Author: Micah Blumberg
Cerevrum is a new cognitive training Virtual Reality game available on Gear VR. It can be downloaded for free from the Oculus Play Store!
The game combines neuroscience with data driven artificial intelligence to adjust to different skill levels. It is intended to help improve cognition.
The game uses your head movement to interact with 3D puzzles in virtual reality, which means instead of using a mouse you just look at the cognitive weapon you want to use and select it with a tap of the touch pad on the side of the Gear VR unit.
The game includes memorization tasks, spatial awareness tasks, audio recognition tasks, complex rotational pattern & color matching tasks, alongside memory tasks like recognizing characters with matching facial characteristics.
When you complete each task you fire on the enemy ships. If you make a mistake you will misfire, which gives your enemies an opportunity to return fire.
At the beginning you are greeted by a friendly little robot. She is likable and immediately encourages you to add her as a friend by tapping the touchpad on the side of the Gear VR. The robot is voiced by the mellifluous Alejandra Felicio. The robot clearly explains how to start the game and how to use each of the cognitive weapons in your arsenal, but it is crucial you have your headphones plugged in and the volume turned up to understand her instructions. A friend of mine tried the game in a busy club and because he couldn’t hear the little robot he didn’t know what to do. Worse yet, he couldn’t figure it out. The little robot is your friend, make sure you can hear her in the beginning!
Traditional brain training games have failed to yield measurable improvements in cognitive abilities, but Cerevrum aims to succeed where others have failed. The major difference is it is based in Virtual Reality.
Since Cerevrum is a VR application it is able to put you inside each cognitive training task, unlike two dimensional screens from which you can be easily distracted. You are completely enveloped by this brain training environment. It helps you focus, which lets you adapt mentally to each new level and progress to the next stage.
According to Cerevrum’s website Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey tried out the game, made it all the way to “Wave #14” before confessing he enjoyed playing it.
I spoke to CEO Natasha Floksy about Cerevrum. She informed me there are still features they are planning to implement in future versions of the game after the current version has been adequately tested. She mentioned the prominent machine learning component of the game. Her company trains its machine learning algorithm on anonymous player data to continuously improve user experience.
CEO Floksy also announced that the game is now available on the Oculus Play Store for Gear VR as of Jan 13th. It’s free, it looks beautiful, and you can try it out on your Gear VR right now!
Please leave a comment about your experience with Cerevrum in the Gear VR group on Facebook. That is where I will read your take on this new game.
(about the author: Micah admins for the Gear VR facebook group, he writes about VR, promotes San Francisco Virtual Reality events, co-organizes AR VR Women meetups, and you are encouraged to reach out to him on Facebook via The Gear VR group https://www.facebook.com/groups/gearvr/ and you can also message him on twitter @worksalt)