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The founder of Meta’s Oculus platform may have trouble finding volunteers to try out his latest creation – a virtual reality helmet that he claims can kill you.
The founder of Meta’s Oculus platform may have trouble finding volunteers to try out his latest creation – a virtual reality helmet that he claims can kill you.

Luckey, who sold his firm Oculus to Meta for $3 billion in 2014 at the age of 21, described the “amazing” device in a blog post.

“The idea of linking your real life to your virtual avatar has always fascinated me – you immediately raise the stakes to the maximum level and force people to think fundamentally about how they communicate with the virtual world and the players in it,” he says.

“Pumped graphics can make the game look more real, but only the threat of serious consequences can make the game feel real to you and to every other person in the game. This is an area of video game mechanics that has never been explored.”

The device is inspired by Sword Art Online, an anime series with a theological VR game, available with a helmet called NerveGear, which stimulates the user’s five senses through his brain. In the series, players can experience and control their characters in the game with their mind as they wear NerveGear.

But when 10,000 players log in to the game for the first time online, they discover that they cannot log off – and that removing the helmet would be fatal.

“Gamers are captured by a crazy scientist in a game of death that can only be avoided by the end of the game,” Laki explains.

If their impact points drop to zero, their brains would be bombarded by extremely powerful microwaves, which would supposedly kill the user. The same would happen if someone in the real world manipulated their NerveGear, the virtual reality display placed on their heads.

In the game, NerveGear contains a microwave emitter that can be deadly, but Easy uses an alternative – explosive charging modules. They are connected to a sensor that can detect light, including when the screen blinks red with a certain frequency to indicate virtual death. The charge is then activated, immediately destroying the user’s brain

Lucky, who has an estimated net worth of $1.4 billion, claims the device is still in development and has so far developed only half of what kills you. “The other half of the equation for a perfect virtual reality device takes many more years,” he says.

Luckey also called NerveGear “part of the art” and “a reminder that causes reflection on unexplored roads in the design of the game.”

“It’s also, as far as I know, the first non-fiction example of a virtual reality device that can actually kill a user,” he adds. “It won’t be the last.”

Lucky, a video game enthusiast and now owner of defense contractor Anduril Industries, founded Oculus when he was just 15, working on prototypes in his parents’ garage.

He began developing virtual reality glasses placed on his head when he was in school, and was in college when he created the first prototype virtual reality headset at the cost of consumers called Oculus Rift, although he eventually went to work on the full-time project.

Luckey left Meta (then known as Facebook) in 2017, three years after Oculus was taken over by Zuckerberg’s company.


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