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But Harris tried to soak in the whole story over four years, and the result is a page book that talks about the insider view of the stories and events that I covered. Harris spoke to Luckey almost daily during the four years it took to write the book. And he had exclusive access to executives at Oculus and Facebook — until Luckey got fired in March After that, Harris lost his access, but he was still able to finish the book.

We asked Facebook for a comment to some of the stories in the book, but did not receive a response. The book was written in a dramatic way, and it was licensed for a film adaptation by Hollywood directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. GamesBeat: I wondered about your journalistic enterprise of doing this, how you approached it.

‘History of the Future’ book chronicles Palmer Luckey, Oculus, and the rebirth of VR

From doing my own books [on the Xbox and Xbox ], I had some interesting experiences as well. On the first book I had more than questions for Microsoft when I was fact-checking and otherwise making sure what I had was correct. They chose to answer none of those questions. It was funny. On the second book, I worked with Microsoft again to get access and all that, and they answered every question I had.

Blake Harris: What would you attribute that to? Regret from the first time around, or just different people involved? GamesBeat: Maybe regret? I think they knew that some stories were going to get written from a certain point of view, or some facts would be relayed from a certain point of view. They wanted to make sure that, the second time, they were more engaged. I wanted to ask you generally, then, what was your working relationship with Oculus and Facebook like over time?

You summarized some of the big points in your talk, but did you have certain ground rules going in as you pitched it to them? At that point I was thinking about doing my next book about Rovio, the company that did Angry Birds. I was introduced to Palmer in July I proposed the idea of getting interviews and writing a book. They now had to go from selling a dev kit to a mainstream product.

But at the same time, he liked Console Wars, as did some other people there, so he was at least open to a conversation. We had that conversation over the next five months. I went out to Menlo Park in December It ended up taking 14 months after that to get access from Oculus and Facebook. Even at that point, what I was asking for was them letting me speak with the main players and setting up interviews. But they ended up giving me exclusive access, or at least choosing to work with me and not work with any other authors.

The way it was set up was that they would introduce me to anybody that I wanted to talk to at the company, and it was up to that person whether they wanted to speak with me or not. Then, after the introduction was made, I could have my own relationship to them. Some people I spoke with every day or every few days.

Some people I only spoke with once.

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There were no parameters set on the relationship, which was good. I could ask anything I wanted. That helps with fact-checking. That continued for two years. It was February 9, that was the first day I had my interviews with Brendan and Nate. Part of the purpose of that trip was, I had recently shared with them the first 60 percent of the book.

I big part of the trip was to get feedback in addition to those interviews I had. I also met in a group meeting with Brendan, Nate, their head of comms, their legal team, and a bunch of others. Then I had follow-up calls with them. The first half of the book, they went through all of it and let me know about anything they believed was factually incorrect.

Then I did follow-ups to confirm that or not. GamesBeat: It sounds like you were comfortable with sharing what you wrote ahead of time because of that rule that you really—it was still up to you as to what got written. Harris: Yeah. To that point, I very specifically—what comes to mind is when I had a call with Nate Mitchell with a couple of hours.

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He asked me if I could please not include him and Palmer being in the car with Jack McCauley as Jack was making some racist comments. That happened with a lot of things. GamesBeat: There was the notion that you had to reconstruct some things. That went through legal, and it was really pared down to limit liability as much as possible. I still stand behind that choice. But there was some validity—I can understand the concern. And because this book was so much more recent, because there were email records, and because I recorded every conversation I had with people, I felt it was important to try to do better.

The rule I had for myself was that every line of dialogue in the book is something that I have in an audio file. All of it is verbatim from these people. That was very much a documentary-style format, where you can have someone remembering their own experience or telling a story. The verbal consent between a man and a woman to marry, even if not betrothed, is enough to make their marriage binding.

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