Sword Art Online: IBM Japan Announces Virtual Reality Game Based on Story Where Gamers Die

February 22, 2016 Updated: October 5, 2018

IBM Japan announced “Sword Art Online: The Beginning,” an online virtual reality project based on the light novels by Reki Kawahara that sold millions of copies and spurred production of multiple manga and anime series.

The only caveat? In the novels the characters are trapped in a virtual reality world where thousands of people eventually die.

IBM Japan wants to create a virtual reality world that would be controlled by players moving around, instead of using controllers. The virtual avatars will also be created by 3D scanning the actual players.

That is all just like in the Kawahara’s novels. Only in the story the players lose the ability to exit the game and face the harsh reality of either their real bodies starving and atrophying to death or the game’s headset frying their brains if their life points reach zero in the game.

The IBM project’s description on its website doesn’t mention anything about incorporating any such dangerous elements.

Until March 4, IBM Japan accepts applications for a prototype test run. 208 people will be selected by a lottery, according to crunchroll.com.


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