In light of recent events in Parkland, FL, Facebook has decided to remove its Bullet Train VR demo from Oculus Rift demo stations. The Bullet Train demo was shown at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this week, along with other VR demos, but due to the timing of the conference and the shooting, Facebook has decided to remove it.
Bullet Train is a first-person shooter where players have to run around a futuristic subway station shooting armed guards and fighting a giant drone boss towards the end. The game lets players interact with various weapons, ranging from guns to grenades to missiles, and players can even feel the weapons through haptic feedback. The game also lets players teleport and manipulate time in order to blast through the resistance forces. The game was developed by Epic Games back in 2015 to help show off the capabilities of VR and the Oculus headset, and it was generally well received by those who tried it out.
Hugo Barra, the vice president of VR at Facebook, commented on the removal of the game from the anthology of Virtual Reality experiences that Facebook offers: “A few of the action games [that Facebook displays at public events] 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.”
It is understandable that some might feel that violent games such as Bullet Train are not the most appropriate games to show at conferences at the moment, however the government often uses gaming and various other media as a scapegoat when they fail to address larger issues. Many gamers will agree that there are and always have been video games that are much more violent than Bullet Train, and that these games are certainly not to blame for violent acts committed in reality.