This drowning simulator is messed up

Written by: Jon Castillo

Games | Nov 9, 2015

Drowning simulator Guy Cotten Simulator Sortie en Mer

As if getting lost at sea and drowning is not scary enough, this French guy, Guy Cotten, creates "Sortie en Mer," which means, or at least, what I think it means, "A Trip Out to Sea," where the player-actor falls out of his boat and drowns.

You are left to scroll as fast as possible to stay afloat. At first, it may seem you're doing all right, hoping your boat turns around and saves you. But then, your legs start to cramp, making it harder to stay on the surface. You lay on your back, stiff as a log, to just drift along, but the sun overhead burns your skin. The water is so cold, your strength withers at an exponential rate. You begin to lose your fingernails. The next thing you know, you see loved ones, smiling and then screaming for you, and you, slowly let go of them, falling into the abyss below, resting beside corals.

The game is shot with an action camera, played by actual people in a real world setting. The game itself lacks any concrete story. It's just about you, falling off a boat, without a life jacket. Your friend leaves you behind-as if he had planned it all along, as seen in an alternate ending-which, you still die anyway, and the only difference is your friend, waving and smiling. Cheeky bastard, he must want your wife.

No matter how you try to play the game, you die, and you get the message "You drowned at X minutes." It then shows a public service announcement where you should always wear your life jacket while out in sea. I really want to say "duh."

In any case, the cinematic game is creepy. Getting stuck at sea with nothing to hold on to, and with clear view that no help is in sight, plus the territorial creatures down below, and a scorching sun overhead. It's a horrible and dreadful experience, a message I got loud and clear. I'm never sailing on a boat, ever.

The whole idea is a nice little experiment. The potential to implement a game such as this into virtual reality with 360-degree view might show some promising results. The level of immersion is as close as we'll ever get to replicating real life situations. Mix some cinematic quality, and we've got a wholly new and awesome interactive videogame as brilliant as "Heavy Rain."

It's a thing to look forward to, despite all these VR stuff being pretty much a gimmick. However, it's a gimmick we need to tolerate and support to allow it to nourish and grow.

"Sortie en Mer" is not meant to be fun. It's meant to immerse yourself into one of things many of us fear: death. And how much and how hard we need to fight to live as long as possible. 

You can try this game out for yourself here at

About the author: Jon Castillo

Jonathan is hiding from a lynch mob after messing with the wrong basketball team. His favorite song is "Boys do Fall in Love" by Robin Gibb.

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