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'Always Sunny...' VR throws you and Mac to crashing 'safety'

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" dives into virtual reality, on both its traditional episode tonight and a VR "Project Badass" short watchable on any phone.

Culture

Project Badass is back on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," but this time, it's virtual.

In his latest, err, feat of badassery, Mac (played by Rob McElhenney) fires his motorbike down a smoke-bombed runway to "plummet to the safety of the crashing ocean 100 feet below."

Thanks to virtual reality, we the viewers are along for the ride. Lucky us. (There's also a woman stripping, because Frank.)

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On tonight's episode of "It's Always Sunny..." Frank and Mac get sucked into a VR war game.

Patrick McElhenney/FXX

The clip marks the latest attempt by a traditional program to embrace VR, an emerging format that throws headset wearers into a digital world. It's one of the buzziest tech areas thanks to mega investments from the likes of Facebook, Samsung and Google. But critics argue it needs more content to draw in mainstream audiences.

Enter the VR version of "Project Badass." The four-minute VR clip comes as the traditional show folds the technology into the plot of the latest episode airing tonight on FXX. In it, Mac and Danny DeVito's Frank get sucked into a VR war game that gives Mac post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, the regular episode tonight has a male stripper! Stripping is equal opportunity in Paddy's Pub.

The VR experience was made in partnership with Jaunt, a virtual-reality company that has also produced VR and 360-degree video for ESPN and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."

If you want to check out the "Project Badass" VR pratfalls, you can watch on a computer or -- better -- a mobile device by visiting www.fxnetworks.com/projectbadass to see a 360-degree version of the clip. To watch it in virtual reality, use the Jaunt app with a headset like Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, Playstation VR or HTC Vive.

Virtual reality 101: CNET tells you everything you need to know about VR.

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