For the past year or so, there has been a lot of hype surrounding the Oculus Rift, a virtual-reality headset designed to be worn by the player so that person can be fully immersed into the polygonal world of video games. The visual control of the player will be controlled by their own head movements instead of a joystick, with both eyeballs encased into the virtual world that the game developers have created for them, leading to an experience that has been both exciting and fearful for anyone interested in the product. Some early testers have reported their experiences with the Rift, with feedback ranging from “HOLY SHIT THIS IS THE FUTURE HAVE MY WALLET” to “ how can I wear this for more than 15 minutes, I feel motion-sickness, this is a baaad trip man”. Nevertheless, the Oculus Rift has garnered enough attention to be bought out by social-media conglomerate Facebook, and draw early competition with Sony's Morpheus headset, showing that the Oculus guys aren't alone in the belief of VR peripherals for all gamers. Although, if players want true immersion, then why should we stop at visuals alone....why don't we go for PAIN. Hook up some electrodes to your nerves, assigned and calibrated to work with any Oculus Rift device. Whenever you take a hit in the virtual world, you'll take a jolt in real life, much like some movie in the 80s I probably saw and don't remember the name of. Let's have a ball.
(Clubber Lang approves)
Full Disclaimer: I just had dental work done, and while having my teeth drilled and my gums repeatedly stung and drugged, I started wondering about other people that I would like to see squirming in the dental chair for some sadistic schadenfreude on my part, which led to this idea.
Of course, everyone isn't a masochist, so the electrode nerve-stinging add-ons should be optional. In video games, players want to be closer to pimp-itude than wimp-hood. I'd invite you to think of the alternatives:
A Real Hard Mode
When choosing difficulties for a playthrough, I believe most gamers start on normal, then might revisit the game on hard if then enjoyed the initial experience enough for a second run, or simply want a more demanding challenge. That's all fine and dandy, but how about we throw some sharp feelings on that hard experience as well. You'll be less inclined to get hit by any enemy if a jolt of pain was sent through your nervous system after taking a decent blow. You'd see a lot more players donning shields in Dark Souls, hoping that the 20-foot behemoth doesn't simply stomp on their chest, or watch as a player reflexes sharpen as they desperately try to avoid a sack playing as a QB in Madden. Every game could essentially turn into survival horror, with more careful observations and heightened defense with action titles. I'd have to figure out a way to make you feel extremely full after you swallowed a minion whole playing as Kirby.
(Beta testing kits to the top donators)
[center][b]Getting better at online multiplayer
Want to have a co-op partner that won't troll the rest of the group during a Left 4 Dead mission? He'll bite the bullet first as he feels the agony of being clawed through the chest by a Witch as the rest of the team warned him not to provoke her ire. Your teammates can share your pain of failure, which might lead to your squad performing a real act of bravery by jumping into the middle of a horde of enemies, fighting them off frantically, feeling a hit from their left side which will have them react accordingly as one of them tries to heal you, simply because getting mauled and/or shot by the enemies will suck so much harder with pain receptors, and most people wouldn't stand idly by and watch that happen. Haven't you been confused by your screen turning darker shades of red, wondering what direction the attack is coming from, before pulling the right stick too far and missing your target completely? Well...that would still happen with the Oculus Rift You a New One pain feature (patent pending), but you would at least take cover much sooner than usual I bet. You can even be on the other side of that danger, playing Call of Duty online, pestering a whiny 12-year old with bullets as he frantically searches for you. Shoot him enough so he feels the heat, but not enough damage to kill. You can snicker to yourself as he bawls his eyes out in frustration, throwing the headset off and rage-quitting because little kids are total crybabies, and cutting down on vulgar grade-schoolers screaming obscenities in everyone ears sounds like technology well spent. Tolerance grows with age, whipper-snappers.
(Pictured: 12-year-olds dealing with the RYNO)
Apparently, some people like to hurt themselves on purpose, to know that they are in control, and can still feel. I guess I heard about it in a Nine Inch Nails song once. Some people are also into a “pain is pleasure” ideal, living la vida loca with chains, whips, a dominatrix, a bunch of leather, ballgags, and slippery floors. I'm sure those dungeons don't quite live up to the health code, so why don't we try getting hurt in videogames instead. Just adjust the pain setting of the game you're playing, dive into Skyrim with the Oculus RYNO, and let the dragon scorch you. Your safe-word will be START > QUIT TO MAIN MENU, but you can certainly get your kicks without having to lick someone's leather heels. Same thing goes for the skin-shedders. You don't have to spill your own blood, or leave scars all over your body, unless you're really into that sort of thing. You can take out and receive your frustrations out on SuperHot, a puzzle-shooter where time, and bullets, only move when you do. You can choose to poetically run straight into the bullet for a painful quickie, or go all out Matrix and take down the oppressive, faceless foe force that probably hates the music you like. I'm talking about saving money on razors, first-aid kits, automobile trips to the sex dungeon, Scar-B-Gone ointment (if that's a thing), the whole works, all from the discomfort in your own home.
Eh, I'm done fluffing this idea to the public. I gotta go set up a meeting to shill this idea to Mark Zuckerberg on LinkedIn. Yes, that is ironic. read