The Dire Machine

PC, Oculus Rift, Arduino Microcontroller, Leather, Wood, Electronics, 2018


The Dire Machine is a queer BDSM-based piece of digital media built to explore the creative and playful potential of VR. The Dire Machine examines the experience of embodied hybridity, of pleasure and fear, of interpersonal play and of unique, experience specific interfaces. It rewards no one, rejects it’s participants expectations and requires self definition. The Dire Machine is barely a game.

The Dire Machine is an experimental VR Horror experience where the player, locked into wrist restraints IRL, must navigate through audio and visual clues in VR to release themselves before *something* reaches them. The intention is to create a high tension environment where the line between the game experience and the bodily experience is blurred. 



The primary gameplay is achieved through using the TV remote in your right hand to navigate through the channels of the television, watching and listening for clues. In the players left hand will be a secondary remote with a panic button that instantly releases them from the game.

If the code is entered correctly, the player will be released from the chair and the game. If they are unable to discover the code in time *something* will reach them and whisper in their ear.

An alternate mode is available where there is only the panic button and the only option is to wait or exit. Somewhat like a personal game of chicken. 


Elements of the development process can be read here -

The C# scripts used in the game can be found here -

The Dire Machine was made using the Uniduino Unity plugin found here (and so worth the $30) -

Download the game here (note, may not run without DIY arduino restraints) -


Using Format