With only your mind: you can imagine, you can dream improbable things, and someday soon, you could play your favorite video games. Mind-control gaming might sound better suited to a Björk music video or a less lovely end of civilization than a world we might actually want to create, but virtual reality and neurotechnology companies are working, with much determination, on giving heads and bodies to our fantasies with science. Part of that has involved maturing virtual reality headsets from the face-fucking, barely usable concrete blocks they were in the ’90s, to more impressive, trimmer cinderblocks. The technology gives us immediate access to the kinds of alternative worlds people have been striving toward for a millenium, from the many rooms of Christian Heaven to the Disneyland version of paradise, where you can devour turkey legs while surrounded by corporate icons. VR tech is inextricable from where gaming is and where it continues to go, representing both timeless fantasy and our modern ability to realize it. It’s been a long time coming. And, presently, VR research and the future of gaming technology is being determined by your brain, which is setting every industry standard.

Whether it’s a vanilla white PlayStation VR 2 ($550), a three-eyed Meta Quest 3 ($500), or any number of others, a basic, modern VR system needs to provide you with the best-looking graphics and most intuitive controls. Anything else is a barrier to entering, and feeling fully submerged in, your virtual reality. Both these things are entrenched in perception, how we synthesize external information. To make virtual reality convincing to our senses, VR tech companies regularly tap neuroscience experts to improve their technology and user experience.

It’s as difficult as it sounds. “Most people don’t realize our brain activities are so noisy and varied,” my former classmate and current University of Michigan PhD audiovisual speech researcher Cody Cao—who also interned at Meta’s Reality Labs—told me over text. “It’s hard to make a generalized tool for everybody. Just within head movement alone, there are three axes of movement, and movement speed and reaction time actually tell us more straightforward info about a gamer than brain signals can.”

Read the complete article in Kotaku