Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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Mosh Pit Simulator is shaping up to be a surprisingly dramatic affair

Mosh Pit Simulator is shaping up to be a surprisingly dramatic affair

I’ve been in more than a few mosh pits in my day. Maybe more so in high school than recently. I’m old and falling apart at the seams now, plus the last one I encountered hit me so hard that I got bronchitis for a month afterwards. (It was an outdoor, dirt-laden occurrence during the reunion of a post-hardcore band.) Game designer and “maker of terrible videogames,” Sos Sosowski has embarked on a new journey this year: the journey to create a mosh pit simulator like the world has never seen before. Or dreamed of, really.

In Mosh Pit Simulator’s latest 360-degree trailer, we’re seated at an office desk. Everything is in its right place, until a nude body waddles in and throws itself out the window. This doesn’t seem like moshing, nor your average day at the office. The trailer then takes a turn for the bleak. We’re launched out the skyscraper’s window as a solemn tune begins to play, with more gelatinous beings hot on our tail. It reminds me of that scene in the early Cowboy Bebop episode, “Ballad for Fallen Angels.” In it, the hero Spike is shoved out of a cathedral’s window, sad music plays, and his life flashes before his eyes—at this point, his past is unknown to the audience. As a contorted mosh-driven human, I’m sure my life would flash before my eyes too before I hit that hard concrete, where I’d probably be ready to get up and mosh again directly after the fumble.

an exercise in body horror and personal space

Mosh Pit Simulator is grotesque, which might even be a light way of putting it. The nude models in the game contort and unhinge their jaw in a way that’s deeply unsettling—a feeling that’s likely amplified when in a VR headset readily shoving and punching the fleshy things away from you. Moshing in Mosh Pit Simulator is less about being enthused by the music at hand, and more about trying to get as far away as humanly possible from the terrifying protoplasmic molds that encroach on your personal space.

The stuff of nightmares.
The stuff of nightmares.

Mosh Pit Simulator is, at its most organic, a game about pushing and punching people and throwing things. The game itself was born as an accident, landed itself on the front page of Reddit (originally coined as I Have No Idea What I’m Doing: The Game), and now is in full-development as an eerie VR game. Back in April of this year, Sosowski told our friends over at Kill Screen about his own personal experiences in a mosh pit. “My greatest achievement is surviving a mosh pit for the entire duration of a Vader concert during a 500,000 people music festival while wearing just a swimsuit,” he bragged. “I was just one big bruise after bumping into all the leather-and-iron-clad hairy dudes.” Luckily, Mosh Pit Simulator seemingly has no bruising to speak of… yet.

You can keep up to date with Mosh Pit Simulator’s development through Sosowski’s Twitter or the game’s website. It’s “coming soon,” hopefully before 2016 screeches to a halt.

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