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MindGames Releases Mind Control iOS Game 28 Spoons Later

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
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Icelandic developers release zombie-themed game that could help treat children with ADHD

Icelandic developer Mind Games has released an iOS video game which players control using their brainwaves.

It is a  zombie-themed game called 28 Spoons Later  – but the developers claim a serious purpose. They say it will help psychologists and psychiatrists treat children who suffer from attention span problems.

What a brainwave

While the technology behind the game may be complex, the premise is not. Players have been captured by a zombie who wants to eat brains for dinner, but being the gentleman that he is, he will only do so with a spoon.

The aim is to stay alive as long as possibly by using your mental focus, to bend the zombie’s spoon – Uri Geller style.

Brainwaves are detected by using the PLX XWave headset, which is powered by NeuroSky’s technology.

Brainwave powered games have been on the horizon for a while, and MindGames claims it was the first company in the world to sell an iOS application powered by user’s brainwaves in the form of Tug of Mind, which allowed players to upload a photo of someone they knew in order to turn them into an angry 3D opponent that must be defeated by keeping cool.

The company’s founders include artificial intelligence and neurophysiology experts, who claim that the game could help the estimated 5.2 million children in the US who meet the criteria for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Medical uses

CEO Deepa Iyengar said that the training game would help players learn vital skills and children would be more productive and successful if they had access to the software, which the company is pitching as an alternative to medicine.

“28 Spoons Later is a mind training game, which helps you to train in the important mental habit of focus while having fun,” commented Iyengar. “This game is a first step toward our development of clinically effective mind training games. Such games could be used by psychologists and psychiatrists in medical centres to train people who have problems with attention.”

The game is currently available on the App Store as a universal app for both iPhone and iPad for £2.99, but the PLX XWave headset is significantly more expensive, costing $99.99 (£65).

Given that smartphones and tablets have been blamed for a decline in sales of video games, releasing 28 Spoons Later on iOS should appeal to a wider audience, but while medical professionals may see the benefits, casual users are unlikely to be enticed by something which requires an expensive peripheral at a time when sales continue to struggle.