Hahaha, No: Oculus Buried Alive Simulator Taphobos

Just, why? Why would you do this, James Brown, lead dev on Taphobos [official site]? The whole of human creation ready to be explored in new, virtual worlds and you choose to trap people in an actual coffin and wrap an Oculus to their eyeholes? That’s just cruel. And, of course, genius. The game part comes in when a friend/colleague/new enemy must try to find you before your air runs out, with you directing them via phone call, using clues buried with you.

Obviously this requires quite a lot of set up so it’s a con-only game for now. It first debuted at GameCity 9 last year and will be part of the Leftfield Collection at Rezzed this week. That suggests people will actually do this willingly. What is wrong with you?

Boy that looks like a lot of fun. Look at all that fun. Wish I was having fun.

Speaking on his desire to recreate Tarantino’s secret best work, James had this to say:

“This combination allows you to experience what it would be like if you were actually being buried alive with just a phone call to the outside world. One player gets in the coffin wearing an Oculus Rift, while the other player plays a First Person game; both using headsets to communicate. They must work together to uncover where the coffin is and rescue the trapped player before their oxygen runs out.

Exhibiting at EGX Rezzed will be immensely helpful with regard to the gathering of data for my research. I want to find out how different players cope with the experience of being in a coffin and if they do not wish to get inside, why that is. This will hopefully lead to conference papers and an eventual release of the game to the public.

It’s forming part of his masters in uncomfortable gaming experiences. I do wonder if a two player route is the best to go down with something like this. The just one phone call dynamic is a good one, but it’s at the cost of the fear and lonliness being buried alive would create. Everything’s fun with friends, see, and a panicked one-person escape may have better created that uncomfortable feeling. Maybe it’s too far the other way though, and would probably move some people from, “Haha, okay I’ll try this,” to a flat out no.

13 Comments

  1. cpy says:

    Oh great more accessories to buy for pc, but hey if you game way too much you already have casket and you’re already in it, just close it up and dig. :D

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      This would be perfect for those Chinese and Korean guys that went on WoW/Starcraft benders and just died of thirst at their keyboard.

  2. Shaun Green says:

    I can see a scenario arising wherein playing this game is suggested, but as soon as the poor sap clambers into the coffin his ‘rescuer’ heads off to a nearby pub.

    Not that I would ever so callously abandon someone, of course.

  3. CookPassBabtridge says:

    What if you are fostroclobic

  4. Rikard Peterson says:

    Seems like a game that can be easily sabotaged if you want to murder somebody… or without sabotage, what if the players just aren’t good enough?

  5. Simbosan says:

    I won’t be coffin up for this game

    • Shiloh says:

      Nor will I. Even if it is developed by James Brown *and* gets on up like a (3D) Spex Machine.

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    particlese says:

    I keep reading that as “tap hobos”…

    Intriguing concept, but I think I’d cheat and forego the actual coffin. Sounds perfect for indie game fests, though.