Mirror’s Edge

I’m not much of a videogamer, but I’m intrigued by what I’ve read about the new video game Mirror’s Edge. The game is a “first person runner” based on parkour, the art of running, jumping, climbing, and otherwise moving quickly through urban environments. Amusingly, the game’s main selling point seems to be that playing it might make you vomit, due to the intensely realistic first-person perspective.

Clive Thompson of wired.com attributes the game’s nausea-inducing realism to the fact that it successfully hacks into our proprioception, our sense of the position and movement of our own bodies. It is well established in psychology research that carefully controlled visual and tactile stimuli can subvert our proprioception, even to the point of inducing minor out-of-body experiences. But it’s impressive to see that translated into something we can all do at home with a TV and a video game controller.

(For more information, see Thompson’s review and Tom Stafford’s follow-up on Mind Hacks.)

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