As with any societal or technological advancement, the fear of death by virtual reality in any form is a real thing. While there are specifics safety precautions that users need to take when wearing a VR headset, worries continue for those among our species who neglect to read such things. Now, one of the first major deaths due to virtual reality gaming is being reported out of Russia, according to a news agency known as TASS. Warning for a momentarily gory description ahead.
According to the report, a 44-year-old Moscow resident tripped and fell into a glass table while wearing the headset. Yulia Ivanova, Senior Assistant to the Head of the Russian Investigative Committee’s Main Moscow Department, explained the situation to TASS without much further detail. "According to preliminary information, while moving around the apartment in virtual reality glasses, the man tripped and crashed into a glass table, suffered wounds and died on the spot from a loss of blood."
There are no available specifics on what kind of headset the man was wearing, but what's for sure is that it's important to keep a play space open and safe when gaming in VR. Most devices instruct players to have at least 3 feet cleared around them at most times, but sometimes more for games that are made to use the entire room space. 'Room-scale' VR games usually require about 9 feet of open space in every direction, meaning that any furniture in the room should be cleared out or pushed to the walls.
Likely one of the first VR-related deaths on record, this bit of news first popped up on Reddit, and serves as something of a cautionary tale as we enter the age of AAA virtual reality titles. Make sure to stay safe and use common sense when you enter your next VR session.