Virtual Reality

What is NerveGear in “Sword Art Online?”

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Sword Art Online, Sword Art Online II, Sword Art Online – Alicizationand Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of the Underworld.

Imagine having access to a futuristic technological device that could make you feel like you are living inside a video game, your senses of touch, hearing, sight, smell and taste remaining too. vivid than in the real world. It would be like stepping into an alternate reality, perhaps even preferable to this one, depending on his design. Sounds awesome, right? And yet, this technological “gift” ends up harming the 10,000 virtual reality game players Sword Art Onlinewho become literal hostages to the NerveGear breakthrough developed by Akihiko Kayaba, the sociopathic gamemaster behind the whole atrocity.

Although we only see it appear in a few of the Sword Art Online‘s, NerveGear is the device that is at the heart and center of the woes of kidnapped gamers. So what is this annoying device, how does it work and what is its history in the world of Sword Art Online?

The story of Sword Art Onlineby Nerve Gear

NerveGear in Sword Art Online
Picture via Crunchyroll

In the world of Sword Art Online (with the story set in an alternate version of present-day Japan), technology has advanced at a faster rate than in real life, giving rise to a compelling virtual reality system by 2022. Invented by Sword Art Onlinefrom villainous gamemaster Akihiko Kayaba and distributed by his company, Argus, NerveGear is the first breakthrough technology that makes this possible.

As the world’s first VRMMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Virtual Reality) and Kayaba’s 2nd generation FullDive machine (the act of connecting to a virtual reality), Sword Art OnlineThe NerveGear from is an advanced virtual reality headset designed to connect the brain of a video game player to a virtual world. In other words, it provides a realistic experience of life in the fake game world, while shutting down the brain’s awareness of the real world in the meantime.

In Sword Art OnlineIn the first episode of NerveGear, we are introduced to NerveGear as the protagonist Kirito prepares to enter the newly released game. As shown in the episode, it is a streamlined gray helmet, fitted with a blue retractable visor, with his name written on the front. It has an internal battery (constituting 30% of its weight) as well as internal memory to store game-related data. The port on the side allows gamers to plug in a wire to recharge the battery or extend online sessions. The three LED indicators on the front indicate the status of power, network connection and brain interface. (If the last indicated light turns red, it means that the user’s brain is no longer operational, a tragedy that occurs for many players in Sword Art Online.)

The explanation of how NerveGear provides a virtual reality experience for gamers Sword Art Online is quite simple. Its high-density microwave transceivers are able to access the user’s brain, thereby sending false signals to their five senses. They can also block all brain-to-body movement commands (preventing the player from moving their body in FullDive, preventing possible injury) as well as body-to-brain sensory input, effectively cutting off the player from the real world. .

As the victims of Sword Art OnlineIn NerveGear’s Death Game, NerveGear’s high-powered microwaves can be used to fry a player’s brain, ending their life in the real world. (Akihiko Kayaba programmed the game’s operating system to do this once a player’s “hit points” drop to zero.) They can also figure out what a user’s face looks like. is why the players of Sword Art Online appear in their real forms during the survival game.

To use NerveGear in Sword Art OnlineFirst, the game console should be placed above the player’s head, and the Ethernet cable connected to it should be plugged into the wall. Next, the user should lie down in a safe and comfortable position and activate the console by saying the words “Link Start”. After that, the device will start loading the inserted game and the PWR, WAN and BLK indicators will appear solid or flashing.

The fate of Sword Art Onlineby Nerve Gear

Asuna wearing the NerveGear in Sword Art Online
Picture via Crunchyroll

In the story, after the Sword Art Online debacle, Argus stops producing NerveGear, and the Japanese government seizes and disposes of the remaining devices. Subsequently, most VR gamers switch to using its successor, known as AmuSphere, a 2nd generation FullDive console with relatively minimal transceivers. This new virtual reality device is powerful enough to prevent players from harming themselves during gameplay, while not completely cutting off their sensory input to the real world.

However, some NerveGear still exist. During the second half of Sword Art Onlinefirst season, Kirito uses the device to find Asuna in ALfheim online, likely going through the traumatic experience of using a NerveGear rather than an AmuSphere due to time and money constraints. (He is able to keep his device after a successful negotiation with Kikuoka Seijirou, a high government official.) Gabriel Miller, an antagonist who later appears in the Sword Art Online series, is also shown to own one.

Although NerveGear is no longer common in the world of Sword Art Onlinethe revolutionary invention leads to the birth of new FullDive virtual reality consoles, such as the AmuSphere, Meducoid, Soul Translator and Brain Implant Chip.

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