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Oculus Rift Guillotine Simulation 120

An anonymous reader tipped us to news of an interesting hack for the Oculus Rift: a simulation of being beheaded by a Guillotine. Thrown together in a couple of days at the Exile Code Jam, the simulation lets you... "look around to see the blade above, the crowd of onlookers around them, and the executioner who signals the blade be dropped. It also enhances the experience when someone watches the blade falling on a nearby screen and taps the user on the back of the neck at the time of impact." Just a bit morbid. There's a video of people "playing" (nsfw language in a few reactions to being virtually beheaded).
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Oculus Rift Guillotine Simulation

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  • by Guinness Beaumont ( 2901413 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @10:14PM (#43649825)
    ...but it's nothing to lose your head over.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 06, 2013 @10:20PM (#43649847)

    The simulation runs headless.

  • And you thought being rick-rolled was bad.

  • This isn't one of them, though.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Funnier to actually decapitate them when the blade falls.
    They never see it coming!

    • by femtobyte ( 710429 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @10:54PM (#43650013)

      Even funnier if they're still around for the aftermath of the joke. Don't decapitate --- just a precise shot of paralytic to the top of the spinal cord, followed by a photorealistic rendering (through the goggles) of the goggles being removed... to reveal the severed-head's view of the "real world" simulation room. Dim lights to black; leave them there to contemplate.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Thats really messed up man.

      • torture replacement at gitmo? you should patent that and sell it to the DoD for... 1 MILLION dollars!!! Muahahahah
        • Actually, my first thought here was actually anti-torture training. You could use the googles to realistically show whatever your subject is in 3d, while using some subtle pressure/temperature change/etc to fool the person to actually thinking they are in pain.
      • by pspahn ( 1175617 )
        Ah! Perfect gift for the gf's birthday coming up!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 06, 2013 @10:40PM (#43649939)

    And I am imagining a Beowulf cluster of these.

  • put it on death row and people may not want to end up there.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I thought of building a home guillotine for family or friends who might feel the need for a quick exit or perhaps to chop some cabbage. And perhaps I could sell and distribute home guillotines. After all there is so much whining about people using their hand guns for suicide.
    But then I thought I was being greedy and just maybe I should be more oriented towards helping the entire community. So I want to build a guillotin

  • ... playing the next Silent Hill.
  • by SpectreBlofeld ( 886224 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @11:22PM (#43650135)

    I find it fascinating that the universal response of the 'victims' in the video is laughter. They're not laughing because anything is particularly funny. It's the sort of laughter that is created by an inappropriate joke or a stressful situation that is avoided.

    This speaks to the quality and efficacy of the simulation - it elevates stress enough that it causes participants to need to 'laugh it off'.

    This leads me to consider the possibility of use of simulations like this ones to test for things like psychopathy. A psychopath will remain calm and unaffected by things that will trigger stress response in typical individuals. I know this is a dicey road to go down in terms of law enforcement and personal rights, but it could be a useful tool for psychologists.

    In writing this, my mind went to the Voight-Kampff test in 'Blade Runner'. Perhaps, instead of an inquisitor reading off questions, a potential psychopath/replicant plays out a VR simulation of a tortoise stranded on its back...

    • by femtobyte ( 710429 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @11:43PM (#43650235)

      So, when does a "first person shooter" become too "first person"? In the past, it's been obvious that video game players stomping on turtles and blowing away enemies on a tiny computer screen can easily tell the difference between real life and game realities --- whatever keyboard-mashing reflexes they develop won't correspond to real-world actions. But, is there some point when game realism becomes so immersive that deep physiological responses to your virtual character's fate are invoked, and the human brain stops clearly drawing the line between reality inside and outside the computer world? When interaction with game opponents is done through the same whole-body movements, with realistic visual/sensitive feedback, as real-world actions? At the subconscious level (which, according to numerous fMRI studies, often decides actions before the conscious mind rationalizes choices), can we still distinguish between virtual and real worlds once the technology for fully realistic virtual interactions catches up? Will the crippling PTSD experienced by soldiers involved in real combat start to show up among early adopters of overly realistic simulations?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Conversely, it would be interesting to see this technology used for various therapeutical situations, such as treating phobias through exposure. Both for the more obvious ones such as acrophobia, but also for things such as arachnophobia and even for social phobia. A speak-in-front-of-a-crowd simulator or even an awkward dinner simulator.

