Palmer Luckey: Who is the tech genius leading Donald Trump's meme war against Hillary Clinton?

Palmer Luckey - Who is the young man behind the Hillary Clinton memes?

Palmer Luckey (Getty)

Friday, September 23, 2016

It's fair to say that Palmer Luckey is probably one of the most brilliant minds of his generation. 

Just look at his accomplishments. The inventor from Long Beach, California is the founder of a company which reached the forefront of virtual reality before he sold it to Facebook for $2bn, despite the fact there was practically no revenue. He's built a device, the Oculus Rift, which has caught fire all over the world for how it can create a virtual world for a video game.

It began with an innocent interest in electronics, and experimentation with high-voltage equipment like lasers and tesla coils. With his interest in gaming, Luckey was frustrated with the inadequacy of the existing head-mounted displays in his collection, specifically their low contrast, high latency and low field of view.

So Luckey decided to do something about,  by creating the first prototype of what would eventually become the Oculus Rift at the age of 18. Fast forward six years, and he's amassed an enormous fortune, estimated to be over $700 million, placed at number 26 on Forbes' 2015 list of America's richest entrepreneurs under 40, and has a very bright future ahead of himself. All of this at the tender age of 24.

Many internet entrepreneurs, such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, have plouged their money into philanthropy, and Luckey is also active in this area, having joined a charity that helps veterans. Yet he also appears politically minded; that much is evident in the revelation that he is the secret backer of a pro-Donald Trump organisation which plans to bring the Republican candidate into office through  “meme magic”

The Democratic candidate might have real reason to be worried. This is a man who's grown up in the age of the internet and social media. Despite his age, Palmer Luckey knows how to command attention from the internet, and it could only take one meme to go viral to reduce Clinton to a laughing stock.