Haven't played Aussie comedian John Robertson's The Dark Room? Yeah, you should probably do that. You'll go in with high hopes, as most do, but your chances of making it out in one piece are, frankly, pretty crap. According to Robertson, a paltry 0.004 per cent of those who embark on his YouTube adventure make it to the elusive "happy" ending.
In the same vein as a Heavy's 2fort adventure and New Zealand's own Hell Pizza zombie apocalypse (six million views and counting), The Dark Room uses YouTube's annotation feature to create a choose-your-own-adventure style game where you navigate from video-to-video, desperately trying to guess which option is the correct one, before realising they're all spawned from the same, inevitable evil.
In an interview with VentureBeat, Robertson said he wasn't sure of the exact figures — it's impossible to tell if people quit midway through or some managed to jump straight to the last clip — but going by the views of the intro video compared to that of the happy ending, less than 900 adventurers out of some 220,000 have found the "100% Good Ending". I imagine this figure has probably increased since the interview, as the first clip has 229,000 views as of this morning.
The comedian revealed he's "still a gamer" who loves "the old stuff". He's a fan of Red Dead Redemption and obsessed with THQ's wrastlin' series. Robertson loved the ruthless nature of vintage games, where checkpoints were non-existent and game designers put invisible blocks in platformers because they hated you and your mum. His motivation for creating The Dark Room was to "bring back" all the same emotions these ancient, seemingly-impossible games effortless evoked.
While I tend to associate these feelings with what would later be labelled "Nintendo Hard", I get the impression his experiences are connected to Infocom's Z-machine-powered text adventures, arguably the progenitors of insane game difficulty levels.
Robertson chats about a few more odds and ends in the full interview at VentureBeat, which you can find at the link below.