“Virtual reality as a service” already seemed like an increasingly bad idea after announcements that users will be required to merge their Oculus accounts with their Facebook accounts.
But things got even less appealing in the meanwhile as Facebook revealed that once they willy-nilly “merge” with Facebook, Oculus gamers who are found to violate the social media network’s Community Standards may become unable to access the games they purchased.
In the words of a Facebook spokesperson, those violating the Community Standards, Conduct in VR rules or any other terms – across all of Facebook’s platforms – may find themselves “impacted” when it comes to using Oculus. If the account is suspended, this impact would translate into cutting Oculus users off from their games and content for up to 30 days.
Among violations that would “merely” block account access until resolved are things like failing to provide Facebook with real name and date of birth.
But should these violations of various standards and conduct rules result in a ban of their Facebook account, then players are looking at a complete loss of access to their Oculus games.
As for whether Oculus games will be available offline to suspended accounts, the spokesman would not reply, telling Road to VR only that “many details have to be worked out.”
Both Facebook and its subsidiary Oculus, a virtual reality (VR) headsets maker, are facing online backlash from users for these two decisions.
As things stand, Facebook inspires little confidence with its largely automated moderation and censorship system that is supposed to detect violations of rules, but all too often ends up suppressing legitimate speech and showing political and ideological biases.
Competitors in the VR gaming space, like HTC, seem to be paying close attention to all the commotion taking place on Twitter, no doubt identifying an opportunity to market their products to unhappy Oculus customers.
Many of them are now accusing Facebook of wanting to force people who don’t have Facebook accounts to sign up, and expressing concern for their privacy on the giant platform that is built on user tracking and mass collection of personal data.