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Virtual reality is on the cusp of being a huge breakthrough on the consumer market. The technology offers some great opportunities for some legitimate interesting experiences... like freaking out while playing a first-person VR zombie game, which is exactly what happened when one woman put on the headset.
The video was posted up on the account of Twitter user Madeleine. It comes from a VR session involving her co-worker from the company Zooka Creative. They were play-testing a VR demo on the HTC Vive called The Brookhaven Experiment from Phosphor Games. One of the individuals working on the demo, Steve Bowler, chimed in to let everyone know that they would be making more soon.
The demo clearly spooked the co-worker of Madeleine into almost near hysteria. It's not an uncommon reaction given that the IGN production crew also managed to get scared out of their wits playing a VR demo of Paranormal Activity.
Some developers have warned that these kind of experiences might be too much for some gamers, and have cautioned other developers to be mindful of how they put together games and apps for use with VR.
In this case, The Brookhaven Experiment isn't out yet but the VR demo is available for download from over on the Steam store. The game can also be pre-purchased at 23% off the normal price for only $14.99 ahead of its June 22nd release.
You may not have seen much of it in the brief video embedded above, but the game is designed for the HTC Vive and sees players carrying around a gun and a flashlight while trying to survive amongst an onslaught of terrifying monster creatures. It's a little like Killing Floor but more lonely. The game is also VR-only, so if you don't have the proper setup you won't be enjoying the experience.
I would love to see what the sales look like for a VR only game like The Brookhaven Experiment just to see if these kind of heart-racing experiences on VR are actually big business or if they're just good as a marketing ploy. After the game launches in June we'll be able to check Steam Spy to see what consumers really think of these kind of games for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
One other thing worth pointing out is that the scariest part about these freak-outs is when people begin to spin and move around while all those cords are attached to their head. I keep thinking someone is going to trip over one of those cords and break that $800 Vive unit. Now that would be a real horror story.