As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a submarine commander.
Ok, that’s a lie. But I did watch a lot of “Das Boot” in high school, and I’ve always preferred the “Star Trek” style of space combat (submarine style) to “Star Wars” (airplane dogfighting). Now usually when I draw such a vague fascination with something tangible that I don’t feel like putting the effort forth to actually achieve, I turn to video games to feed the need. However, the world of submarine simulation video games are all mostly in the same family as the “Microsoft Flight Simulator” games. Which is to say, they’re so incredibly realistic, by the time you get a handle on them, you would have been better off actually becoming a real captain/commander.
Well now, in a weird meta twist, where video games have failed to properly create an entertaining simulation of real life, real life has stepped in.
The creative geniuses at 1.21 Jigawatts are looking to defend their Red Bull Creation contest crown with their new invention “The Hunt for Red September.” It’s a built to scale submarine model simulator that requires a player to operate the right series of valves, levers, and buttons (as instructed by an on board voice system) in order to prevent a series of disasters. Fail to complete the simulation in its 2 minute time limit, and the model sprays you with an absurd amount of water as punishment. Even cooler is the social interaction features, which allows people to tweet “depth charge” to the simulation causing the entire machine to rock back and forth via hydraulics, and allows for the ability for enough people to tweet for a torpedo to attack the sub, the incoming progress of which can be followed via an onboard LCD screen.
Now if this sounds awesome, it’s because it is. However, this is no friendly game. Players have mere seconds to properly multitask the required functions in the right order before becoming drenched with water bursts. It apparently takes some serious skill to complete the simulation, which is only appropriate as it matches the skill put into this project in the first place. The team built this model in just 72 hours out of mostly spare parts, with the intention of winning the 2012 Red Bull Creation contest, and therefore making it to the Maker Faire in New York this September.
While there are no current plans for this model beyond that, I’d personally like to see Fortune 500 companies start using one in lieu of job interviews.