Facebook’s booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week drew attention for the wrong reasons.
The company’s booth at the show, which included talks from Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association, featured several Oculus Rift demo kiosks with a selection of experiences on offer. Among these was Bullet Train, a short demo from Robo Recall developer Epic Games in which players engage in a cinematic shootout with an army of soldiers inside a train station. The piece has made regular appearances at events over the past few years.
However, given that the show was taking place just a week after the tragic mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, many deemed Bullet Train’s presence as inappropriate and backlash quickly followed on social media platforms.
Zuckerberg: “We want to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
Facebook marketing: “Okay, let’s sponsor the hateful kooks at CPAC, put our logo next to the NRA’s and install an Oculus shoot’em up in our booth.”
— Justin Hendrix (@justinhendrix) February 23, 2018
As a result, Facebook pulled the demo from the show and VP of VR Hugo Barra issued the following statement:
There is a standard set of experiences included in the Oculus demos we feature at public events. A few of the action games can include violence. In light of the recent events in Florida and out of respect for the victims and their families, we have removed them from this demo. We regret that we failed to do so in the first place.
Late last year UploadVR’s senior editor, Ian Hamilton, wrote about the dangers of VR games in which you shoot virtual humans.