Consequence of Sound said that Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey is developing a virtual reality headset that will kill the user if they fail at the game.
Are you looking for a video game that’s worth your life? The founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, is working on a virtual reality device that will end the user’s life if they perish in-game.
In a blog post, Luckey explained, “the idea of connecting your actual life to your virtual avatar has always fascinated me— you suddenly increase the stakes to the utmost degree and drive people to radically rethink how they interact with the virtual world and the individuals inside it.” Increased visual fidelity can fool the eye, but only the possibility of dire repercussions can make you and your fellow players take the game seriously.
The murderous headset was inspired by an episode of the Japanese anime series Sword Art Online in which the protagonists wear NeveGear VR headsets and find themselves trapped in a virtual world by a mad scientist. Each player is trapped in a dungeon of 100 levels, and if they die in-game, they die for real.
Luckey’s virtual reality headset, like the one in SAO, will react to a certain game-over screen that produces a fatal dose of microwave charges that instantly kill the player’s brain. Luckey has only gotten this far because he is still fixing bugs and making sure the headset won’t kill you unless you provoke it.
Luckey continued, “This is why I have not worked up the courage to really use it personally, and also why I am sure that, like in SAO, the final triggering should really be attached to a high-intelligence agent that can readily decide if conditions for termination are actually correct.”
At this point, it is just a piece of office art, a thought-provoking reminder of uncharted territories in game design,” Luckey writes at the end of his blog post. To the best of my knowledge, this is also the first VR device in the real world with the potential to kill the user. Certainly not the last time. With all due respect, we must decline this offer.