Disunion, the virtual reality guillotine simulator, may well be the most creatively creepy use of the Oculus Rift VR headset yet conceived.
Boy, is there anything that says “good times ahead” like the guillotine, that towering, bloody symbol of the French Revolution? Of course there is, but that didn’t keep a team at the Exile Game Jam in Denmark from making an Oculus Rift-powered decapitation simulator called Disunion, and I have to admit that I have a very powerful and perverse desire to try this thing out myself.
The concept is simple: Slap on the headset, kneel down and place your head in the virtual guillotine, enjoy the scenery for a moment or two, and then ka-blam – the blade falls and the head rolls. All the requisite elements for a good old-fashioned beheading are present, including the executioner, a crowd of gawkers and the basket, and you can even look up at the blade and watch it come slamming down.
It’s not really a game but the reactions of the participants speak for themselves. I especially like the idea of chopping someone across the back of the neck – gently, of course – when the blade comes down, for that extra layer of immersion. It is undoubtedly creepy, but until science figures out how to quickly and conveniently re-attach severed heads, it’s probably as close as we’re going to come to experiencing the real thrill of being executed in front of a braying 19th-century mob. And come on, who wouldn’t want to try that?