Gaming through VR headsets has become quite common these days. But what happens when we come across a headset that can kill users if they die in the game? Yes, you read that right, and this is exactly what Palmer Luckey has created. The father of modern virtual reality and a defense contractor recently manufactured a headset that has the ability to kill you in real life.
In case you don’t know who Luckey is, he is also the founder of Oculus- the maker of the popular VR headsets. This company was sold to Meta in 2014 for a sum of $2 billion. This new deadly headset was created in memory of the famous anime- Sword Art Online. This VR headset actually resembles a Meta Quest Pro but, it has been hooked up through three explosive charge modules that are placed strategically above the visor screen.
The charges are directly set up near the forebrain of the user, and if they go off- would instantly kill the user. In a blog post that explained this murderous device, Luckey stated, “The idea of tying your real life to your virtual avatar has always fascinated me- you instantly raise the stakes to the maximum level and force people to fundamentally rethink how they interact with the virtual world and the players inside it. Pumped-up graphics might make a game look more real, but only the threat of serious consequences can make a game feel real to you and every other person in the game.”
The headset isn’t actually for sale, nor will it ever be. Its more of a ‘work of art.’ A disturbing one at that.
An Anime Was The Inspiration For This Deadly VR Headset
In the fictional world of SAO (Sword Art Online), players put on a NerveGear VR Headset and log into a game only to find out that a mad scientist has made it impossible to leave the game unless they win it. Players would have to fight their entire way through a 100-floor dungeon in order to escape the game. And interestingly, if they die in the game- they die in reality as well.
“The good news is that we are halfway to making a true NerveGear. The bad news is that so far, I have only figured out the half that kills you. In SAO, the NerveGear kills players with a microwave emitter. The device’s creator was able to hide from his employees, regulators, and contract manufacturing partners. I am a pretty smart guy, but I couldn’t come up with any way to make anything like this work, not without attaching the headset to gigantic pieces of equipment.”
The creator of the headset admitted that the three explosive charges on this headset were also used for different projects. Although the contractor didn’t specify which project, it has been well-documented that he has won massive contracts with the US government. Also, he has been in the construction of loitering munitions, as well as anti-drone tech.
The Technology Is Special To Him
But it does appear that VR gaming is his true calling. “I have plans for an anti-tamper mechanism that, like the NerveGear, will make it impossible to remove or destroy the headset. Even so, there are a huge variety of failures that could occur and kill the user at the wrong time. This is why I have not worked up the balls to actually use it myself.”
The creator of the VR headset has also admitted that virtual reality has a special place in his heart. “At this point, it is just a piece of office art, a thought-provoking reminder of unexplored avenues in game design. It is also, as far as I know, the first non-fiction example of a VR device that can actually kill the user. It won’t be the last.” Although he hasn’t been able to make a perfect copy of the device used in SAO, explosive modular charges serve the purpose. These charges are tied to a photo sensor that detects the headset’s views. So, “when an appropriate game-over screen is displayed, the charges fire, instantly destroying the brain of the user.”
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