The Surprising Fun the Internet Had With Time Magazine’s Virtual Reality Cover

Time VR cover
Courtesy of Time Magazine

Time magazine’s decision to put Oculus founder Palmer Luckey on the cover of its newest issue could be seen as a watershed moment for the nascent virtual reality space. Or it may just be remembered as the cover that inspired a thousand mashups.

The magazine decided to put Luckey, whose company sold for $2 billion to Facebook a little over a year ago, on the beach, wearing his company’s headset, jeans and a polo shirt, but no socks or shoes. Luckey is raising his arms, presumably doing something in virtual reality. But what? It didn’t take long for the Internet to come up with answers.

Shortly after Time published the magazine cover online, users started to tweet their own mashups, putting Luckey on the Karate Kid poster, in a scene of the Simpsons and into a da Vinci painting.



Blogs and online magazines didn’t hold back either, with Engadget putting the Oculus founder on the back of a dinosaur and in a ballet outfit, and the Daily Dot asking its readers to chime in themselves. “The worse you are at Photoshop, the better,” the online magazine’s tweet read.

This isn’t the first time Time magazine’s technology cover photos have invited ridicule from the Internet community. Of course, the magazine may have aimed for just that — making something so over the top that it would become an Internet phenomenon. At least at Oculus, employees didn’t seem bothered by the depiction of their founder, with one even asking for more: