In recent years, video games have morphed from something that you play while sitting down on a couch like a lazy bastard to something that makes you flail around in your living room like a moron. Games are slowly moving out of our monitors and into the real world ... but damn it, it still feels like there's something missing.
And that something is insanity. Fortunately, creative people right now are fixing that with ...
#6. Real-Life Street Fighter II ... for Pyromaniacs
It would be easy enough to do a real-life version of Street Fighter if all you're looking for is for two guys dressed like E. Honda and Chun-Li to prance around and air-punch each other. But what if you wanted to imitate the spectacle of setting a guy ablaze with a fireball launched from your fist? You know, like this:
"I got next g- never mind!"
For that, Toronto-based art organization Site 3 created Super Street Fire, in which you can stand in the middle of a recreation of Ryu's stage from Street Fighter II surrounded by a series of propane tanks that emit large bursts of fire on your command. Yelling "HADOUKEN!" at this point is recommended, but not mandatory.
"We tried to do a sonic boom, but too many people kept dying."
And no, that guy in the first picture up there didn't burn to death. It's just an illusion -- the rails that create what appears to be a shooting ball of fire are safely positioned between the players and the audience, so from the perspective of the latter, the whole "stage" seems to light up with fire, sort of like those bootleg Street Fighter II arcades where you could fill the entire screen with Hadoukens. If you're having trouble picturing it, here's a diagram of the play field:
Not pictured: The car you have to beat to shit with your bare hands.
So how do the players control the flames? Pyrokinesis? Nothing so mundane: This is achieved by wearing special gloves with built-in motion-sensing technology and a headset that records brain activity, so you can make the flames go off by performing certain hand gestures or just thinking really hard about it.
Try not to do a wanking motion with your hand, because that's also the gesture for "setting yourself on fire."
Once you've performed a special move and activated the fire-spitting tanks, your opponent has to react quickly and launch another move to stop the fire from reaching their side of the arena, or suffer the consequences. But other than a getting a new tan, the players here don't actually suffer any real harm. Unlike in ...
#5. A Version of Tekken That Inflicts Real Pain
Fighting games like Tekken are all about dishing out as much damage as you can to your opponent, which is usually measured through a life bar on the screen and the amount of times the player who is losing yells obscenities. An organization called C-Level came up with a much simpler and more effective way to help you keep track of the damage inflicted: Every time your character gets hit, you feel real pain.
It made for the most bullshit-sounding insurance claim of all time.
The game is called Tekken Torture Tournament, and it's played by literally wiring participants to a PlayStation console so that they'll receive painful electric shocks whenever their character takes damage. Back when it was still running, the only things participants had to do to enter the tournament was go to a basement in Los Angeles' Chinatown, sign a waiver accepting the risk of death and then strap this device to their arm:
Well, pussies strapped it to their arm. Real men chose other locales.
Apparently, the electrical shock received by players is "strong enough to make your arm pull your hand off the controller, so you literally lost the ability to fight back as you got injured in the game." If you thought getting cornered by a never-ending combo in the game was bad enough, imagine trying to fight back when you literally can't hold the controller anymore. At that point you probably can't even flip off your opponent and reset the console, since you're too busy drooling on the floor.
"Thanks for playing! Medics are en route."
The way it works is that the creators came up with a program that monitors the state of your life gauge on the screen, so every time it's reduced, you receive a shock, which also means that the more damage you suffer, the harder the shock will be. Although they are painful, the shocks aren't inflicting any serious damage on your body: They simply make you lose control of your arm (and probably certain other bodily functions).
#4. Escape from an Abandoned Hospital, Resident Evil Style
There have been numerous official attempts to replicate the experience of the Resident Evil games in real life, most of them inexplicably food-related, like this zombie-themed restaurant or this butcher shop, which serves actual meat designed to look like human body parts. So they've got the "gore" part pretty well covered, but for a re-creation of the "survival horror" aspect of the series you'd have to go to Japan, where you can pay the equivalent of $40 for the privilege of being locked in an abandoned hospital, which you then have to escape. Or try to, anyway.
Or as they like to call it in Japan, "A completely normal hospital."
The event was created by a company called Scrap, which specializes in "real escape games," in collaboration with Resident Evil's creators at Capcom. The building in which you'll willing trap yourself has been "designed to look like the world of Resident Evil," but we're guessing that not a whole lot of work was required to make it look creepy, since it's an actual abandoned hospital in Tokyo where real patients were treated and presumably died (unless they're still roaming the hallways as undead creatures).
Sadly, Japan's health care doesn't cover zombism yet. And quite frankly, that shocks us.
In the game, you and your friends play U.N. investigators who are trapped in a hospital and infected with a virus that is turning them into zombies -- the players must collect clues and items to find a vaccine and escape the hospital before the time runs out. Basically, you have to complete real-world versions of those tedious video game puzzles, except you can't just go online and look up a walkthrough if you get stuck.
And while there aren't giant monsters chasing you like in the video game, bear in mind that the type of people this game tends to attract are likely to supply their own zombie makeup and costumes.
"We used our own blood for authenticity."
According to the game's official website, the success rate for these games is always less than 20 percent of the players involved -- as they point out (according to Google Translate), "It is not a simple kindergarten-style mystery. Please come with panache detective." We're guessing that the people who don't figure out how to escape are left in there and later used as part of the scenery.