What are some good VR pranks?
Virtual reality pranks are two things; hilarious for the people watching, and not hilarious for the victim. I guess the right way to approach the situation is to pretend that you'll never be a victim.
So, Never-be-victims, let's have a look at the best pranks to pull on people while they're lost in VR!
- The ol' ledge push
- The ol' singed hair smell
- The ol' blood spray
- The ol' jump scare
- The ol' world replacement
- The ol' feather tickle
- The ol' fake motion control
- Bonus for Vive users: the ol' controller toss
The ol' ledge push
In case you haven't seen it already, here's the video of a Russian man being given a light shove just as he tops a rise on a roller coaster. Words really don't do the freak-out justice.
As you can see, it really only requires a light shove to set someone over the virtual edge. I pulled this one on my dad when he tried out NoLimits 2 Roller Coaster Simulation — not my fault he wanted to try it standing up.
The result was about the same, except with not as much yelling. He did wind up in my arms as he fell backwards, so keep that in mind when you pull this one. Set someone strong enough behind the VR user so that they can be caught.
The ol' singed hair smell
Is your friend playing a game involving fire and hair? Burning some popcorn well in advance (don't want your place to smell like popcorn when friends arrive) and bringing it out as some poor little demon gets fried is a very cool experience for both you and the VR-viewer.
When I tried this one, the VR-viewer didn't even notice that a new smell had been introduced. As I danced around, holding the bag of popcorn beneath their nose, they just went on killing. I guess it speaks volumes about the immersion granted with VR.
Singed hair isn't the only smell — you can come up with your own combinations based on your game library. Thinking up smells to go with Waltz of the Wizard is particularly fun, as there is so much to do within.
The ol' blood spray
There are plenty of VR games involving swords, guns, monsters, and evildoers. Most of these games, intended for mature audiences, have a bit of blood involved.
When your friend is in the midst of a battle, why not give them a spray with a water gun? It really adds to the experience for them, and it's hilarious to watch their brain try to figure out just how virtual blood is actually hitting them. Pro tip: use warm water.
Another great one I pulled during Waltz of the Wizard was using a feather to touch my friend's finger when a butterfly wanted to land. The immediate recoil, even though it was just a butterfly, was the perfect response.
The ol' jump scare
Samsung Gear VR's video apps, including Samsung VR, have a growing collection of horror experiences that usually put the viewer in the middle of a compromising situation. One was a horror elevator that had a long-haired woman sneak up on me, while another had me sitting in a Saw-esque room with another poor soul.
If you can time it properly, giving your friend in VR a good grab on the shoulders will usually send them flying. This is a pretty rudimentary prank, but it's very effective. Just watch out for the instinctive punch that usually comes flying your way.
For an especially terrifying Gear VR experience, have a look at Dead Secret.
The ol' world replacement
This is another prank that you might have already seen — it basically consists of someone putting on Gear VR, and then a bunch of helpers moving walls and people in around said VR-viewer. This was done promoting Old Irish beer, and it's fantastic.
While the prank variation in the video would probably take too much work to realistically do to your friends, you can do your own world replacement on a smaller scale.
Moving furniture around is quite a bit of fun, especially during those first disoriented moments when the headset is removed — your friend will try to figure out where they are in space, and the moved furniture will contribute to confusion.
Really want to get crazy? Turn everything in the VR space upside down, including yourself.
The ol' feather tickle
This is more of a constant annoyance for your friend in VR, but it sure is fun to watch. Use a feather or something equally light and wait until VR immersion has overcome your friend — start tickling feet or hands or necks.
Don't overdo it; start slow. See how long it takes for your friend to start asking who's messing with them, and be sure to hide the feather before they re-emerge from VR.
The ol' fake motion control
I wasn't sure how this one would play out, but it was good for a laugh. Set your friend up in a game or app that doesn't support motions controls, then tell them to go nuts. If you use a separate controller or keyboard, things can get hectic as they try to right the wrongs.
For games that do support motion controls, give them an actual controller in one hand and something else way more hilarious in the other. Take a video while they swing around with said hilarious item — just remember that blackmail is illegal.
Bonus for Vive users: the ol' controller toss
Strap the Vive HMD to your friend's head and explain how motion tracking is so precise you can toss them the controller while they have the headset.
You now have two options. First you can wind up and pretend to throw the controller as hard as you can at them. The recoil is pretty severe.
The second option is more for those of you into emotional torture. Pretend to toss the controller — hold onto it as it moves through space, and get it just close enough to your friend's hands that they'll think it was their fault for dropping it. This requires either a foot stomp from you at the moment of simulated floor-impact, or collaboration from another friend at your VR party. Have them toss an old remote control or something else of the same makeup onto the floor. Bonus points for hardwood.
What devious things can you come up with?
Have you thought up a prank to pull while your friends are in VR? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section below!