Heart of Gaming

Caro Bauer

Gamescom is called the heart of gaming for a reason. The passion that flows in those halls can be felt even outside the walls of Koelnmesse. Just like the last year, audEERING was also present this year to share ideas, and experience more of this vivid and lively community.

Whether it was meeting with politicians, presenting products, partying with passionate gamers, or press coverage, we were always united in our passion for bringing more fun into this world.

There was something that was changed in comparison to the last year. We held the award ceremony of the premier audEERING Game Challenge (GaCha 2019). This international challenge [link to GaCha webpage] called upon young talents to be the pioneers in joining Emotion AI and Video Game Industry. In a 3 months period, 29 teams from all over the world accepted the call and used the AI technology to realize the ideas which were not possible before. They could create something novel and unique. They made games which are changed by our emotions – our deepest way of communication.

The first winner, Amirreza Moeini-Yegane, brought “Destiny” into life. A third person shooter (TPS) game in which three guardians are supposed to protect the nexus. But you may ask yourself, what makes this game unique? The answer is every emotional expression you make during playing.

Your ultimate powers are your emotions.

Your happiness feels up your mass healing which you can use to heal all of your turrets at once, your sadness feels up your Curse of Alien which rains havoc as an Area of Effect (AoE) damage on all enemies, and your Urgency feels up your artillery which you can use to destroy a group of enemies.

GaCha Game Challenge the first winner Amirreza Moeini-Yegane, brought Destiny into life
The first winner, Amirreza Moeini-Yegane, brought “Destiny” into life.

The second winner, Christos Krilis, created the “Black Market”. A puzzle game which helps you master your emotional expression, while having fun making new spells by mixing items from various inventories. The black market is a perfect demonstration of how emotions can be used as the main input for a game.

The second winner of audEERING´s game challenge Christos Krilis created Black market
The second winner, Christos Krilis, created the “Black Market”.

Last but not least, the third winner, Team Zen, created the “Masher” game. A Virtual Reality game in which your emotions directly affect the state of your character inside the game. Built in a retro theme, you are supposed to smash enemies who come close to hunt you down. The more enraged you are, the higher your damage, and the more relaxed you are, the faster you regenerate.

the third winners of audEERING´s game challenge team zen and their game masher
the third winner, Team Zen, created the “Masher” game.

Emotional interaction with virtual characters and environments will be baseline in a decade from now, the question we need to ask ourselves is:
Who is going to be remembered as the pioneer in this field?

Which games will be the first ones to shape the way our future generations interact with games and computers?