Inventor Is Creating A Terrifying VR Headset That Kills You If You Die In The Video Game



Ever wondered if video games are getting a little too realistic?
Credit: Igor Stevanovic / Alamy
Inventor Palmer Luckey clearly doesn't feel that way. Known as the father of modern virtual reality, Luckey's latest invention is a VR headset that will supposedly kill the user if they die in a game.


To the average player, the "deadly" console looks like a regular Meta Quest Pro headset. The one addition to the device is three innocent-looking modules positioned by the user's forehead. According to Luckey, these are in fact explosive charges that - were they to detonate - would destroy the user's head.


In a blog post, Luckey explained why he had decided to create such a dangerous machine, saying it was all about raising the stakes of the game.

"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," he 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," the inventor added.
Palmer Luckey in 2015. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy
Luckey goes on to explain that he drew inspiration from the anime and light novel series Sword Art Online, in which players log onto a VR game only to discover they have been trapped in a virtual world by a mad scientist. Like with Luckey's headset, if characters in Sword Art Online die in the game, they will also perish in real life.

As well as being the founder of Oculus - the VR company which Mark Zuckerberg bought and rebranded as Meta - Luckey also heads up weapons and defense contractor Anduril.


He didn't specify exactly whether his killer headset could have a place in the munitions of the future. However, he did explain that he - worryingly - has plans to install it with an "anti-tamper mechanism" which "will make it impossible to remove or destroy".

Meanwhile, though the headset is rigged to only detonate if a 'Game Over' message flashes on screen, Luckey admitted that there are still "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," he added.

Luckey concluded by speculating that - while killer VR headsets may seem radical now - this may not always be the case.

"It is also, as far as I know, the first non-fiction example of a VR device that can actually kill the user. It won’t be the last," he wrote.




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