The man behind Sword Art Online, Accel World, and the infamous “Chapter 16.5”, Reki Kawahara, has visited Los Angeles, California for Anime Expo 2014, and during the event, he got to try out what is considered to be the Nerve Gear’s real life counterpart, the Oculus Rift.
Sure, the Oculus Rift may not fry the player’s brain once they die in the game just like the Nerve Gear, but it is considered a huge step into the future that Kawahara has envisioned in his novels, Sword Art Online and Accel World. Kawahara was invited to Anime Expo 2014 for an autograph session as well as to promote the new Sword Art Online II anime.
During the event, VR Oculus, which developed the Oculus Rift, gave the fans a taste of what it feels like to actually be in the world of Sword Art Online as part of a new collaboration. The lucky few (including Kawahara himself) made their “Link Start!” and met with a sleeping Asuna before taking on the Gleam Eyes.
The collaboration between Oculus Rift and Sword Art Online came about not only because of the similarities between SAO and “the Rift”, but also because VR Oculus founder and Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey is a huge SAO fan and because of this, he approached Kadokawa to pitch his collaboration idea.
Anime Expo 2014 also held several SAO events including the screening of the new Sword Art Online II’s premiere episode as well as the new SAO bus which roamed Los Angeles to promote the anime.
And yes, there were plenty of Kirito and Asuna cosplayers during the event as well, including a very cute baby Kirito. Awwwww. Kirito, Kirito everywhere!
Source: Dengeki Online