Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey has come up with a VR headset that will kill you if you end up losing the game. That’s insane, to say the least, but can make VR-based games all the more exciting than what it already is. After all, you will be playing for your life, which is when the stakes are the highest. Of course, all of it would be happening in the virtual world but one that is executed brilliantly. Specifically, it is the VR headset itself that is rigged with live explosives – again of the virtual kind – that are programmed to go off if you lose the game, literally turning your head into smoking fragments of bone and flash.
“I used three of the explosive charge modules I usually use for a different project, tying them to a narrow-band photosensor that can detect when the screen flashes red at a specific frequency, making game-over integration on the part of the developer very easy,” said Luckey explaining how the lethal mechanism works in a blog post. “When an appropriate game-over screen is displayed, the charges fire, instantly destroying the brain of the user.”
Luckey said he got the idea from the anime webcomic, Sword Art Online which dates back to the mid-2000s. The comic details a plot where the characters are made to wear what is described as the “NerveGear” and injected into a ‘matrix-like world’. There they need to play a game where their survivability in the virtual world is directly linked to whether they are able to make it in the real world as well.
If the idea of lacing your headset with a deadly contraption of explosives designed to blow your head into pieces isn’t enough, Luckey intends to make it all the more lethal by integrating ‘anti-temper’ tech into it. The idea here is that users will find it impossible to remove the killer headset once they have taken it on. So, it’s like a one-way journey and once you have committed yourself to it, there is no escaping it. It’s either you win or your die.
Interestingly, Luckey is yet to don the headset himself. This is what he revealed in the blog post:
“..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.
…At this point, it is just a piece of office art, a thought-provoking reminder of unexplored avenues in game design. “
All of this makes for a weird scenario, it must be said. Such a headset no doubt has generated a lot of interest and curiosity, but it remains to be seen how many would be willing to put it on. While it’s true there will be many who would be opposing the development, such a headset might also have a negative impact on the mental health of the player as well.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in the world of technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles as well, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. Motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot and maybe I’ll make a film sometime in the future.