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Welcome Gamers!


The Brains and Games Competition (BGC) is an international design fiction competition seeking creative ideas for brain-controlled multiplayer games. The BGC is open to anyone in the world—including, but not limited to, children, adults, schools, families, youth groups, students, scientists, engineers, and academics.

  1. Important Dates
  2. Submission Categories
  3. The Submission Process
  4. Awards

Important Dates


February 1st, 2021

Workshop

9am-11am PT

A fast-paced online design fiction workshop about creating a digital game employing futuristic brain-to-brain interaction (BBI) technologies. The workshop introduces (a) the concept of speculative design; (b) foresight as a means for exploring alternative futures; and (c) the current state of the art, as well as, the envisioned capabilities of BBI technologies. Also, through a series of engaging and fun creative thinking activities, participants are guided towards the conceptual design of a BBI “game from the future”. The main goals of the workshop include understanding emerging BBI technologies and their potential impact to the (near and distant) future, creative and critical thinking and having fun.

This workshop, led by Dr. Dimitris Grammenos, will begin at 9:00 AM PT on February 1st, 2021 and will last for 100 + 40 (optional) minutes. It will include an introductory presentation, a short break, design exercises, and an (optional) 40-minute working session where teams can develop a rough submission to the Brains and Games competition.

March 10th, 2021

Submission Deadline

All submissions must be submitted via our web form by 11:59pm PST on March 10th, 2021. You can also download a preview of the content of the form.

Winning teams will be selected by a panel of experts and notified by March 15th, 2021.

March 20th, 2021

Submission Showcase

9am-11am PT

Winning participants share their submissions during the Brains and Games public showcase for Brain Awareness Week.

May - August, 2021

Prototyping

As Available

Selected participants build working prototypes of their game with mentorship from Brains@Play and the USC Media Arts + Practice Division’s Creative Code Collective.


Submission Categories


Brain Games

Open to any and all participants. Only creative ideas required!

Teams of 2-4 participants will conceptualize and design a future multiplayer game that uses brain-to-brain interaction (BBI) technologies.

To apply to the Brain Games category, please submit your answers from the Brains and Games Design Document to our web form. This will include submission of the following distinct materials:

  1. Textual descriptions of key aspects of the game, enriched with sketches and images.
  2. A cover image.
  3. A video, up to 3 minutes, that presents and explains the game.

VR + Neurotech + Health

Prior prototyping experience must be demonstrated.

Teams of 2-4 participants will conceptualize and design a virtual reality (VR) game that uses neurotechnology to improve the health of its users.

To apply to the VR + Neurotech + Health category, please submit your answers from the Brains and Games Design Document to our web form. This will include submission of the following distinct materials:

  1. Textual descriptions of key aspects of the game, enriched with sketches and images.
  2. A cover image.
  3. A video, up to 3 minutes, that presents and explains the game.
  4. A description of the team’s prior prototyping experience.

Computational Art

Prototype required for submission. Resubmissions and iterations of previous work will be accepted.

Individuals and groups will submit works of computational art that (1) explore themes surrounding neuroscience, ethics, technology, and consciousness, (2) respond to real-time data from 2+ brains, and (3) incorporate at least one other type of user interactivity (e.g. mouse movement, camera, etc). People new to creative code are especially encouraged to participate!

Submissions should be in the form of a prototype using front-end frameworks (i.e. p5.js, three.js, tone.js, babylon.js, etc) for web graphics, audio, text, social interfaces, or other outputs. Please reference our Template Project to integrate the brainsatplay API into your submission. Please reach out to contact@brainsatplay.com for any help on integrating the API into your code.

To apply to the Computational Art category, please submit the following items via our web form:

  1. Title of the work.
  2. A cover image.
  3. A link to the prototype, running in modern browsers.
  4. A link to the Github repository hosting your prototype (optional).
  5. A description of the work, how it connects with the contest themes, and/or why you created it (< 3000 characters).
  6. A description of how you would develop the piece with more time/resources (< 1500 characters).
  7. A short bio (< 1500 characters).

Awards


Process

Twelve (12) teams will be distinguished by a panel of expert judges based on the following merits:

  1. Relevance to the submission category (1-10)
  2. Creativity and originality (1-10)
  3. Documentation and presentation (1-10)
  4. Consideration of privacy, data protection and other ethical issues (1-10)
  5. Engagement and fun (1-10)

Four (4) top teams will be chosen from each of the three Submission Categories and present their games to an international audience at the Brains and Games Showcase (March 20th, 2021).

Per category, the top teams will be age-stratified:

Stratification will be adjusted if enough meritorious submissions are not available.

General Awards

More awards to be announced soon

The twelve (12) top teams will be awarded:

Grand Prize

Teams must be based in the United States to be eligible for a Grand Prize

One team from the VR + Neurotech + Health submission category will be awarded mentorship from Brains@Play and $5000 from the USC SMART-VR Center and Enosis to develop a functional demo of their game for Fall 2021.


Sponsors