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This VR headset explodes if you die in-game

Why does this exist?

palmer luckey's exploding vr headset next to sword
Image: Palmer Luckey

A virtual reality (VR) headset has been created that kills you in real life if you die in-game.

Once only available in the fevered dreams of science fiction writers, the lethal headset is now a physical thing.

The creator says that the “half that kills you” is working, while he hasn’t figured out the “perfect-VR half of the equation.”

Oh, the creator? None other than VR wunderkind, Palmer Luckey. Yes, that Palmer Luckey, the one who co-founded Oculus, the VR hardware company now owned by Meta.

The sci-fi trope headset is supposedly “a piece of office art” with Luckey saying he hasn’t “worked up the balls to actually use it [himself].”

He even plans to make it tamper-resistant, so it will kill the user if someone tries to remove the headset.

That admission does beg the question: under what situation would he (or anyone) willingly use the lethal headset?

Anime inspired this lethal VR headset

See, maybe Luckey’s creation of this abominable headset makes sense to him.

The inspiration for the device came from Sword Art Online (SAO), a 2000’s webcomic that turned into an anime, and then multiple video games, including a VR demo.

That last game demo is important because the whole plot of SAO hinges on a VR headset. In it, the creator of the SAO game in the webcomic also creates the NerveGear, a VR headset to play the game with.

The game gets through the beta stages, and thousands of players buy the hardware. Then, the creator locks them into the virtual world.

The headset has a superpowered microwave that can kill the user if they either die in game or try to take the headset off.

The popularity of SAO helped Oculus, especially in the Japanese market. Maybe Luckey created this headset as an homage to the series that helped his own non-lethal VR headset. Or, perhaps he’s just a loon.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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