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Palmer Luckey Returns to Public Eye as Report Unearths Further Trump Contributions

Inside The Oculus VR Inc. "Step Into the Rift" EventInside The Oculus VR Inc. "Step Into the Rift" Event
Palmer Luckey, co-founder and creator of the Oculus Rift of Oculus VR. Inc., demonstrates the new Oculus Rift headset during the "Step Into The Rift" event in San Francisco, California on June 11, 2015. David Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Following months of silence, Oculus co-founder and Rift co-creator Palmer Luckey made an understated return to public life last week, with a spate of tweets and a Reddit post declaring “im back” [sic]. Luckey’s re-emergence coincided with a new report from Mother Jones that he had donated $100,000 to the inaugural committee of President Donald Trump, through entities whose names referred to a cult-classic video game.

Luckey had not posted on social media or made any public statements since September, when it was revealed that he had anonymously funded a group, Nimble America, aimed at supporting then-candidate Trump’s election efforts.

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Luckey has been posting and tweeting volubly since Wednesday, letting VR fans know that he’s still working to create great things for them, and responding to critics and journalists who he still sees as having wronged him. He also pushed back against critical comments from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, defending his decision to support the Trump campaign anonymously.

Luckey, who is still only 24 years old, seems to have retained his sardonic edge through his long silence. On Twitter, he tangled with reporters, some of whom he suggested had treated him unfairly.

He also revealed on Reddit that he was at work developing a new VR roleplaying game, which he jokingly said would be “exclusively for Nervegear.” “Nervegear” is a fictional full-immersion brain interface from the Japanese anime Sword Art Online.

Luckey’s contribution to the Trump inaugural was made just a few weeks before Luckey left his role at Oculus, which was purchased by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014. At least one report indicated that Luckey’s political affiliations, which had shown signs of alienating game developers, were partly to blame for his departure.