Have you ever thought how terrifying technology can be? As it creates bridges between worlds we would've never imagined, it's also getting us closer to our worst nightmares.
To feel a bullet enter you skin and pierce one of your organs, meeting a hellish creature, so monstrous it freezes you due to fear, burning in digital flames, or suffering unbearable vertigo by walking on the edge of a pixelated cliff can distort your perception of what is real and what is virtual. How much damage can virtual reality actually generate?
A young woman who participated in a virtual reality game called QuiVr, in which she had to shoot zombies along with other players, suffered a sexual assault inside that virtual world. Within the shared-experience game, one of the players began to touch her breasts and crotch and then chased her around the digital stage. This news was as strange as it was outrageous for the geek community, for it showed that women are not safe from this sort of violence even in the virtual world. Sociologist Katherine Cross, author of Ethics for Cyborgs, asserts that assaults like this and other jarring experiences in the virtual realm can be as serious and damaging as those lived in daily life.
What would happen if a game or application recreates your worst fear, your most significant trauma, or your deepest revulsion? Imagine that in the middle of a dark night, when there seems to be nothing but silence around you, the screen of your cell phone begins to show a frightening shadow. You have two options: lift your head to see if it's merely a game —a digital construction— or gazing at your screen, afraid of finding out that the demon in front of you is real.
Night Terrors is the augmented reality game that promises to confuse us to the point of madness. Through an app you can download in your mobile device, it's possible to meet the demons that torment you every night –whether you knew it or not. This game aims to be one of the most terrifying yet. According to its creators, its objective is to fight ghosts and monsters hidden in the corners of your house.
Novus Analytics was the company that created this universe of demons, darkness, fantasy, and augmented reality through a model that resembles Pokemon Go. The group of developers who mapped the game wanted to transform the gamer's home –or any space whatsoever– into a place where you'd never sleep again. Through your phone’s camera, Night Terrors places chilling entities in the most unexpected and seemingly innocent corners of your house.
As you scan the walls, doors, windows, and furniture of your room, you'll dive in a confusing and terrifying atmosphere, where the security and comfort of your home will vanish. Through the use of sounds, images, lighting changes, and vibrations, this app burns the memory of the nightmare into your physical reality.
The process behind this horror film experience is quite simple: this app only requires the phone's LED, its camera, and microphone to analyze your activity; as the software receives information, incorporeal demons that you'd never believe real will appear before your startled eyes.
Would you dare to be the protagonist of a macabre story? Would you look at your screen and find out that hellish being is a physical reality? Would you download Night Terrors to live the worst nightmares through augmented reality?
Translated by Joseph Reiter