In late December of 2017, a Moscow resident suffered fatal wounds after playing in virtual reality (VR). According to reports, the man tripped and crashed into a glass table, suffering fatal wounds and dying there due to loss of blood. As far as we are aware of, this is the first ever VR-related death recorded.
This comes over three years after Denny Unger, of Cloudhead Games, predicted that the first VR death will come from horror games: “When the commercial version comes out, somebody is going to scare somebody to death – somebody with a heart condition or something like that. It is going to happen. Absolutely.”
News like this always coincides with the development of new technologies, and mainstream VR is no exception. A variety of ‘firsts’ have been achieved over the last few years, shouted by companies to differentiate themselves from an ever-changing market. They are inevitable, and are markers of progress.
In my overview The State of VR in 2017, I argued that we are in the ‘wild west’ of VR development, where developers are given the freedom to develop many kinds of technologies buoyed by interested investors. This is still true – across healthcare, marketing, videogames, retail, education and more, new developers are cropping up to throw their cyber hat into the ring.