The inventor of the Oculus Rift says he has created a VR headset that will blow people’s minds, literally.

Palmer Luckey has built a custom VR headset he claims will kill the user in real life if they die in the video game. The device is based on the popular anime and novel series Sword Art Online. In that series, players are trapped in an immersive VR combat simulator where if they are killed in the game, they die in the real world.

For Luckey’s version of the concept, his custom built VR headset is rigged with charges that will explode if the user triggers an “appropriate ‘game over’ screen,” effectively destroying their brain.

The inventor said while he has figured out how to make the headset kill the user, solving the perfect VR-half of the equation is still many years out. Of course, the deadly device is not available for sale.

“At this point, it is just a piece of office art, a thought-provoking reminder of unexplored avenues in game design,” Luckey said. “It is also, as far as I know, the first non-fiction example of a VR device that can actually kill the user. It won’t be the last.”

The creator said he wants to keep tinkering with the technology, mentioning the idea of an anti-tampering feature that would prevent the headset from being removed or destroyed once it is placed on the user’s head.

Luckey said he has not tried on the headset himself.

This segment aired on 5 Live on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.