NerveGear headset

The man who was credited with founding Occulus has created a VR headset that he claims can kill you.

Palmer Lucky who founded Oculus which was later sold to Facebook, says that his NerveGear device has been designed so that if someone dies in the game, this would trigger the headset to kill the wearer in real life too.

Palmer Luckey said the device was inspired by Sword Art Online, a Japanese anime series based on a novel in which players are trapped in an online role-playing game where they are wearing a NerveGear device that will kill them in real life if they died in a game. 

In a blog post, Lucky said: “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. 

“Only the threat of serious consequences can make a game feel real to you and every other person in the game.”

Lucky said that the technology is connected to “three explosive charge modules” that are tied to a “narrow-band photosensor that can detect when the screen flashes red at a specific frequency”.

He said: “When an appropriate game-over screen is displayed, it charges fire, instantly destroying the brain of the user.”

Lucky also explored the possibility of adding functionality to the headset that would kill a user if they attempted to remove the headset early.

However, he also admitted that he has not tried to wear the headset himself. 

His invention is far from the only technology designed to raise the stakes for gamers immersed in virtual reality.

In 2001, a “PainStation” art installation game was unveiled in Germany. It works by emitting painful and uncomfortable sensations such as heat, punches, and electroshocks of varying duration to unfortunate players. 

During the same year, the popular Playstation fighting game Tekken 3 was the focus of a tournament that would administer electric shocks to participants when their online avatars got injured.

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