Palmer Luckey, the creator of the Eye, has created a virtual reality headset that kills people with intent.
Named ‘NerveGear’, the system aims to tie people’s virtual lives closely to their real ones – bringing them both to an end together.
If someone dies in a virtual reality game or experience wearing a headset, then they will be killed in real life at the same time, Mr Luckey said.
It does this by detecting the type of red color that shows when a person dies, meaning developers can easily integrate the system. Once it shows red, three explosive modules explode, “immediately destroying the user’s brain”.
Mr Luckey said the system was still incomplete. It aims to make it impossible for developers to remove or destroy it as people are pushed inside virtual reality.
And because of the limitations of the plan, and the risk that it could fail and kill people at the wrong time, he said in a blog post that he was still experimenting with the new system.
Mr Luckey said the technology at the moment was “only a function of art”, aiming to be thought-provoking about game design. But he also said that such a system seems to have been created for the first time, and “it will not be the last”.
“The feature of connecting your real life to your virtual avatar has always fascinated me – you immediately raise the stakes to the highest level and force people to fundamentally rethink how they interact with the virtual world and the players in it,” Mr Luckey wrote in the news blog ‘NerveGear’.
“Enhanced graphics can make a game look more real, but it can only have serious consequences for you and every other person in the game. This is an area of videogame mechanics that has never been explored, even though the long history of real-world gaming revolves around similar stakes.
The technology was created to record anime events Sword Art Onlineand on the same day a poetic technology was created in that game, and the name of the instrument was taken from it. In SAOplayers are sent into a virtual prison and must fight their way out – but if they don’t succeed, they die in life.
Mr Luckey is best known for creating Oculus, a virtual reality company, and its first chapter. The company bought Meta, then Facebook, in 2014, and the two gradually integrated.
He left the company in 2017 amid criticism for his pro-Trump political views, although Facebook has always denied that Mr Luckey was fired.
Since then, Mr Luckey has continued his interest in virtual reality, but has also focused on defense technology. In his blog post, Mr Luckey mentioned that the NerveGear was built using “an explosive command module that I usually use for other projects”, which may be related to that work.