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Eight people are being tortured on a billboard because Tomb Raider

You're on a lunchtime walk in Southwark, London. The iron grey sky can't dampen your spirits - you finally closed that big account, and you've promised yourself a massive curry for dinner. An industrial roar, muffled screams. What was that? You quicken your step, rounding a corner and find yourself faced with eight people suspended up an advertising hoarding having snow blown into their eyes on an industrial scale.

This isn't some governmental pilot scheme where young offenders have their thieving fingers frostbitten off - it's high-concept advertising for adventure romp/fatal injury experience (opens in new tab), Rise of the Tomb Raider (opens in new tab). Microsoft has somehow corralled eight people into standing on ledges stuck to a billboard and being exposed to brutal weather conditions until all but one (literally) drop out of the contest. You can watch it here (opens in new tab).

Of course, as with any streaming event post-Twitch Plays Pokemon, you can get involved. Microsoft has, essentially, gamified Mother Nature. Viewers have the chance to choose a new weather condition for the poor competitiors to face every half hour. There's an element of strategy here - I'm waiting for the hivemind to realise that switching on some heat lamps might make the billboardees take off their thick ski jackets, before blasting them with arctic gusts again. It's an age-gated stream, presumably for swearing, but maybe also because one of them will go mad with pain and get a bit Dyatlov Pass (opens in new tab) live on the internet.

Of course, the real endgame here is that Shia LeBoeuf pops down and films his own contorting face as he watches the suffering. We can but hope.

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Joe Skrebels
Joe Skrebels
Joe first fell in love with games when a copy of The Lion King on SNES became his stepfather in 1994. When the cartridge left his mother in 2001, he turned to his priest - a limited edition crystal Xbox - for guidance. And now he's here.