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How Handi’Arcade Makes BCI Game Controllers with Insight

How Handi’Arcade Makes BCI Game Controllers with Insight

Handi’Arcade created a gaming setup for consoles using a brain-computer interface (BCI) and an EMOTIV Insight EEG headset. We talked with Handi'Arcade President, Rucart Teddy to learn how neurotechnology is "changing the game" for disabled players.

BCI gaming is having a moment, thanks to Elon Musk's Neurolink demonstration and online personalities like Perikaryal. She made headlines after beating notoriously difficult game Elden Ring using an EMOTIV EPOC X headset and continues to expand her custom controller to other games. BCI gaming is nothing new, however.

EMOTIV's technology, originally debuted as a game controller, allows "mind-controlled" gaming thanks to AI and wireless EEG advancements. This is especially beneficial for disabled players, making gaming accessible to all. Enter Handi’Arcade Association.

Dedicated to gaming accessibility, this French organization creates custom controllers for those without the mobility required for standard buttons, toggles, triggers, etc.

Physically disabled players can operate these accessible controllers in various ways. For example, disabled gamers can use joysticks with their chin or foot straps to drive a car. Another option is blowing air into tubes to control the device. These options ensure that anyone can play video games regardless of physical abilities.

Recently, Handi’Arcade began exploring BCI as an innovative way to allow disabled gamers to play using their thoughts.


Above: Ricard Teddy demonstrates a BCI gaming setup for Nintendo games using an EMOTIV Insight EEG headset. (Handi-Arcade)

EMOTIV: When did you start trying EMOTIV technology for gaming?

Rucart Teddy: We purchased the EMOTIV Insight headset in September 2023. After taking the time to understand and develop our custom interface, compatible with the Xbox Adaptive Controller, we truly began using it in October 2023. It was at this time that we showcased and demonstrated it at the Paris Games Week.

E: What inspired you to try BCI as an accessible controller?

RT: I work with many young individuals for whom we craft and adapt gaming controllers. Observing those with mobility or facial expression limitations led me to ponder how to enable their gaming experience. Upon researching brain-computer interfaces, I discovered various solutions utilizing EEG headsets. This prompted me to embark on this path.

E: Can you please give us an overview of how EEG is shaping or influencing your controller designs?

RT: EEG data plays a central role in our game controller design process. Using EMOTIV BCI software, we create specific exercises to capture users' brain signals. These data are then interpreted to understand brain activity patterns associated with specific commands. For instance, we can identify signals corresponding to the intent to move left or right in a game.

Utilizing this information, we tailor Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller to enable users to control the game through thought. We program the controller to interpret EEG signals and execute corresponding actions in the game. This approach allows us to create more intuitive and personalized game controllers, providing an immersive and accessible gaming experience for everyone, even those with mobility or facial expression limitations.

E: Do you create a custom accessible controller for each individual?

RT: Absolutely, we are committed to adapting each controller according to the specific needs of each individual, regardless of their disability. Furthermore, we also customize controllers based on the particular requirements of each game. For example, our latest creation is a breath-controlled and suction-enabled controller, designed specifically to enable a young player to enjoy their Nintendo Switch.

E: Do you have advice for those who want to use BCI for gaming?

RT: For those interested in exploring the use of brain-computer interfaces (BCI) in gaming, I highly recommend starting with the EMOTIV brand. Their headsets are known for their ease of installation and use. Additionally, their software for creating exercises is intuitive, making it accessible even for beginners.

I also suggest starting with games that do not require many inputs or intense concentration, especially when working with individuals new to BCI use. This will facilitate a smoother transition to thought-based gaming experiences.

Lastly, be prepared to face challenges, as using BCI in gaming may require some time to adapt and master the techniques. Patience, perseverance, and creativity will be your best allies in this exciting adventure!

To learn more about Handi’Arcade, please visit

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