Who hasn’t dreamed of harnessing the power of the mind for good or evil. Well now you can practice for the future! Mattel is releasing a game that is akin to something out of science fiction. Mindflex is a an obstacle/dexterity game in which you move a ball through a series of obstacles…. WITH YOUR MIND!
Using technology similar to that of an EEG, the game uses sensors that you wear on a headband and connect to your ears which register changes in your brain’s activity when you concentrate and relax your thoughts. These changes control a fan that adjusts the height of a ball. The harder you concentrate, the higher the ball floats and as you relax your thoughts it descends. The goal of the game is to guide the ball through different obstacles set up around a ring. Using your mind to control the height of the ball and your hand to control the ball’s movement around the ring, you need to coordinate the two activities to successfully navigate a particular course.
While this carries a higher price tag than most games (approx. $80) it seems to offer some fantastic potential for applications within the school. Science classes studying human physiology can harness and experiment with the electrochemical aspect of the brain. Physics classes have a new tool that is assured to keep students’ attention and what a toy for technology. Mindflex has the making for a successful marriage of curriculum and play, allowing students to develop understanding and mastery of content and skills through use and interaction as opposed to passive reception and memorization.
I hope to acquire a review copy to bring in to schools so that I can get feedback from students and educators and provide a more detailed recommendation for when this becomes available. If not, I will be sure to pick a copy of this up. Either way, it seems that Mattel has a winner with Mindflex.