Nevermind, A Psychological Horror Video Game, Uses What Technique To Increase Game Difficulty?
Answer: Heart Rate Monitoring
The premise of the psychological horror game Nevermind is that the player takes on the role of a “neuroprober”, a clinician tasked with the harrowing job of injecting themselves into the subconscious of heavily traumatized people to help those people unpack their trauma and heal.
That alone might be enough to intrigue fans of the horror/thriller genre, but there’s an added twist: Nevermind is one of the first games to integrate biofeedback into the actual game play and the first horror game to do so. Players wear a heart rate monitoring device during play and the game play changes dramatically based on the player’s heart rate.
If the player keeps a level head and remains calm, in so far as the heart rate indicates, in the face of the game’s stressful encounters and disturbing content, then the trip of the neuroprober through the mind of the disturbed patient is fairly calm. If their heart rate spikes, however, the game increases in difficulty, the player’s view changes, and in the process the player is encouraged to control their physiological response to the fear-inducing stimulus in order to both help themselves and the patient.
Note: For those who are curious, Nevermind can be played without the use of a heart rate monitoring device.