The virtual reality machine was a machine created by Dr. Bruce Tinner. It was a revolutionary breakthrough in virtual reality and artificial intelligence, but several inherent problems and the lack of integrity on the creator's part led to the machine's downfall.
Tinner was already working on his virtual reality machine when he was in ETH Zürich. According to Rudyard Shelton, a fellow classmate, Tinner enjoyed virtual reality more than the real world, and had few friends.
Tinner got a job at Pelvanida some time after college, and around 2008 finally finished his machine. It required the users to connect themselves via neural outputs, which would drop them into a state of REM sleep. The lucid dreaming was a vital part in making the virtual reality seem realistic to the the user.
About a year before the terrorist incident, Dr. Ian Branston cleared a testing team to enter the machine to see if the machine could be cleared for mainstream military use. The setting Tinner used was a virtual Pelvanida with several AI based on real personnel.
However, the testing team learned that the machine induced headaches in its users after several hours of use. To hide this, Tinner had included a memory-erasing subroutine which wiped the patient's memory of the negative aspects of the virtual reality. Despite this programming, Rudyard Shelton was able to survive the simulation and erase the subroutine, and subsequently failed the machine. (Schrodinger's Prisoners)
While the machine had not been cleared for mainstream military use, Tinner found that Dragonstorm was less strict about its safety policies. With their support, he continued to work on his machine.
By the time of the evacuation of Lab 101 and the establishing of a Dragonstorm forest base, Tinner had built his machine into a broadcaster that could project virtual reality into the real world, visible to anyone who had a chip installed. He planned to use this to hide Dragonstorm completely from the public eye. However, one of his assistants, Eddie McKay went rogue and sabotaged the machine. Tinner managed to fix the damage, but was driven off by Eddie, Shelton, and Yuri Kerzach. With the help of one of the AI, Eddie destroyed the machine. (Nietzsche's Soldiers)