Oculus Co-Creator Has Made A VR Headset That Can Kill You

Oculus Co-Creator Has Made A VR Headset That Can Kill You
Images via Netflix | Palmer Luckey

Written by 

Tom Chapman


8th Nov 2022 17:52

Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones have done it again predicting the future. If it's not contact lenses with cameras in them, it's robot dogs or questionable relationships between the Prime Minister and a pig. Now, Black Mirror has come to life once again with a virtual reality headset that can kill you.

If you've ever seen the techy terror, you might remember the Season 3 episode called "Playtest." Here, Wyatt Russell's Cooper was recruited to play an immersive horror game, but things didn't exactly end well. Six years later, someone has turned the concept into a VR headset that can kill you in real life. 

What Is The Killer VR Headset?

No one likes dying in video games, and apart from destroying your K/D ratio, you're unlikely to jump into a game with the aim of seeing "You Died" drip down across the screen. Thanks to the co-creator of the Oculus rift, though, that could have some deadly consequences. Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey has shared his monstrous creation via a blog post with the ominous title of "If you die in the game, you die in real life."

The post describes the fictional "SAO Incident" which occurred in the Sword Art Online series. Apparently, 10,000 players were trapped in a VRMMORPG and 4,000 of them died in real life due to their in-game demise. Here, participants are strapped with NeveGear headsets and tasked with escaping a 100-floor dungeon. If your points hit zero... blam. 

As The SAO Incident fictionally took place on November 6, 2022, Luckey celebrated this with his own "play-or-die" headset. Although it looks like a standard Meta Quest Pro, the headset is armed with three explosive charges. A bit like a twisted Jigsaw trap from Saw, dying in-game means they go off and obliterate the user's forebrain.

Where Can You Get The Deadly VR Headset?

Explaining his thought process behind this creepy contraption, Luckey said, "It's all for art to make us think about society. "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 continued, "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."

Luckey said that despite the dangers of real-world sports, gaming is yet to explore this darker side. Before you start questioning where you can get this for the office Secret Santa to give to that one annoying colleague, Luckey (obviously) isn't selling this weaponised piece of tech. For now, it's "just a piece of office art," although Luckey says he doubts it will be the last example of a VR device that can kill the user. How cheerful!

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