New patent may force players to take time off if they get too stressed

A patent is filed for a system that measures stress using heart rate patterns and notifies the user if their stress levels exceed a certain threshold.

Playing video games is a relaxing hobby for many people as it allows them to relax by getting lost in an interesting story and world, or just focusing on a single fun task or game loop. However, video games are now played by a substantial percentage of the world’s population and not all of these gamers will react to games in the same positive way. Some players may leave a game feeling frustrated or stressed, and may not even realize at what point during the game session they started to feel that way.


As an art form, video games are designed to provoke emotional responses from the player, and where video games excel is in providing the audience with a sense of catharsis. However, all these emotions are meant to serve the player’s pleasure, which is why a horror game, no matter how terrifying and stressful, can still be enjoyable.

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A patent has been filed for a system that, if applied to video games, could help ensure that players have only the positive emotional responses the game is designed to provoke. The system monitors the subject’s heart rate and measures it against a custom baseline and stress-related cardiac pattern database. If the player exceeds a certain stress threshold, they will be notified or possibly asked to take a break. The difficulty for this system will be distinguishing between times of stress that players should be feeling and times that they are not.

The fear felt when playing a horror game or the adrenaline rush when a boss’s health bar starts to get low Elden ring these are moments known as eustress, or “good stress”. This concept is the basis for most popular video games and works by giving the player a goal that is not so difficult as to feel hopeless, but not so easy as to seem trivial. The problem arises, however, when players begin to feel a bad kind of stress while playing a game, which they may not be able to distinguish from suspense until after they have stopped playing.

Fast paced games often have moments of stress relief built into them, such as with resident Eviliconic and peaceful save rooms or the benches to rest in hollow knight. But not all games have direction over the player’s emotions, and your experience during an extended gaming session may be purely by luck.

Multiplayer games can be an endless string of high-intensity PvP matches, and players can quickly get frustrated and dislike the game. Difficult games like Elden ring can also cause players to give up. But if this patent were successfully implemented, it could act as a way to alert the player that their bodily responses are telling them they’re not having fun anymore.

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