Oculus Rift used to simulate decapitation by guillotine

[From Mashable]

Disunion guillotine simulation

Oculus Rift Used to Simulate Decapitation by Guillotine

By Stan Schroeder
May 7, 2013

We’ve seen the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift take a 90-year old grandmother on a charming tour through Tuscany, but the device can also be used for other, much less pleasant experiences.

In one very blatant example, users are going through the experience of being decapitated by a guillotine, a device used for executions, most famously in the 18th century during the French Revolution.

This Oculus Rift experience, created during the Exile Game Jam by Erkki Trummal, André Berlemont and Morten Brunbjerg, is dubbed “Disunion – The guillotine simulator”. It’s simple — users put their head into the virtual guillotine, looking up as the virtual blade drops down on their necks.

We can only imagine the experience to be quite discomforting. In the [1:00 minute] video, though the users are obviously well aware that the entire process is harmless, their reactions range from uneasy laughter to moments of sheer horror.

The idea highlights the possibilities of creating frightening or otherwise unpleasant virtual reality experiences for the Oculus Rift and similar devices. An obvious usage example are horror games — we shudder to think what a good horror game would look like through the Oculus Rift — but we also have to wonder whether simulating an execution is taking the virtual reality concept a bit too far.

How do you feel about this idea? Would you undergo a virtual reality experience like this? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image courtesy of Vimeo/André Berlemont


4 responses to “Oculus Rift used to simulate decapitation by guillotine”

  1. Skyler Radis

    While I do agree that the virtual guillotine is a bit extreme, I believe it offers and very realistic glimpse into the future. While virtual reality has been around for some time, technology has now evolved to a point where traditional limitations can be pushed. Due to the fact that this technology is readily available for the public, it should be of no surprise that extreme virtual realities such as one’s heading being cut off begin to surface. While virtual replications such as a guillotine in action may seem morbid and off-putting, I believe that successfully creating the sensation of one’s head being chopped off is more of a technological feat than anything. Doing so involves establishing a believable perspective of the users head on a chopping block. But the more impressive part, coming from a game design perspective would be simulating the effect of one’s head rolling around, slowly losing consciousness after the guillotine has struck. To me, this effect would sell the whole simulation to and yield the highest level of presence. Additionally, I believe this is something that virtual reality designers could of only dreamed about 20, 10 or even 5 years ago. So, I believe that rather than being frightened of these virtual realies, I believe we should embrace the possibilities of this technology.

  2. Kelsey Degnan

    The thing that I am wondering after reading this is, will this be a new kind of technique to torture people? It seems so hard to wrap my head around something like this. I feel like my thoughts would be that knowing it was fake, I would not think it was realistic, but the studies show differently. I can not even begin to imagine what it feels like to actually have my head, or any body part for that matter, chopped off and I do not think I would ever want to test out that feeling in this virtual reality. The fact that they use the word “game” in this article is a bit disturbing. I do not think anyone would have pleasure, a word I often associate with games, pretending to be under a guillotine.

  3. Matt McGarvey

    This sounds awesome, what a classic telepresence experience. I wonder what else you can do with this product. Perhaps we could teach history with it, in such a vivid and surrounding experience.

  4. Julen Emedan

    I can’t understand why someone would do this, but then again I’m not the type of person to even want to watch a scary movie. I understand that people loved to be entertained by scary and frightful situations, I guess they love the adrenaline rush. I would be more entertained by the beach scene that the elderly lady had done. I would love to try such an incredible technology. Although I wouldn’t want to be simulated in such a scary situation, I find it so amazing that you could be so submerged in such a context. Besides the headphones, and the mobility of the screen moving wherever your head does, you feel a presence from the accuracy of the whole depiction. I don’t think it will be long before they turn this idea into something like Second Life, where you can meet and work with other real people behind simulations, traveling through the same landscape. They could even go as far as making a movie where you are able to walk along beside the main character, maybe even be the main character. The possibilities are endless with such an incredible technology. With the fact this technology can evoke so much fear, amazement, and presence, makes it a highly probable alternative for entertainment.

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