These Oculus Rift hacks can make your dreams a (virtual) reality

From Super Mario and Skyrim to vertigo and the guillotine, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset can already do some pretty amazing things.


Mike Fenn


Published Aug 2, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 10:08 am CDT

Atari Games’ 1984 release Paperboy was a major success on many gaming platforms. Now, its simplified play and nostalgia value have attracted the attention of developers armed with one of the gaming industry’s most advanced tools: the Oculus Rift.

The Oculus Rift, still available only as a developer’s kit, is a hackable virtual reality headset. Since its introduction at E3 in June 2012, gamers and developers alike have scrambled to get their hands on a kit, eager to see which segments of reality—and fantasy—they could successfully replicate.

The game Paperboy was one such example. It was brought to life thanks to developers at Globacore—and a stationary bike. 

We discovered that Paperboy isn’t alone. Despite its infancy, several interesting projects have already come together thanks to the Oculus Rift, ensuring that a very different world of video games awaits us upon the device’s consumer release.

1) Skyrim

One of the most-anticipated titles in recent video game history surely wasn’t going to go away without an Oculus Rift treatment! Thanks to Chris Gallizzi, you can now experience what it’s like to be a true dragonborn.

2) Black Armor Drone

Surely you have wondered what a modern-day military attack or surveillance would be like. Erik Torkel Danielsson, cofounder of Intuitive Aerial, combined his company’s black armor drone with the VR device.

3) Vertigo Simulator

Have you ever been at a stratospheric height, looked down at the Earth, and become upset that the sight didn’t sicken you to the point of immobility? Thanks to Inition’s “vertigo simulator,” that dream can become a (virtual) reality!

4) Team Fortress 2

In a March update to its popular title, Valve actually developed a “VR Mode.” As a result, upon the Oculus Rift’s consumer release, players will be able to experience hassle-free gameplay through the eternal battle between RED and BLU.

5) Super Mario Bros.

Paperboy isn’t the only classic game to undergo a complete virtual overhaul. At the Culture Hack Scotland conference in 2013, fans of gaming’s most popular face got to see everything from question blocks to pipes from the hero’s point-of-view.


6) Peripheral Vision

A popular hack for the Oculus Rift device wasn’t for a certain game but rather for the headset itself! Caleb of Hackaday fame demonstrates how the addition of small LED lights greatly improves a player’s peripheral vision.

7) Minecraft

Are you tired of your head always being round? Join the square-headed characters in Minecraft thanks to a hack developed by Martyn of InTheLittleWood.

8) Wicked Paradise

You knew that there had to be porn; modern technology cannot exist unless someone uses it for adult entertainment. Wicked Paradise promises to be a game in which you can do everything from ogle desirable people in a bar to have full-on sex. Could this be the beginning of the end of online dating as we know it?

9) Guillotine

All of us have wanted to experience the guillotine. After all, a medieval-style blade to the back of the neck is quite a thrill. Unfortunately, there is far too much messy cleanup and little chance of survival. Thanks to a project born at the Exile Game Jam, you can now experience what King Louis XVI’s final moments were like.

H/T to Gizmodo / Screengrab via USEGAMERStv/YouTube

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*First Published: Aug 2, 2013, 8:46 am CDT