If you've ever wanted to play a real-life video game, battling zombies with just your wits and whatever weapons are lying around, then this prank is your dream come true.
A group of friends in England sprinkled a little movie magic onto their home, turning it into a massive choose-your-own-adventure play that they performed with unsuspecting videochatters. The group released a video Thursday that shows what happens when someone's dropped into the heart of a video game, picking up more than 1 million views within 12 hours.
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The video's title, "Real Life First Person Shooter," refers to first-person shooter games, where the player sees the point of view of their character. Only, in this case, the character was a deep-throated man and the players were real people using Skype and anonymous video chat sites called Chatroulette and Omegle.
"There's a body on the floor and the door's locked. What should I do?" asked the action hero at the start of the adventures.
Their first job, after pressing start, was to help the hero get out of a dark room. He did whatever the player told them to, cheerfully offering suggestions whenever the players got stuck.
Get out of the room and they were quickly faced with a horde of zombies, a haunted cemetery and, if they figured out how to get their player's (fake) guns blazing, a spooky church with a monstrous surprise inside.
Some players screamed, others screamed for the hero to run, and many couldn't stop the gang of zombies from ending the game. When the character said he had a bad feeling about something, his player smiled and told him: "That's alright. I'm not gonna die, you are."
The team behind the video is from Realm Pictures, a British video production company. Along with friends and neighbors they recruited, they made about 40 successful runs, according to director David M. Reynolds.
The project took about a month of research, and eventually two intense days to build the graphics that players saw on the screen through some "indie film tricks" they'd learned making movies, Reynolds said in an email.
Now, years after Reynolds and his friends first had the idea, he said it was surreal to suddenly be answering interviews about their game.
"Our garden is famous," Reynolds said.
Didn't get to play? You might have another chance. Reynolds said the team is scheming up "a sequel that will make this one look like a dry run!"