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It’s an invention that very few would want to test… Palmer Lucky, creator of Oculus’ virtual reality (VR) headset, is said to have created a new kind of VR headset. According to him, it could “destroy the brain” of the user if he died in the game.
A die-hard fan of the Sword Art Online manga, Palmer Lucky wanted to pay a special tribute to it. In this fantastic piece, players use a helmet called Nerve Gear, which is directly connected to their nervous system. After falling into the trap of a mad scientist, they are stuck in a virtual universe in which death also means the loss of life in reality. Therefore, the entrepreneur wanted to develop a helmet that also defies life and death.
“The idea of linking your real life to your virtual avatar has always fascinated me. You instantly raise the stakes to the maximum and force people to fundamentally rethink how they interact with the virtual world and the players in it,” says Palmer Lucky in a blog showcasing his creation. “Optimized graphics can make the game more real, but only the threat of serious consequences can make the game real for you and everyone else in the game. This is an area of video game mechanics that has not yet been explored. , despite the long history of real-world sports revolving around these issues.”
Any other blog post claiming to have done something like this is hardly credible. Only, this is the creator of the famous Oculus headset. So, after all, it’s not surprising that he might have had the technical skills to make such a helmet. He explains that explosive charges placed in the helmet are “connected to a narrow-band photo sensor that can detect when the screen flashes red at a certain frequency.” To put it simply, if a certain endgame screen is shown, the car is commanded to explode, thus destroying the player’s brain.
“Imperfect” work of art
However, the volunteers have not yet rushed to the gate to test the new helmet. In truth, even Palmer Lucky admits that he didn’t have the guts to use it due to too much instability. “At this point, it’s just desktop art, a suggestive reminder of the uncharted paths of game design,” he wrote. “To my knowledge, this is also the first non-fiction example of a VR device that can actually kill the user. It won’t be the last.”
With a certain irony, his work also highlights how far we are still from achieving virtual reality worthy of what players can experience in Sword Art Online or other fictions of this type, in terms of restoring the sensations during the game (touch, smell, etc.). ). “The good news is that we are halfway to making a real NerveGear. The bad news is, so far I’ve only found the half that kills you. The perfect half of the equation in virtual reality is yet to come,” the entrepreneur says with humor.