Time Magazine giving the cover over to virtual reality may seem like it would be great for the technology, but the art team behind the image itself seems to have ... I don't even know how to put this ... dropped the ball completely.
The images, and the story inside, are terrible. Here are just a few of the reactions from developers, press and enthusiasts. It's important to note that many of the tweets quoted here were written by people working in virtual reality. Keep in mind this is Palmer Luckey, the CEO of Oculus and arguably one of the most influential people in tech at the moment.
One day tech entrepreneurs will learn that when a magazine asks you to pose for a "quirky" cover photo… IT’S A TRAP pic.twitter.com/3Y39b9s29j— Giordano Contestabil (@giordanobc) August 6, 2015
Am I doing this right? pic.twitter.com/ZmCx969V1e— Chandana Ekanayake (@Ekanaut) August 6, 2015
HOLY GEEZ pic.twitter.com/NylCTCMNyG— Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) August 6, 2015
This TIME cover is the worst PR that virtual reality could ever have. Everyone involved is fired. pic.twitter.com/o0Ph7L28xA— George Broussard (@georgeb3dr) August 6, 2015
Palmer Luckey's movie career is really taking off. pic.twitter.com/ZJcwn13tER— Dalibor (@DaliDimovski) August 6, 2015
And that’s when TIME killed VR with one cover. Everyone go home. It’s over. Embarrassment is making my skin crawl. pic.twitter.com/W9gkU3YiNc— Alexander Sliwinski (@Sliwinski) August 6, 2015
When it comes to stereotyping nerds, I'd like to remind the Time writer that this is also what a Dungeons and Dragons player looks like:
It looks like the #brands are getting involved!
Just in case you're thinking the images inside look better ... nope. Same lack of composition and grace.
This cover won't actually hurt VR, but it does highlight how hard it can be to show off the technology in a way that doesn't look terrible. While the experience from inside virtual reality may be amazing, the view of those watching you play is a bit less exciting.