Making the World Less Daunting with AI Gaming Desk Setups

gaming desk setups, twitch, gamers,google, hands-free, inclusivity

In an effort to make gaming more inclusive and accessible, ingenious developers have integrated AI into gaming desk setups, allowing players to enjoy a hands-free gaming experience.

  • Google unveiled an AI-powered gaming mouse that enables users to control the computer’s cursor using head movements and facial gestures.
  • Many gamers have integrated hands-free solutions into their gameplay.

I’m part of the 3.09 billion active video gamers worldwide. I prefer third-person storyline-based games, like God of War or Skyrim, over more gameplay-focused games like Call of Duty. Seriously, how do CoD players not get anxiety from playing in first-person? I play to escape reality, not to wander around like a headless chicken because I can’t see the enemy coming! But I digress. The bottom line is I could write you another whole article on the benefits of gaming. However, there is one caveat: gaming is unfortunately a hobby of dexterity and reflexes with a lot of buttons, be it keyboards or controllers. And that’s not very inclusive, is it now? Not to worry though, because guess what! Some really ingenious people decided to incorporate AI into gaming desk setups in hopes of making hands-free gaming possible.

Project Gameface

Back in May, Google announced its hands-free, AI-powered gaming mouse that uses Google MediaPipe open-source solutions. It “enables people to control a computer’s cursor using their head movement and facial gestures.” For example, the user can raise their eyebrows to click and drag or open their mouth to move the cursor.

The man that inspired such dedication from Google’s developers is video game streamer, Lance Carr. He lives with muscular dystrophy, a progressive disease that weakens muscles. You may be wondering how a quadriplegic individual can game. Well, he used a head-tracking mouse to control his cursor.

Unfortunately, in 2021, his house caught on fire while on live stream. The fire swallowed his gaming setup, including the one piece that allowed him to game in the first place. Google saw an opportunity to help another human being (definitely not because it’s a feel-good story). And voila! Project Gameface was born.

A webcam captures head movements and facial gestures that machine-learning models recognize in order to accordingly move the cursor. To adapt to the needs of different users, the developers introduced gesture sizes, which allow users to control how prominent their gesture needs to be to trigger a mouse action.

But It’s Not Just Google!!

If you thought that Google is the only one getting a participation ribbon here, you are sorely mistaken.

Larxa is the first that comes to mind. She’s the Twitch streamer who became to beat Elden Ring using only voice commands. Apparently, she created a series of voice commands to navigate The Lands Between using VoiceAttack, a program specializing in tailored voice commands.

Another but my personal favorite is the fish. Yes, actual fish who by the miracle that is technology have been able to play different games. In 2022, a goldfish named Mario played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. His owner, a YouTuber named FishTankGadgets, created a system that tracked Mario’s movements in his fishbowl and mapped them to the controls of the game. Mario was able to complete the first dungeon of the game, and he even managed to defeat the boss.

Final thoughts

Sure, fish seem inconsequential, but think about where this technology could take us. The inclusivity it could provide is beyond comprehension in my opinion. There’s joy in pretending for just one second that everything is okay, and the world is not on fire as you wander across Gielinor, killing nightmare-fuel demons and helping oddly shaped fairies. So why shouldn’t we help others slay their own monsters? Even if it’s in-game.

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