Just in case you ever wanted to experience the horrifying events of 9/11 first hand, there is now a virtual reality app that is designed to do just that.
The name of the game is [08:46], which refers to the exact time that American Airlines flight 11 hit the World Trade Center’s North Tower, and it uses virtual reality to put you right in the middle of the tragedy.
A brief intro of the game is available below. Startling content warning.
The game is designed for the Oculus Rift VR headset, and Fusion reports that it is available from Oculus Share, the official app store for games, simulations, and other projects that are designed for use with Oculus hardware.
According to the Oculus Share listing, the game is free to download, and was released on September 11, 2015. The listing also suggests that the game is meant to allow users to experience the tragedy of 9/11 from the point of view of a victim.
“[08:46] is a narrative driven experience which makes you embody an office worker in the North Tower of the World Trade Center during the 9/11 events, emphasizing the victims’ point of view.”
While September 11, 2015, was the 14th anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11, the effects are still felt today. As recently reported by Inquisitr, first responders and other victims are still dying, to this day, from conditions caused by the attack.
Far from being a historical event, there are countless people who are still dealing with the fallout of the attack in innumerable ways. So why turn 9/11 into a game?
Tech Insider reached out to the developers of [08:46] to find out why they decided to make a 9/11 virtual reality game and what they hoped to accomplish.
It turns out that the game was actually a school project created by six students at École Nationale du jeu et des Médias Interactifs Numériques, or ENJMIN. If you don’t speak French, ENJMIN is a university in Angoulême, France, that specializes in computer games and other interactive media.
Anthony Krafft, and five other students, spent three months developing the school project, according to the listing on Oculus Share.
Speaking to Tech Insider, Kraft said that [08:46] was designed to be as realistic as possible, and they worked off survivor interviews, journalistic sources, and official floor plans to accomplish that goal.
As to why they decided to make a 9/11 VR simulation instead of a normal game, Krafft told Tech Insider that they wanted to “remind that 9/11 was, for the victims, first and foremost a workday like every other workday.”
In order to accomplish that, the game is designed to use a VR device called the Oculus Rift. If you aren’t familiar, the Oculus Rift is essentially a headset that provides each eye with a slightly different view of the action. This effectively tricks your brain into perceiving depth where there isn’t any, and the experience can be remarkably engaging.
Since [08:46] uses that technology to figuratively put you in the shoes of a victim of 9/11, the results are predictably bleak. According to Krafft, there are only two ways that the game can end, as “being on the 101st floor, you can’t escape the building (all stairs are blocked). It ends either with a slow fade to black representing suffocation or by the jump of the player.”
The game is available for free from Oculus Share, so you can experience it for yourself if you own the hardware. You can also view a complete walkthrough via Krafft’s YouTube account.
Krafft told Tech Insider that he has received some negative feedback regarding the content of the game, but that he feels like his team treated the subject matter as respectfully as possible.
“It was essential to us to be accurate,” Krafft told Tech Insider, “as we could never be obscene or sensationalist out of respect for the victims.”
Do you think that making a game like [08:46] out of 9/11 is useful, or even appropriate, or is it in bad taste?
[Image via YouTube]