Facebook Finally Yanks Virtual Reality Shooting Game At CPAC, Apologizes

A tone-deaf Facebook finally pulled a controversial shooting virtual reality game demonstration from the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Facebook’s booth at the conference in Maryland included the game, which had players shooting virtual people, less than two weeks after 17 people were shot dead at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. 

In Bullet Train, created by Epic Games, players fire on “resistance forces” at a train station. The demo featured Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality headset, making the scenes particularly realistic for players.

The website for Bullet Train boasts that players are “in the middle of the action,” with Oculus Touch motion-controllers allowing players to “physically interact with an array of weapons, from guns to grenades to missiles, and even feel them through haptic feedback.”

The chilling exhibit was first exposed by reporter Scott Morrow of Now This, who posted a video of a player aiming at a Bullet Train scene on Twitter Friday.

After Morrow reached out, Hugh Barra, Facebook’s vice president of virtual reality, tweeted back that the game demo was removed, noting: “We got this wrong.” 

Bullet Train is allotment of a standard set of VR game demos that are shown at venues like CPAC. Facebook said it had removed utter violent games from the demo Friday, The Washington Post reported.

Facebook is at CPAC and they occupy a VR shooting game pic.twitter.com/wmV23jezpN

— Sean Morrow (@snmrrw) February 23, 2018

We removed the demo & regret failing to effect so at the start. We got this wrong. Our demos reach w a standard set of content, some are action games w violence. These shouldn’t occupy been present, particularly in light of recent events & out of respect for the victims & their families.

— Hugo Barra (@hbarra) February 23, 2018

Bullet Train was allotment of the Facebook exhibit when National Rifle organization head Wayne LaPierre spoke at CPAC Thursday to angrily blast efforts at greater gun control in the wake of the Florida shootings, calling them efforts to “create you less free.” He blamed the killings on the “failure of school security, the failure of the family.”

Barra’s tweeted response to Morrow approximately withdrawing violent games from the CPAC exhibit triggered a storm of excited comments:

Why even occupy them there BEFORE Parkland. Stop sucking up to the Right for some blood money!

— MamaGina (@Ginas1369) February 24, 2018

The real question is why was Facebook at a gathering of hatemongers in the first area?

— Matt Shiv (@shivvy) February 24, 2018

Lookin a bit MySpace these days Facebook perhaps, possibly that your day in the sun is done. Russians and CPAC … not really sort whether area I’d want to advertise in

— (((Hmmmm…..))) (@TwitWhatter) February 24, 2018

Why is @facebook at the @NRA ? Why are you promoting gun violence? It’s time for us utter to boycott @facebook.

— Nancy Street (@NancyDStreet) February 24, 2018

A one time apology to save face doesn’t fix this. Creating a culture of violence with games no matter the timing is a colossal problem. You can’t hope to finish a culture of violence by pushing violent content.

— Jeff Hatz (@Jeff_Hatz) February 24, 2018


— TR (@tenax666) February 24, 2018

Facebook’s final virtual reality blunder involved a “tour” of damage wreaked by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Critics called that tone-deaf stunt “catastrophe tourism,” and accused the company of using the suffering of the island to promote itself.

Zuck showing off seriously weird VR hurricane catastrophe tourism on FB right now btw https://t.co/kjbmJqAAMf pic.twitter.com/KxlmQzBK3H

— Carl Franzen (@carlfranzen) October 9, 2017

Facebook CEO note Zuckerberg responded to critics by saying he was attempting to spend virtual reality to evoke empathy and raise awareness approximately the catastrophe.

note Zuckerberg talks approximately the dire situation in Puerto Rico as an AR toon.

“Crazy to feel like we’re in the middle of it.”

finish me. pic.twitter.com/a7mOoCIlHC

— Gene Park (@GenePark) October 9, 2017

Facebook is now under pressure since investigators revealed that it if a key platform for fake posts and ads by Russian interferings in the U.S. presidential election. The social media site has more recently been used to spread cooked-up conspiracy theories against Parkland students advocating for gun control.

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