Science & Technology
Oculus founder builds VR headset that kills the wearer if they die in-game
By T.K. Randall
November 9, 2022 · 12 comments
Would you play a VR game that could literally kill you ? Image Credit: Palmer Luckey
Palmer Luckey - the man who kick-started the modern VR scene - has built a headset with a rather unique and deadly twist.
Virtual reality headsets such as PSVR and Facebook's Meta Quest 2 can transport you into virtual worlds that make you feel as though you are actually there, but now one man has taken things one step further to the point where a lethal encounter in-game can mean more than just a game over screen.
Palmer Luckey, who developed the original Oculus Rift headset before the firm was acquired by Facebook, has developed a new headset that literally terminates the wearer if they die in-game.
The device is equipped with a set of explosive charges which detonate when the screen flashes red at a particular frequency, essentially destroying the wearer's brain and killing them instantly.
The idea pays homage to a similar device in the Sword Art Online
"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," Luckey wrote.
"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."
So far Luckey has not been brave enough to actually try his new headset on because the mechanism is "too volatile" and at the moment he doesn't have a game worthy of the concept to play on it.
"At this point, it is just a piece of office art, a thought-provoking reminder of unexplored avenues in game design," he wrote.
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