In what is either one of the best or one of the worst ideas to pop up in the gaming world in quite some time, it looks like we’ll be getting a VR title based on the popular anime series Sword Art Online from IBM. Dear IBM, did you actually watch the show?!

For the uninitiated, Sword Art Online is a popular anime series from a few years back that utilizes the trope of players getting stuck inside of a video game. The players wear these devices that basically make the game world a perceived reality, so the hardware is quite a bit more sophisticated than where we’re at with the Oculus Rift, the PlayStation VR or HTC Vive.

But here’s the catch: If you die in the game, you die in real life. The plucky cast of characters are tasked with uniting to beat the MMO world within the game or die trying. That’s the only way the game’s captives will ever be safely released.

And with that in mind, IBM plans to tempt fate with a VR game set in the Sword Art Online universe. Cool. Yeah, absolutely nothing could go wrong here.



The folks over at Gematsu picked up on this story from IBM Japan, who have titled the project, Sword Art Online: The Beginning.

What will really set SAO apart from the pack is how you control the game. You won’t do it simply by thinking, like in the show, but you won’t use a traditional controller, either. Instead, your body movements will determine how your character behaves, so you’ll actually need to flail your arm around if you want to attack a monster within the game. Great news for folks who like total emersion and terrible news for lamps, cats and small children who just want to know what daddy is playing and edge a bit too close while he’s trying to pulverize a boss.

Even if you couldn’t read most of the words in that trailer, you probably caught the terms “Cognitive System” and “SoftLayer.” The former is a “next-generation computing system” that supports decision-making, while the latter is IBM’s cloud system that will be utilized to create the game’s world.

Okay, I was kind of joking earlier on when mentioning the show’s plot and all, but this sounds an awful lot like an origin story for something that actually leads to a Sword Art-esque game in another decade or so. Maybe that’s why they’re calling it The Beginning, yeah?

All I know is, this sounds kind of neat and all, but maybe we’re playing with fire. If this game comes out and a bunch of folks have to beat IBM’s game before it kills them, I’ll be the guy shouting “See! I told you this would happen! I TOLD you!”

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