A few years ago, I wrote about how VR was turning into a vehicle for media tie-ins. I wasn’t really surprised when it started showing up in Mountain Dew or Absolut Vodka promotional campaigns; after all, they’re "lifestyle" brands selling a fantasy. But I will admit to not foreseeing a VR chainsaw mastery competition practice simulator made by a Swedish power tool company.
Maybe I should have, because VR is basically the ultimate way to experience blue-collar work simulators. And Husqvarna’s Limberjack, which was released for the HTC Vive today, is no Ikea meatball sim. But seriously, it’s a VR experience set in "a secluded training site where you can pursue your dream of breaking into the World Logging Championships to become the undisputed greatest limber alive." We’re not talking about some kind of bloody, Evil Dead-style chainsaw game. Judging by the trailer, you’re just hanging out in a spacious apartment cutting limbs off a felled tree, and all your friends are clapping, and when you get a high score you start dancing in your VR headset.
In case you were wondering, the World Logging Championships are a real thing, established in 1970. The latest one begins next week in Poland, and in addition to limbing, participants will compete in categories like tree felling, chainsaw chain replacement, and a chainsaw relay race, which you can see above. Based on the description, this is not quite as dangerous as it sounds. It still sounds fairly dangerous.
You, my reader, are probably not going to the World Logging Championships. Sorry. But if you have an HTC Vive, Limberjack was released on Steam last night.