Virtual Reality Death Simulator Lets You Experience What Happens When You Die
A new virtual reality simulator lets you see what happens when a person dies.
The artist Shaun Gladwell created the after-death experience in virtual reality. The experience is titled “Passing Electrical Storms” and provides a VR simulation of the process of dying, right from cardiac arrest to brain death, and what happens afterward.
The virtual reality death simulator is currently being displayed at the Melbourne Now art exhibition in Australia.
In the experience, the user lies on a virtual death bed with their VR headset strapped on their head. They are connected to a heart rate monitor that stands close by.
The VR experience replicates the sensations of cardiac arrest. The experience features an attempt to resuscitate the person as well as an instance where the person undergoes an out-of-body experience.
According to TikToker Marcus Crook who tried it out, once you lay on the virtual bed, your finger is put on a heart rate monitor and you are instructed to raise your hand in case “you’ve had enough of it or want to quit.”
As you lay on the bed, the bed will vibrate and you will flatline. You will see doctors come on top of you and you are able to see yourself through the VR headset as the doctors try to resuscitate you. The resuscitation doesn’t work and you will see yourself go through the out-of-body experience where you float past the doctors and keep going.
Crook said the VR experience inspired him to think about the afterlife although he admits he understood why this might cause panic in others as the experience is borderline realistic. Some of the commenters wondered whether the experience can be used on those suffering from health anxieties to help “desensitize them to the fear of death.”
This is not the first “out-of-body” virtual reality experience. In 2017, Dutch designer Frank Kolkman created a VR near-death experience via an elaborate machine. It featured a robot equipped with cameras that slowly moved away from the back of the test subjects on rails. The test subject wore a virtual reality headset where the robot’s camera view was embedded in a virtual reality experience and featuring spatial audio. The setup aimed to simulate the experience of someone sliding out of their body, the out-of-body experience.
Isness-D is another virtual reality out-of-body experience developed by David Glowacki who went through a similar experience. His VR near-death experience wad developed to recreate the feeling of transcendence. A study found that his VR near-death experience was comparable to LSD or psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient found in magic mushrooms.