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Oculus VR exec John Carmack weighs in on Facebook acquisition

Even Oculus VR Chief Technology Officer (and id Software co-founder) John Carmack feels some surprise over the news that Facebook is set to acquire his employer, but he’s got a positive, rational-minded attitude about what lies ahead. Responding in the comments section to a related Tumblr post from Anamanaguchi band member Peter Berkman, Carmack highlighted the inevitability of big business stepping in to capitalize on the growing interest in virtual reality (shared via the Oculus exec’s Twitter feed).

“The experience is too obviously powerful, and it makes converts on contact,” he wrote. “The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans is inevitable, and the real questions were how deeply to partner, and with who.

“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting Facebook (or this soon). I have zero personal background with them, and I could think of other companies that would have more obvious synergies. However, I do have reasons to believe that they get the Big Picture as I see it, and will be a powerful force towards making it happen. You don’t make a commitment like they just did on a whim.”

Carmack goes on to mention that he wasn’t involved with the negotiations, and that the acquisition was just as much a surprise to him as it was to anyone. “I spent an afternoon talking technology with Mark Zuckerberg, and the next week I find out that he bought Oculus.”

In a subsequent post responding to other commenters, Carmack also praised the value of corporate data mining, the frequently maligned practice which is responsible for things like targeted ads. Noting that he “just can’t get very worked up about it,” Carmack explains why, in his mind, data mining is a positive thing to see from forward-thinking businesses.

“The idea that companies are supposed to interact with you and not pay attention has never seemed sane to me,” he wrote.

“Being data driven is a GOOD thing for most companies to be. Everyone cheers the novel creative insight and bold leadership that leads to some successes, and tut tuts about companies ending up poorly by blindly following data, but cold analysis of the data is incredibly important, and I tend to think the world will be improved with more and better data analysis.”