New App Democratizes the Arcane Arts of Mimes Through Virtual Reality

With that headset on, they'll never see you punch them.

Apr 9 2016, 4:00pm

Image: Mime Academy.

In a sense, it was inevitable. Watching a person use a virtual reality headset looks like nothing so much as watching a mime with a clunky helmet strapped to his or her head, and thus designers Pablo Rochat and Fabio Benedetto pushed the concept to its logical, absurd conclusion and created Mime Academy for the Oculus Rift.

So now, if you're incapable of the Daliesque feats of imagination needed to imagine yourself patting your hands against an invisible wall or pulling an invisible rope, you can slap on a Oculus Rift and let the magic of modern technology serve up virtual ropes and walls to get you started.

As the delightful video accompanying the announcement suggests, if you just can't get the hang of it, you can just keep the thing on as you act out your rope tugging and wall patting in a public park. In these parts, though, I wouldn't be surprised if someone just ran off with that shiny MacBook instead of throwing me change.

As a nice backhand reference to the type of riches you'll likely make once you enter the magical world of mimicry, Mime Academy is apparently free. If you have an Oculus Rift and Leap Motion, you simply need to shoot an email off to the designers to get it, which should serve as a handy preparatory experience for the begging you'll have to do when it doesn't pan out.

Unfortunately, it also appears your skillset will be severely limited as your routine will end up consisting of nothing but wall patting or rope pulling instead of, say, fighting the wind or pantomiming writing a Motherboard article on a virtual keyboard.

Maybe that's next semester.