Dying playing VR video games, has the creator of the Oculus gone crazy?

Palmer Luckey’s life changed completely when he invented the Oculus Rift. The virtual reality helmet began as a Kickstarter project that quickly fell in love with all those technology lovers who had wanted something like this for decades, until it became what it is today. But Luckey wants more, and for that he is willing to break the rules. Wait, what rules?

What if a video game is capable of killing you?

The game Richie’s Plank Experience is a virtual reality classic. There is no one who does not have a VR viewer who does not show their friends and family the experience for a laugh. The game proposes the following situation: you have to lean over the edge of a skyscraper and walk along a board. The experience is so real that there are people who completely lose their perception of reality, and in addition to suffering from vertigo, they end up falling in panic or believing that they are going to crash into the ground. But what if you really crashed to the ground and died? Would you buy a PlayStation VR 2 if you knew you could actually die playing Call of Duty?

That delicate and sick question is what Palmer Luckey has been asking himself in recent months. It all begins with a curious anecdote. When Palmer was designing the Oculus MK1 and launched the project on Kickstarter, thousands of users (especially Japanese) asked him if I knew the novel Sword Art Online. Said tells the story where a video game VRMMORPG (virtual reality massively multiplayer online game) has players trapped after its creator announced that if they die in the virtual world they will die in the real world. And the most curious thing is that the novel takes place in the year 2022.

This premise is what has aroused Luckey’s curiosity, who has realized that for virtual reality to be real, you also have to feel it. But dying? His reasoning is that she should be able to communicate pain, and that’s what he’s working on right now. The problem? That for now she has only managed to reach the most negative side of the idea: she only manages to kill the user who wears the glasses.

To feel okay, to die is to spend

The development of systems related to virtual reality has had many attempts to bring sensations to the user, especially all those related to haptic responses. Vibration vests are a clear example, as they allow you to mimic the impact of bullets on the chest with vibrations.

But Palmer Luckey wants something more. More real. Apparently it is working with children to directly attack the user, something that seems insane to us, everything is said. But the most serious of all this would be the level of trust that we should place in the device, since we would not like to imagine a bug that causes physical damage to the user or, to top it off, death. What if a hacker could set off the explosives remotely?

At least Palmer still hasn’t completely lost his mind. In his blog he assures that he knows perfectly well the limitations of the system and not even he himself is capable of testing the helmet for obvious reasons. His ideal would be that a “high intelligence agent” (we imagine that it refers to an AI), could determine with certainty if the conditions are met for the system to act correctly. Putting our lives in the hands of an AI! What a future awaits us. And you, would you try glasses that would be capable of harming you?

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