Five undergraduate students are dead after the filming of a ‘selective attention test’ went wrong. Dr. Daniel Simons and Dr. Christopher Chabris are responsible for the tragic situation, having designed the test and carried out its production.
“We were trying to make a short video, something that might go viral, showing that if you pay attention to one thing, like how many basketballs were passed by a group of students, you might fail to notice something more important, like a gorilla walking across the screen,” said Dr. Simons. “Unfortunately, we were so focused on filming the video that we forgot to sedate the gorilla, and it maimed the basketball players in a fit of apish rage.”
“The idea of the video was that viewers would be asked to pay attention to how many times basketball players passed to one another,” said Dr. Chabris while applying a hot compress to his gorilla wounds. “If the test was successful, people would be so focused on counting the number of passes that they wouldn’t pay attention to other things happening, like the fact that a gorilla had walked across the screen.”
“Ash, Mel, Gerard, Tina, Aubrey and Sean were passing the basketballs nonchalantly while I watched through the video camera. As they did this, my colleague Dr. Simons opened the gorilla’s cage, expecting it to walk into frame, do some gorilla motions, and then walk off peacefully. I was so focused on the details of filming that I didn’t really see what triggered the violence, but suddenly I heard screaming and blood spattered across the viewfinder. The gorilla inflicted mortal injury upon them all, with the exception of Sean who narrowly survived.”
“I’m just lucky to be alive,” said Sean, whose killer gorilla related medical bills have plunged him into crippling debt. “I was so focused on passing the ball that I didn’t see the gorilla coming.”
On Friday, a candlelight vigil will be held for the students who passed away. The gorilla is still at large, though there are rumours it is being sheltered by a group of rogue primatologists.