This Upcoming Deck-Building Game Demands Emotional Control

In Champions of Shenga, an upcoming collectible card game from BfB Labs, your ability to focus and control your emotions will decide how well you play.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because Champions of the Shengha isn’t the first game to use biofeedback in an effort to help players master their emotions. Nevermind offers a similar experience in a horror context, making the game more difficult and frightening the more anxious players get.

But Champions of the Shengha takes a more positive approach by rewarding players for calm rather than punishing them for fear. From the looks of it, players will be asked to master diaphragmatic breathing between rounds and gain resources if they succeed. It uses a bluetooth ear clip sensor to measure heart rate variability, which can signify emotional arousal.

The developers at BfB Labs believe that this will help players learn techniques to manage their emotional state through diaphragmatic breathing. They’ve conducted internal trials and found that the majority of players reported becoming better at staying focused within the game, and a quarter of participants reported that they were applying the focusing techniques they learned outside the game.

Whether those results will hold up to further study remains to be seen. BfB Labs is currently raising funds for development on Indiegogo, and aims to release Champions of the Shengha by April of next year. It will be released on iOS and Android.