      • I play FPS games and enjoy them because even in "realistic" games with realistically modeled weapons, the actual effect of weapons on the human body is still mostly superficial. Yeah the guy dies and falls down dead, but a headshot is still either not shown on the corpse or at worst is a red splotch applied to the model. The Soldier of Fortune games got a reputation for being very graphically violent, but that was their hook - most FPS games don't bother going for the level of gore SOF had, just the action.

        • by Kelbear ( 870538 )

          The guns serve as a narrative vehicle that embodies the function of the tool. It's harder to build a dramatic story around an epic paintball fight around the globe, with clashing armies, with armored support, air support, etc. Just handing the player a gun lets them understand exactly what's going on here.

          Realistic violence kind of misses the point with gamers. Fundamentally, most of these FPS games are variations on something as non-violent as paintball. Nobody is looking for the thrill of killing a father

        • It only really disturbed me in SOF when I blew off a guy's leg, then his head... and his corpse remained standing, headless, balancing on one leg.
      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        well.. when can you tell the difference between reading real news and reading a novel? this wouldn't work for testing psychopathy.. just for testing how people happen to react in a simulation they know there's nothing to do in it except watch the film go by.

        the ptsd gamers need to worry in near decades is just EA fucking up some franchises even more.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        Other potential (ab)uses:

        - Mental torture (leaves no marks)

        - Treatment of PTSD

        - Porn

      • I'd say when you aren't really sure if you are in a simulation or not.

        • That might not be a useful criterion. High level concepts like "reality vs. identical simulation" are distinguished at the topmost levels of conscious symbolic thought --- but that's only a small portion of your brain. When you start fooling/re-training your subconscious, it might not matter so much that your high-level symbolic thought knows "this is only a game."

          Visual realism of rendering is only one component of this; at least equally important is your mode of interaction with the world. If you're using

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I somewhat disagree. I think the laughter is more social, in response to the absurdity of the victim's own reaction. No laughter would occur in the absence of observers. The stress would still occur, but the (already synthetic and awkward) laughter would have to be emulated.

      It's the same as any other reaction to a prank of shock. Note that the most prominent reactions were when the user was being tapped. Other demographics besides highly social youths would probably not react the same way; plenty of older o

    • We laugh after stuff like this (tripping on the sidewalk) to let people know everything is okay.

    • I find it fascinating that the universal response of the 'victims' in the video is laughter. They're not laughing because anything is particularly funny. It's the sort of laughter that is created by an inappropriate joke or a stressful situation that is avoided.

      The young of many species of mammals have such sounds, yips, pant-hoots, etc, when mimicking adult behaviours (such as challenging/fighting) that might be taken as serious. It's a way of indicating that all parties understand that it is play behaviour. In primates, it's also a submissive gesture, "Heh heh, you wouldn't hurt me, would you Boss? All kidding, right, heh heh?"

      [Speaking of: Psychopaths/sociopaths love this instinctive behaviour. "I'm hurting you and you're laughing! Brilliant!" They probably can

  • Real victims (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @12:36AM (#43650479)

    It must be pretty awful do die like that. I cannot imagine instant death would occur, there must be a few seconds or more after your head is chopped off until you lose consciousness. Its not like being shot through the brain. They say Hearing is the last to go, so you can hear the reaction of the crowd as you die. ;-(

  • by Requiem18th ( 742389 ) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @01:09AM (#43650609)

    I always though that was a stupid idea.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just a PR stunt to distract us from the abusive and deceiving changes to the "open source" license they stated in their kickstarter, and that when money came through the door it was quickly abandoned.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is kind of a turn-on. I can see this being part of BDSM in the future.

  • I seems I was wrong. I expected the first tasteless use for the Oculus rift would have something to do with pr0n.

  • ...why play with a simulation, when you can easily get the real thing [] ?
  • by RedBear ( 207369 ) < minus punct> on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @04:01AM (#43651127) Homepage

    Congratulations, folks... And welcome to the Future!

