Inspired by Sword Art Online, this VR headset can literally kill you…

The concept of locking players into a game in one way or another and making in-game death a real death has been popular for decades. Tron immediately comes to mind for moviegoers and older people. And since then it has been adopted in many forms. But whether you like Sword Art Online or not, it’s hard to deny that this Japanese work has had a huge impact on the scene, so much so that it’s the example that immediately comes to mind when you think of the video game. fatal.

Promotion of VR in SAO and anime

The web novel behind Sword Art Online (SAO) is nearly two decades old, and the anime celebrated its tenth birthday this year. What makes SAO special is probably that it came at exactly the right time. With good direction, the MMO wave of popularity came to an end when anime really started to hit a wider audience. It was also one of the first to respond to the growing demand for the Isekai genre, which we still get sick of with every new anime season. Ironically, there is some debate as to whether or not he is actually an Isekai. The anime has four seasons and a movie since then, as well as lots of merchandise, including video games as of this writing. It has also contributed to a resurgence of interest in VR headsets, to the point of making Japan the second largest market for Oculus.

Going back to its history, SAO players are equipped with NerveGear neural connection headsets, which work quite differently from current virtual reality headsets. The author of SAO could have hoped that the technology would be mature enough in 20 years, but he obviously overestimated the speed of its development. Instead of displaying a screen in front of the player’s eyes, these headsets use different types of waves to communicate directly with the brain, allowing him to truly feel complete freedom and fully alive in the game with all his senses. It’s an absolute fantasy for all gamers, especially those who are into VR. Of course, this requires some drama, and the local mad scientist who developed this headset quickly reveals to players that they can’t disconnect, and that if they die in-game, the headset will emit electricity and microwaves. it will fry their brains. The same applies if someone tries to remove the helmet or cut the power for a long time.

NerveGear in SAO - Millennium
NerveGear in SAO

More information about the deadly VR headset

As he hilariously points out Palmer Luckey on his blog, the good news is that technology is halfway to replicating this fantastic technology, because the part that will kill you in the real world is ready. Palmer admits that he couldn’t immediately hide the lethal microwave emitters in his helmet, but for lack of anything better, he reverted to the tried and true method: 3 explosive charges are attached to the front of the helmet, is connected to a photosensitive receiver that detects when the player’s screen is displayed on the screen, causing the charges and therefore the loser’s head to explode. He is pleased that it was very easy to put together in terms of development.

He is now working to improve the system, include a safety system, make sure the helmet cannot be destroyed like the original NerveGear or removed to save the player. However, he admits he didn’t have the courage to test the helmet to make sure everything was working properly. However, he is happy to create the first real VR device capable of killing the user. Where things take a darker turn, worthy of the Black Mirror episode, is the fear that this won’t be the last VR headset of its kind, and that reality might join fiction.

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