Oculus founder says his new VR headset will kill people if they die in game – India Today
By Abhik Sengupta: Palmer Luckey, the founder of VR firm Oculus (now owned by Meta), has designed a new headset that can kill users if they die in a game. The device is inspired by Sword Art Online (SAO), a Japanese anime where players' death in the game means death in the real world because of a special VR headset called 'NerveGear.' The good news for some users and parents is that Luckey's own take on the NerveGear headset will take "many years" to create as he's only "figured out the half that kills" players. At this point, it is just a piece of office art, but it is also described as the first non-fiction example of a VR device that can kill users.
In his personal blog, called Palmer-Luckey, the former Oculus senior executive writes that the idea of tying real life to a virtual avatar fascinates him as it instantly raises the stakes. The blog notes, "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".
Palmer claims he's halfway to making a true NerveGear VR headset, but there's a lot to be done. He explains that in SAO, the NerveGear contained a microwave emitter that could be overdriven to lethal levels. The real-life headset would work in a similar fashion, and the early model included three explosives to destroy a player's brain once the game is over.
The post adds that this isn't the perfect system, and the real-life NerveGear needs to be tamper-proof. He says, "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, and also why I am convinced that, like in SAO, the final triggering should really be tied to a high-intelligence agent that can readily determine if conditions for termination are actually correct."
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