Japan has always brought us some of the best pop culture consumables. Of course, by that I mean video games, TV shows, and clearly anime. One of the most popular anime at the moment involved gamers playing an MMO trapped in a virtual reality setting until they can defeat the final boss. Of course, if they die in the game, they die for real. In a move clearly designed to create international hype, IBM Japan is working on Sword Art Online VR MMO.
Yes, you read that right – soon (well, more like in a few years), we’ll have a virtual reality MMO game based on Sword Art Online. While other games based on the popular anime were released before, they were nowhere near the ambitious project planned by IBM.
Currently, the company is accepting applications from users wishing to play the current build of the game in Tokyo, during a special even taking place from March 18th to March 20th. From all the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of applicants the company will receive, they will only select 208 to actually participate.
But it gets even better. Aside from getting to play the virtual reality MMO along with 207 other randomly selected participants, the winners will be scanned, so as to play as digital versions of themselves. It couldn’t really get any more anime than this.
The winners will be participating in an alpha test meant to showcase IBM’s Cognitive Computing capabilities in the world of gaming. Seeing as the game will only be in its alpha stage, and as MMO are generally more riddled with bugs than a cheap New Jersey apartment for rent, the lucky winners might actually not get that much time to actually spend in-game.
Of course, the parallels between the premise of Sword Art Online and the situation at hand are immediately noticeable. For one, in the SOA universe, some random players are stuck in the game because the crazy designer decided they couldn’t get out unless they defeated the game.
Otherwise, if they fail to do that, or they just die during the game, the players will also die in the real world. This has led to a great number of jokes made at the expense of those who end up being the lucky winners, mostly by fans certain they won’t be winning the random lottery.
Until then, we can only wait and see if the 208 winners will have to beat the game in order to get out of the virtual reality, as well as to see if the game will actually be any good.
Image source: YouTube