Civilization VI PS4 PlayStation

The first human recipient of a Neuralink brain implant has put the futuristic tech to work, which, amongst some truly incredible other things, includes staying up all night playing Sid Meier's Civilization VI, which is something we can certainly get behind.

Back in January, billionaire Neuralink co-founder Elon Musk announced on Twitter that the company had successfully implanted a brain-computer interface in a patient's head and that they were "recovering well" after the surgery. On 20th March, Neuralink posted a livestream in which 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh, the recipient of the experimental device, discussed how the tech has changed his life: "It was like using The Force on the cursor, and I could get it to move wherever I wanted, just stare somewhere at the screen, and it would move where I wanted it to, which was such a wild experience."

The entire thing is fascinating, if slightly terrifying, but particular to our purview is Arbough's reclaimed ability to play Civ VI to his heart's content. Arbaugh (who has a wonderful sense of humour) shared that as a complete quadriplegic, he had lost sensation and suffered paralysis from below the shoulders after sustaining a spinal injury in a diving accident eight years ago and felt compelled to volunteer for something he felt "could change the world". Before the surgery, Arbaugh needed help from a friend to play, and it "wasn't feasible for me to play a full game or anything."

Afterwards was an entirely different story, however, as Arbaugh described to Nueralink scientist Bliss Chapman: "One of the first times you all gave me complete control over this [Neuralink tech], I actually stayed up until […] like 6 a.m. playing Civilization VI. It was worth it, I think, is the best way to put it. It was awesome."

Arbaugh says it's not perfect, that "there is still a lot of work to be done, but it has already changed my life." Musk's ambitious plans for Neuralink go much further than video games; he says the tech will one day allow people in similar circumstances as Arbaugh to regain the use of their arms and even walk again.

What do you think of Neuralink? Could you see its use becoming more commonplace in gaming as time goes on? Let us know in the comments section below.

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