Twitch streamer Perri Karyal has started playing Elden Ring using only her thoughts and nothing else to control a character in the popular action role-playing game.
To do this, the British-Canadian attached an EEG to her brain, which she uses to monitor her brain functions. She then maps specific types of brain activity to various actions within the game, giving her control of a character without the use of a controller, mouse or keyboard.
Tasks such as summoning allies or casting spells, inside Elden Ring, can all be done without using a controller, according to videos on her Twitch account. An electroencephalogram, or EEG, is a device commonly used in the medical industry to measure and record brain waves.
“I’m using an EEG to monitor my brain activity live on screen. It works by picking up electrical activity from my brain on the sensor pads on my head, made conductive with saline solution. I then trained it to recognise certain states and binded it to my attack key!” Karyal said on Twitch.
Elden Ring mind control
Perri Karyal describes herself as a “full-time streamer in my twenties.” She says to have a master’s degree in psychology, with interests in physics, current events, “or real-world need-to-know stuff like how to survive a zombie apocalypse.” She also plays games.
She is playing Elden Ring… with her brain. Twitch streamer @perrikaryal has hooked up an EEG to her brain, where different brain activity is key bound to different abilities in game
I am frikin mindblown pic.twitter.com/lzquC2DdV4
— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) January 23, 2023
In the video, the streamer is keen to prove that she is playing the game via EEG, and not using some other form of controller like dance pads. She demonstrated an action in which she attacked and killed the Elder Dragon Greyoll using only her EEG-wired brain.
Karyal commands an attack, and the character attacks. While the streamer and psychologist shouts some of the actions, the game is not responding to her voice commands. It responds only to her brain activity as monitored by the electroencephalogram.
“I’ve gotten a lot of stuff online, people being like, ‘Oh, no that’s cap. Are you for real?’ So as a final demonstration, no controller. Even, no foot pads or dance pads or anything. Focusing in…” Karyal averred.
Every time she wants to attack she has to think the right thought to push the brain activity through the EEG, which has a key bind to attack, said Jake Lucky in the video.
Not a first, still some ways to go
Elden Ring is a 2022 action role-playing game developed by Japanese firm FromSoftware. In the game, “players control a customizable player character on a journey to repair the titular Elden Ring and become the new Elden Lord.
The gane is thought to be difficult, according to some gaming experts, but another streamer on Twitch known as “MissMikkaa” reportedly “completed two copies of the game at the same time, one of which was played exclusively on a dance mat.”
Perri Karyal mentioned the use of dance mats by some players to manipulate the game. She also revealed to Jake Lucky the goal is to be able to control all in-game abilities through an EEG, but that will take time. It requires several hours of training to implement every action.
The future would be to attach different brain activity to multiple different in-game abilities, but it's very difficult for the program to differ such activity, Perri tells me it takes hours of training and refining for each action. pic.twitter.com/KZHdiFvNuJ
— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) January 23, 2023
Karyal also admitted in one of her demonstration videos on Twitch that some actions on Elden Ring cannot be executed through mind control just yet. She also said this was not the first that a video game has been played online using an EEG.
In 2020, American neurotech startup Neurable launched Awakening, a virtual reality (VR) experience. In order to play, a user is required to wear a headband with six electrodes that register the brain’s activity.
This allows the player to control “the first-person video game via thoughts, emulating the protagonists’ super powers.” There is an increasing body of research that has converted brain wave sensors meant for research and medical applications in video game control.