You’ve all heard the tired cyberpunk trope – “if you die in the game/The Matrix/the simulation, you die in real life.” It’s an engrossing idea that turns harmless video games into avenues for wanton murder and crazy deaths. But what if some crazy, untethered to reality ultra rich man-child decided to make it real? Enter Oculus founder and the most unfortunate Time cover subject, Palmer Luckey.
Two days ago, the CEO posted what could be the most batshit crazy blog post to his personal site, revealing to the world that he’s working on a virtual reality head-mounded display (HMD) that will atomize your brain with explosive charges if you’re killed in whatever game you’re playing. Yes, you read that right. Small explosive charges that demolish your brain.
But that’s all he’s figured out. While the device is currently just a killing machine that admittedly sounds metal as fuck, Luckey wrote that he still hasn’t figured out how the “perfect VR half of the equation” will be solved and thinks it could be years away.
Palmer said he got the idea because he’s a big fan of Sword Art Online, an anime in which — you guessed it — people are forced to play an online multiplayer game where a death in the game means you’re worm food in real life.
If you can read that bit and not recoil in just how insane that sounds, maybe seek help? Luckey said he thinks the headset will be activated in the same way that the Sword Art Online one does, which is to say that it will rely on a special relay of flashes tied to a game over screen. That’s another part that he hasn’t quite figured out as well, since having the headset prematurely sounds like a negative play experience, if you ask me.
He wrote that the device will have an anti-tamper system to make it so people can’t disable the explosives.
While he said the final product is years away, Palmer said the prototype is sitting in his office, reminding him of the possibilities of endless virtual murder.