    We had the era of paintings, then the era of photographs, then the era of moving pictures, then the "talkies" and (gasp!) colorized films, then direct-to-video home porn rental, and now we are entering the era of the "feelies".

    And of course with each new era we have a lovely renewed bout of public "moral outrage" over the increased stimulation the viewer receives with each new technology, and how it contributes to moral depravity that will destroy our nation if it isn't stopped!

    During the coming decade or so we will begin to hear whispers, then breaking news stories, and finally public outcry, hysteria and demands that the government "do something" about all this simulated violence and suicide our children are partaking in, before we tragically lose an entire generation to the "new drug" of Virtual Experiences.

    Brace yourselves, folks.

    • by abies ( 607076 )

      There is small difference. I don't think that futurists of 18th century were writing about passive societies being entrapped by looking at photographs of real world - but SF writers from half century ago were warning about civilizations stagnating because of VR addiction. Not Oculus Rift VR, but 'real' VR - but question is, how far the magic barrier is.

      We already have perfect sound simulation. With Rift, we are getting a lot closer to have good enough visual simulation. Taste probably doesn't matter, smell

      • Something like that is sure to happen in the research community, certainly in the military research community, but it's pretty unlikely to become a consumer product. Consumers tend to go for ease of use. 20 years from now the most popular consumer VR products will probably be small lightweight headsets that look like a pair of large sunglasses.

        You could also create some pretty convincing additional effects for cheap. Imagine having a $30 variable speed fan pointed at your face while you're playing a game.

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        We already have perfect sound simulation

        Actually, we can *reproduce* sound 'good enough' but generating convincing sound from nothing is still beyond at least anything I know of. Speech synthesis, for example, is always obviously unnatural. We are still at a point where we have to assemble sounds from samples recorded or carefully engineered rather than spontaneously generated. Sure, we can do things like manipulate where the sound is being perceived as coming from, but we still require scripted voices and sound samples.

        Video is more complicat

      • It's already started, there are more than a few people who are becoming "entrapped" in the online world, there was a guy who died (IRL) from playing games for too long: []

  • by Anonymous Coward

    At the local science museum there used to be (there may still be) a mock guillotine that you could put your head in. There was a mirror at the bottom that allowed you to watch the cardboard blade slowly rise "above" you and then fall at a semi-random time once it got to the top. When it hit the bottom it blew a small jet of air at the back of your neck.

    The reactions I've seen watching people do that are pretty similar to this, so it's interesting to see how immersive it is despite having a display strapped

  • The simulation is not very realistic because in reality your head would be pushed down, facing the ground and fastened by a wooden block, so you could hardly move. If you looked up with your eyes you would maybe see the crowd in front of you, but you would never see the blade coming.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The simulation is not very realistic because in reality your head would be pushed down, facing the ground and fastened by a wooden block, so you could hardly move. If you looked up with your eyes you would maybe see the crowd in front of you, but you would never see the blade coming.

      The simulation isn't real because they're like...still alive at the end. Lame.

      It's surprisingly hard to get people to put their head into a wooden block and have their hands immobilized. It provokes a fear response, naturally. You begin to wonder if there was some gang rape plan or if any of your colleagues had psychopathic tendencies. Which you might argue would enhance the experience, because that may be what you should ferl in that situation...but I'm certain you will have less participants.

      "Put this bul

  • After all it seems to be the cutting edge for simultaneously curing people of neck pain and clean underware.
  • Los me a bet. I bet that the first killer application for Oculus rift should have been porn.
  • "It helps if a friend taps the user on the back of the neck at the time of impact."

    I also heard it feel very realistic if they take an axe to back your neck right at the moment of impact!

    (Warning this post should never be followed by anyone, even a trained professional. In short please don't try this at home people.)

  • The de-sensitizing an execution makes it more possible to become a reality show. Until it's you they're watching.
  • So I can be put into a visually stunning VR environment with the Oculus, and Durex's Fundawear let's me remotely control another person's under garments? Next you'll tell me about "the three sea shells"!

    What a time we live in!

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