Valve Software, the developer behind titles such as Half-Life, sees a player's emotional state as an important part of any game. Researchers have been working with Valve on ways to add emotional feedback to Left 4 Dead 2, a game in which players cooperate to fight off a zombie horde. They spoke about Their work at this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. In the regular form of the game, an "AI Director" responds to players' actions by adjusting the game itself. Play well and you'll face tougher opponents; play badly and the game becomes less intense. They are trying to go beyond this rough-and-ready response to the players' behaviour by assessing their emotional state more directly. By recording the physiological responses of our play testers, we can get more precise estimations of their emotional state.
Biological samples are digitized using a microscopy scanner and stored on an image server. Samples displayed on the screen are then continuously read from the server over the internet and the size of a single sample can be up to 200 gigabytes. The sample viewing experience is like a combination of Google Maps and the user interface from the movie Minority Report. The developers think that the method will revolutionize microscopy teaching: a group of students can stand around the display together with the teacher and examine the same sample. The multitouch microscope can recognize the hands of multiple users at the same time.