Not all heroes wear capes. Not all heroes wear shoes either.
Clad in his trademark floral shirt and flip flops, Palmer Luckey is the co-founder of Oculus. His company went from Kickstarter darling in 2012, to a $2 billion buyout in 2014, to shipping the first consumer Rift in 2016. In this industry, Luckey is almost universally hailed as one of the main reasons VR was able to become the global sensation it is today. He is also, however, a huge dork.
There’s nothing wrong with being a dork, especially in Silicon Valley. He can count himself among the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and other dorks who changed the world. Some may even say that writing for a VR news site makes you a dork. Being a dork is a badge of honor around these parts, and Luckey wears his with pride. This has made him a charismatic figure in the industry. It has also made him really, really funny to watch at video game conventions.
Luckey recently attended the Tokyo Game Show and many of his antics there were caught on tape. We’ve collected some of the best below.
Palmer Rides The Wave
Look at this man. Look at the serenity and delight upon his face. Look at that smile. Look at those cargo shorts. It doesn’t get more ‘Palmer’ than this people.
Here Luckey is strapped onto the FutureTown 5D Totalmotion — an immersion-increasing accessory for VR that helps users feel experiences in unique ways. The motions of the waves you can glimpse on screen would be translated by the platform at Luckey’s feet and converted into haptic feedback that makes the demo feel even more real.
I like to think, however, that the machine itself isn’t even turned on and that’s just how Palmer always moves when he puts on a headset.
Palmer Lives His Dream
For those of you who do not know, Palmer Luckey likes anime. Like, a lot.
I don’t mean he watched Dragon Ball Z on Toonami after school like most of you filthy casuals. I mean he can probably tell you almost all of the character’s names on Bleach (no small feat I assure you), or recite Kamina’s inspirational speeches from Tengen Toppa Gurren Laganm (in Japanese).
Suffice it to say, Palmer loves Japan. It was therefore probably quite a thrill for him to step into Space Station 5 VR (from AU KDDI and Sega) and realize he would be able to take a small part of the culture he so appreciates home with him.
A man like Luckey almost certainly has more than a few friends in Japan and you can see his delight upon realizing that the immersive-social interaction of Space Station would allow him to stay in touch with them overseas.
Sniff. It’s enough to soften the heart of even the most hardened Shinobi. Enjoy yourself Palmer-kun.
Palmer Loses His Mind
Last, but certainly not least, we have proof that even the inventors of modern VR are not immune from its ability to be absolutely terrifying.
As you can see above Palmer is somewhat perturbed by what his headset is showing him. In classic Palmer fashion, however, he remains understated and subdued the entire time.
Luckey devolves into unashamed screams and gyrations of fear as the experience progresses. He’s rich, he’s famous, and he is the most notable name in the tech world’s hottest new industry; but, despite all that, he never tries to hide how he feels or who he is.
And who he is is just an absolute dork. We wouldn’t have it any other way.