Oculus founder Palmer Luckey created a VR headset that will literally make your head explode

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Image for article titled Oculus founder Palmer Luckey created a virtual reality headset that kills you if you die in the game

Photo: Kevork Djansezian (fake images)

It’s about a old trope in a lot of silly sci-fi movies involving virtual reality: you die in the game, you die in real life. In said movies, the characters get trapped in a video game and must play for their lives. If their avatar perishes, so do they.

Well, it seems that someone has wanted this trope to come true. I mean, someone created a VR headset that literally It kills you if you lose a video game. Fun, right?

The creator is not just any old man, but Palmer Luckey, the 30-year-old virtual reality prodigy, defense contractorTrump-financierY co-founder of Oculus, the virtual reality company Facebook bought in 2014 for a whopping 3,000 million dollars.

Luckey dropped a blog post on Sunday, explaining his strange new headphones, which he says are more of an “office piece of art” for now, and included a photo of them as well.

For reference, it looks like this:

Image for article titled Oculus founder Palmer Luckey created a virtual reality headset that kills you if you die in the game

Photo: lucky palm tree

Yes, this thing will really end your life. More specifically, it is equipped with bombs for your head to explode.

In its blog postLuckey explains how his new lethal gadget is supposed to work:

I used three of the payload modules I usually use for a different project, linking them to a narrowband photosensor that can detect when the screen flashes red at a specific frequency, making game integration for the developer a breeze . . When a proper game over screen is displayed, the charges fire, instantly destroying the user’s brain.


In other words, Luckey has basically brought to life the plot of the nerdy anime webcomic from the mid-2000s, sword art online. In fact, Luckey says that this comic was the biggest inspiration behind his project. In the comic, the characters don something called a “NerveGear,” which is an “incredible device that perfectly recreates reality using a direct neural interface that is also capable of killing the user.” Then they drop in a womb-like world by a mad scientist and forced to endure a “game of death” where the stakes of the game are tied to his own mortality. For Luckey, this is an exciting idea:

The idea of ​​linking your real life to your virtual avatar has always fascinated me: you instantly raise the stakes to the highest level and force people to fundamentally rethink how they interact with the virtual world and the players within it. Improved graphics can make a game feel more real, but only the threat of dire consequences can make a game feel real to you and everyone else in the game.

well, well, youThis is certainly an interesting idea, although some might argue that the pleasure of gaming actually stems from being able to experience death-defying scenarios and No make your head explode. Some people might argue that.

Regardless, whether it’s a good idea or not, Luckey seems to have plans to make his hilarious new hat even more hideous than it currently is by adding “anti-tamper” technology to it:

This is not a perfect system, of course. I have plans for an anti-tamper mechanism that, like the NerveGear, will make it impossible to remove or destroy the headset.

So the ultimate goal here is to create a killer helmet that you literally can’t take off. Once it’s attached to your head, the only two scenarios where you’ll be able to remove it are A) where you win the game or B) where your decapitated corpse is pulled from a pile of gore. rubble for any unfortunate soul who stumbles. This is probably why Luckey hasn’t used the thing himself yet. He says:

…there are a wide variety of glitches that could occur and kill the user at the wrong time. This is why I haven’t worked on the balls to use it myself, and also why I’m convinced that, like in SAO, the final activation really should be tied to a high-intelligence agent who can easily determine if the conditions for termination are actually correct.

… At this point, it’s just a piece of office art, a thought-provoking reminder of uncharted paths in game design.

No doubt some will find this idea exciting, while others (actually, let’s be honest, most people) will probably be put off from participating after reading the phrase “kill the user at the wrong time”. I, unfortunately, fall into the latter camp, though a grim cocktail of curiosity and schadenfreude will definitely keep me monitoring the progress of this project for the foreseeable future.

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