Facebook has pulled a demo of Oculus Rift’s VR shooter “Bullet Train” from the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland amid concerns over gun violence, Variety reported Saturday morning. It doesn’t appear to have been Bullet Train’s violent content that prompted the withdrawal per se, but rather that CPAC draws lots of gun rights advocates right at the same time those same National Rifle Association types are drawing a massive wave of criticism in the wake of another school massacre in Parkland, Florida this month.
A number of companies have cut ties with the NRA, like software firm Symantec, which decided to pull discounts for the pro-gun group’s members this week. A running New York Times tally of others to do so includes banks, airlines, automotive rentals and services, insurance companies, and a home security company.
As the Times noted on Friday, boycott campaigns tend to fade over time but this time the pressure has built quickly, buoyed by a number of Parkland survivors speaking out on social media and leaving some corporations with no middle ground to recede to. A demo clip of Bullet Train hosted on the Oculus Rift website shows that at least one level in the game involves the player fighting through waves of “resistance forces” in a fairly generic rail station setting.
It does not appear to be particularly bloody, though video of CPAC attendees using the game’s motion-tracking controls in a vague pantomime of actual shooting probably did not help, either. In a statement to Variety, Facebook virtual reality VP Hugo Barra said: 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. Read more from gizmodo.com…
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