Update 10/25/16: Palmer Luckey has now commented on the controversy, releasing a statement that says he donated to Nimble America because “he thought the organization had fresh ideas about how to communicate with young voters through the use of several billboards.” Oculus’ founder claims that he is a libertarian who has publicly supported Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in the past.
Luckey also says that he is not behind the Reddit username ‘NimbleRichMan’ a fact Daily Beast news editor Ben Collins says is not true. Collins posted images of emails to his Twitter account where Luckey appears to reveal he is behind NimbleRichMan.
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) September 24, 2016
Find Luckey’s full Facebook post below.
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey has been financially backing a pro-Donald Trump group of internet trolls with the considerable fortune he’s earned from creating the Oculus Rift.
The ‘shitposting’ memes the right wing group known as ‘Nimble America’ creates often target Trump’s presidential opposition Hillary Clinton. The group however, has plans to move beyond the internet, having “proven that shitposting is powerful and meme magic is real,” and aims to start printing t-shirts clad with pro-Trump slogans.
Luckey reportedly told The Daily Beast in a recent interview that he initially reached out to the right wing group via Facebook with a message that read “hey, I have a bunch of money. I would love to see more of this stuff.” Oculus’ founder wants the group to “build a buzz and do fundraising” and claims he has covered Nimble America’s initial launch push as well as its advertising plan.
— Cody Brown (@CodyBrown) September 23, 2016
Under a Reddit pseudonym called ‘NimbleRichMan,’ Luckey says that he has supported Trump’s presidential bid for years and encouraged him to run during the last American election — the same year the then 19-year-old Luckey launched Oculus’ first kickstarter. Oculus’ founder also reportedly has connections to controversial right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.
In the aftermath of this news a number of notable developers have pulled support for the Oculus Rift. Developers like Polytron, Insomniac Games, Tomorrow Today Labs and Scruta Games have come forward on social media revealing that they no longer plan to release titles on the Rift because of Luckey’s political views. Other developers like Vancouver-based Colin Northway of Northway Games, the creators of Fantastic Contraption VR, subtweeted their frustration with the situation.
Definitely using every fibre of my “professionalism” to not tweet some tweets right now.
— ColinNorthway (@ColinNorthway) September 23, 2016
Luckey is believed to have earned approximately $700 million from Facebook’s $2 billion purchase of Oculus.
Since approximately March of this year Luckey’s Twitter activity has been sympathetic towards the alt-right political movement.
Image credit: Wikicommons