December 4, 2022

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Die in the video game, die in real life: Oculus founder made dangerous VR glasses

The founder of virtual reality (VR) systems company Oculus claims to have designed a new headset that can kill you in real life if you “die” in a game.

Palmer Luckey explained that the device is inspired by Sword Art Online, the Japanese novel turned anime series in which players are entrapped in an online role-playing game where death in the game means death in the real world due to the deadly headset. NerveGear’ wearing.

Luckey started Oculus in 2012, before selling it to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014.

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Palmer Loki at an Oculus VR presentation in 2015

While at the helm of the company, he created Oculus Rift and other virtual reality applications that underpin the Meta’s big bet on the metaverse — an alternate world where everyone can work, meet friends and play without leaving their home — provided, of course, they have a VR headset.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of ​​connecting your real life with your virtual avatar — you immediately raise the stakes to the highest level and force people to rethink the way they interact with the virtual world and the players within it” in a blog post that has now gone viral.

“Only the threat of dire consequences can make the game seem real to you and all your teammates.”

In “Game Over” your head explodes

Luckey, who left Oculus in 2017 to found Anduril Industries, a high-tech military company, explained that he was working on a real-world version of NerveGear and was “halfway through” there.

“The bad news is that so far I’ve only found half the technology that kills you,” he wrote. “We are far from the perfect other half of the VR equation.”

Die in the video game, die in real life: Oculus founder made dangerous VR glasses Facebook Twitter
The anime that started it all

Loki explained that the device is connected to “three explosive units” connected to an optical sensor that can detect the screen flashing red at a certain frequency.

“When the game screen appears, the explosives are detonated, instantly destroying the user’s brain,” he said.

As ARS Technica points out, there have been previous attempts to increase the stakes for players.

In 2001, a “PainStation” artwork in Germany “threatened players who lost a game of pong with heat, shock, and electric shocks at varying intervals,” as Wired described it at the time.

The game only ended when the player deemed the pain too much.

In the same year “Tekken Torture Tournament”, 32 players participated in the popular fighting game Tekken 3 on Playstation wearing electric stun devices on their hands that gave them “non-lethal electric shocks” depending on the injuries from the blows shown on the onscreen avatars . Receive. “.

Two decades later, Luckey talked about a killer VR headset that wasn’t “perfect” yet.

He admitted that “there are a whole lot of failures that can kill a user at the wrong time”. “That’s why I didn’t have the courage to use it myself.”

For now, the killer headset remains just a work of art adorning his desk, he says. “A provocative reminder of the unknown paths in game design.”

With information from Euronews

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