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Oculus gets its Photoshop moment

Oculus gets its Photoshop moment
Palmer Luckey, seen in 2013, holds the virtual reality machine he created for Oculus called Rift. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Oculus VR Rift looks cool: Thick black goggles with opaque shades that wrap around the sides of one's head, designed to create a 360-degree, virtual reality experience.

But coolness turned to silliness for founder Palmer Luckey after he was photographed wearing it for the cover of Time magazine – an image that was quickly Photoshopped into dozens of memes.

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In the original image, Luckey appears to float, with arms extended, legs slightly bent and head tilted to the sky.

Now you can also find images of Luckey in the same position, but riding a dinosaur, or dancing in a tutu and pointe shoes. Another image puts him behind Vladimir Putin, riding a horse. He’s also been photoshopped into an image from the movie “Titanic,” caught in an embrace by Leonardo DiCaprio as they stare into the sea. The fun continued with “Lion King” mashups and settings involving kittens and pizzas.

A representative for Luckey said he was not available to comment. But the 22-year-old told GameSpot, a video game website, that he loved the cover.

"I think it's fun," he said, dismissing concerns that the funny imitations could make Oculus look trivial.

"People have said, 'Oh, this is going to set virtual reality back so far.' I'm like, 'Are you guys really giving that much importance to an old-media cover?' It's insignificant in the scheme of this massive explosion in virtual reality's popularity. I love the cover; I think it's great."

Feeling creative? The website Engadget has supplied a cutout of Luckey, ripe for sticking onto a background of your choosing.

Oculus, owned by Facebook, said it expects to release Rift to the public next year.

Twitter: @dainabethcita

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