Oculus Creator Made A Game That Really Kills You If You Lose

Oculus creator Palmer Lucky created a virtual reality headset that would send deadly blasts to your brain, killing you when the game is lost.

By Jason Collins | Published

It’s interesting to think just how many things from science fiction have become our everyday reality. We have android phones with touchscreens, space traveling programs, flying cars, military droids, and now, VR headsets that can actually kill you if you die in-game. This not-so-interesting piece of tech is the brainchild of Palmer Lucky, the original creator of Oculus VR, who’s now working on national defense tech ever since he parted ways with Oculus.

Oculus
The Oculus Rift

It should be noted that we’d like to ask the good engineers at Sony to leave out any user-killing features in their upcoming PSVR 2. According to Gizmodo, Palmer recently dropped a post on his blog, presenting the world with a sci-fi-diehard’s wet dream — a VR headset that kills the user if their avatar dies in-game. Palmer claims that the new tech piece from his workshop doubles as nothing more than an overly expensive paperweight and a piece of office art.

Palmer also explained that the device works on the simplest yet most elegant solutions he could think of, considering that the Oculus’ killer cousin is still in its conceptual phase — and it should arguably stay there. According to Palmer, the device is a real blast — pun fully intended — if it works just like any other VR headset. However, it’s also equipped with a narrow-band photosensor that detects red screen flashes at certain frequencies, signaling that the game is over.

Alas, when the game displays the “Game Over” message, the game is really over for the gamer, and no amount of quick-loading could prevent the situation from blowing out of proportion. Once the photosensor detects the “Game Over” message, it triggers three explosive charge modules, which instantly destroy the user’s brain. So, in other words, Palmer basically brought the plots of numerous works of science fiction to life.

The most notable of these is Sword Art Online, and the Oculus mastermind admitted to drawing massive inspiration from the webcomic. He also added that the threat of serious consequences (read: death!) could force gamers to rethink how they interact with virtual environments. These options would also render any accessibility options, such as God of War’s new mid-boss checkpoint options, obsolete.

The idea sounds interesting, at least on screen and paper, but we can all argue that the pleasure of gaming is actually derived from being able to experience death-defying adventures while being safe and sound behind the controller. Still, if there’s a product, there’s a market for it, and there are individuals who would likely try this headset out — we can only imagine that the initial reviews would declare the new headset a “true blast.” Palmer additionally plans to add an anti-tampering mechanism, which would make it impossible to remove or disable the Oculus-version-murder without killing the user wearing it.

However, he also stated that there is a huge variety of factors that could trigger the Oculus like helmet at the wrong time, so he’s convinced that the final triggering should be tied to an agent that could determine whether the user should be wiped (off the walls probably), or not. At this time, the etch is a thought-provoking reminder of unexplored avenues in game design and quite an explosive product.