When you find out the enigmatic 24 -year-old who built one of the first commercially viable virtual reality headsets also funds a pro-Trump political action groupaimed at spreading anti-Hillary Clinton memes, you are able feel like your worldview has shifted a bit.
At least that was the response of scores of virtual reality fans, some of whom had followed Oculus founder Palmer Luckey since he posted the Oculus Rift development kit on Kickstarter in 2012. Luckey is a key figure in the growth of virtual reality. Before the headset maker was purchased by Facebook in 2014 for$ 2 billion, he was outspoken and heavily involved on VR forums, the Oculus subreddit and across social media seemingly rarely with much of a filter. As the Facebook acquisition finalise and the Rift neared final commercial release, that did change some, but Luckey was always a force-out online.
It was that Oculus subreddit where early adopters generally conveyed disgust in Luckey’s recent actions. While the post was originally taken down because of its political nature, the news had nearly 2,500 comments.
“I simply can’t respect anyone who guesses memes and internet smearing is a constructive type of political discourse, especially someone in Palmer’s position who is evidently utilizing his fund to back this kind of horseshit, ” wrote Reddit user wfunction . “It’s not his politics that bother me so much as it is his willingness to set fund behind one of the worst things about our culture right now. Of all the causes you could put your fund behind … Jesus.”
“The worst portion is that I bought into VR and Oculus bc it has the potential to change how people view the world, ” wrote rlg. “It’s an empathy headset.You can literally walk in someone else’s shoes, find the horrors of war up close, meet people around the world and understand them more viscerally.”
There is likewise plenty who weren’t entirely surprised by Luckey’s political allegiances.
“Not shocked by this. Considering that he is right leaning and homeschooled, it would almost be a astound if he was not a Trump supporter, ” said metalsludge .
There is likewise plenty of people willing to use this time to publicly switch virtual reality headset allegiances, from Oculus to the HTC Vive.( Though, as we all know, tweeting you’re going to buy something isn’t the same as spending the $800 to do so .)
I’m really disappointed in Palmer Luckey. There were a lot of positive things he could’ve with his facebucks, instead of trolling.
Andy Sherwood (@ xinmyname) September 23, 2016
Palmer luckey funds pro Trump campaign. Everyone should get HTC vive and stay away from oculus.
wasifkt (@ wasifkt) September 23, 2016
So far, Luckey himself , nor any of the rest of Oculus leadership, have tweeted anything in response.