Virtual Reality Chat Room Stunned as Robot Has Seizure

'There was nothing we could do'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2018 6:31 PM CST

It was business as usual in the virtual reality chat room until the robot had a seizure. The Verge reports the unnerving incident happened Wednesday on VRChat, where users in the forms of avatars can interact with each other. According to the Daily Dot, "Morty, Sonic, Knuckles, a dude in a diaper, and a trippy Wendy" were interacting when a robot fell to the ground and started shaking. At first, other users appeared unsure whether the twitching robot was some sort of glitch or prank, Motherboard reports. But a recording of the incident by YouTube user Rogue Shadow VR shows most of the users gradually realizing the user behind the robot, who was apparently utilizing full-body tracking, was having a genuine medical emergency. Audio picked up the user struggling to breathe.

"There was nothing we could do,” Rogue Shadow VR says. “We didn’t even know what part of the planet this person lived on.” Video of the chat shows avatars gathering around the robot while asking if he's OK and what they should do. When the robot becomes responsive—the user has since recovered—other users implore him to "be safe" and call for help. Motherboard notes the compassion on display was surprising as VRChat is "kind of a shithole, where users harass each other and scream about incoherent, often racist memes." “It was definitely interesting to see the way people could come together and show concern for somebody they don’t know," Rogue Shadow VR says. While it's unclear what caused the seizure, VR companies warn users to take regular breaks and consult a doctor if they have medical issues. (Read more virtual reality stories.)

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