Oculus Founder Made a VR Headset that Literally Kills You

Palmer Luckey designed a virtual reality headset that detonates explosive charges whenever the player dies in a video game, killing you in real life

VR headset that kills you in real life
Image: Palmer LuckeyOculus VR

Palmer Luckey, a defense contractor who founded Anduril, a company that produces anti-drone technologies for government agencies, has developed a VR headset containing explosive charges attached that will kill the player if they die in a video game. Why? Well, Remember the Anime named “Sword Art Online”?

Sword Art Online is an anime in which participants put on a fictional VR gear called the “NerveGear” to play a computer game. The VR headset turns out to be a trap set up by a mad programmer who forces its players to climb a 100-story tower in order to survive. If they die within the game, they will die in real life since the headset produces a sequence of microwaves that will destroy the player’s brain. Palmer said in his blog that “The popularity of SAO led to massive otaku enthusiasm for Oculus, especially in Japan, which quickly became our 2nd largest market.”

Palmer Luckey, who also worked on the real-world VR technology Oculus VR, is a major fan of Sword Art Online, so to honor the anime, he decided to make a VR headset which kills a real person if they die in a game. He announced the news on his official Twitter account.

“To commemorate the Sword Art Online Incident of November 6th, 2022, I made the OQPNVG, the first virtual reality device capable of killing the user – if you die in the game, you die in real life.” – Palmer Luckey

Three explosive charges are mounted to the VR headset. These are pre-programmed and ready to go if your character dies in the game. The charge modules are located directly in the forebrain of the wearer. When the player reaches zero health, the player’s head is supposed to explode as well.

Sword Art Online VR Headset NerveGear
Sword Art Online “NerveGear”

According to Luckey, the technology to hide lethal tactics in the anime in such a little device does not yet exist: “Akihiko Kayaba (the antagonist) was able to hide from his employees, regulators, and contract manufacturing partners. I am a pretty smart guy, but I couldn’t come up with any way to make anything like this work, not without attaching the headset to gigantic pieces of equipment.”

What purpose does the VR Headset have? Why is this a thing?

“At this point, it is just a piece of office art, a thought-provoking reminder of unexplored avenues in game design. 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.” Palmer Luckey said in his blog. “I have plans for an anti-tamper mechanism that, like the NerveGear, will make it impossible to remove or destroy the headset,” he says of the VR Headset. “Even so, there are a huge variety of failures that could occur and kill the user at the wrong time.”

Netizens on the other side, were not happy with the entire concept. Many others commented that the fact that something can be made does not imply it should be. Others were certain that such things would never be mass-produced or sold anyplace.

According to Palmer, this is the very first non-fiction demonstration of a VR headset which can kill the user and he is sure that this won’t be the last.

What do you think about this? Let us know below.
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He is a simple guy who likes to write about gaming and anime in his free time or else he could be seen playing with his dog or spending quality time with nature.


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