into accessories.

The team, a Japanese offshoot of U.S. company Neurosky which develops scanners that allow toys to read brain waves, is looking to give people not only cat ears but also a tail.

The brain-controlled cat ears are not a new development, but the team says that once they introduced them to the public, they got so many comments asking for a tail that they developed one.

Although not exactly office wear, Neurosky Japan general manager sales division Hiroaki Koyama said that the ears are used by a wider segment of the population than one would expect.

"While we expected it to be popular with cosplayers or those in the geek community, we also found that having this in a family helps communication -- such as making everyone laugh. For those in society, it also helps at parties. We've had it used by quite a large segment of people," he said.

Not limiting themselves to ears and tails, the team is also looking to make "neuro tagging" a reality where a person's moods are plotted on a map, which could even be linked into social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.

"So you can have on a map where you've been relaxed and where you are concentrated, and so by combining all of that it's possible to make it into a combined resource to see where everyone is relaxing. We have those sorts of ideas as well and are in the midst of developing apps for them," he said.

The show this year has over 250 games designed for smartphones and 100 for tablets.

For those looking to avoid wasted dates, then Architect Co. may have the iPad brain app for you.

The "Brain Kiss" app, which runs on iPad, uses the same sort of brain wave scanning hardware as the cat ears but instead looks to see whether a person likes whoever they are looking at.

Stare at the person across from you for 15 seconds and app will tell you, and anyone else looking how much one is into the other person.

"You could use it at parties to see if you match up and then by checking the brain waves, see if they are actually compatible or whether you had a good first impression. We think it'd be useful for that," explained Architect Co.'s Neuro-entertainment Division Katsuhiko Owa.

The scale goes from "really like" to "not interested". Owa said brainwaves don't lie.

"Even though you say that 'I really do like you', the app could indeed show something like 'not much', so that might also be interesting," Owa said.

Last year's Tokyo Game Show saw over 220,000 visitors over its 4 days. This year's show will go on until September 23.