I’ll happily admit it, I think virtual reality is a gimmick and a joke – and the thought of spending time inside the Metaverse is giving me the creeps… Sure, a proper “holodeck” would be incredible, but we’re decades away from anything even remotely close to that, instead we’re offered graphics straight out of the original “The Sims” (anno 2000). If you don’t believe me, then read the new review by The Verge of Meta’s latest headset.
Just as I thought the current state of VR couldn’t get much worse, along comes a headline from Insider. It seems the original founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey, created a headset that will kill you if you die in the game. An obvious weirdo –
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No really, surely the definition of weirdo would include someone willing to die in real life if loosing in a buggy VR game!
Facebook fired Palmer Luckey from Oculus back in March 2017, under somewhat murky circumstances, what Mark Zuckerberg described as “it was not because of a political view” – although he later received a payout from Facebook of at least $100 million.
Anyway, back to the stuff nightmares are made of… Mr. Luckey started yet another VR company after being fired by Facebook, and in a blog post named “If you die in the game, you die in real life” he brags about having created the lethal headset.
He writes: “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. […] The good news is that we are halfway to making a true NerveGear The bad news is that so far, I have only figured out the half that kills you. The perfect-VR half of the equation is still many years out.”
Luckey says he created the suicide machine by attaching three explosive charge modules attached to a narrow-band photosensor that can detect when the screen flashes red at a specific frequency. If the screen flashes red, ka-boom! (Or, as he puts it: “instantly destroying the brain of the user”.)
He goes on to tell his readers he has “plans for an anti-tamper mechanism that […] will make it impossible to remove or destroy the headset.” His sign-off is comforting, at least:
“See you in the metaverse.”
No, Palmer, no you won’t!