An anti-metaverse mail bomber targeted a US university VR lab

An anti-metaverse mail bomber targeted a US university VR lab

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Law enforcement officials are currently investigating what looks like a mail bomb attack after a person was injured Tuesday night while opening a package at a virtual reality center at Northeastern University in Boston.

The employee, who works at the VR center, suffered lacerations to his hands, but no other parts of his body. Initial reports seemed to suggest that there may have been some kind of bomb in the package and that it detonated once the latches on the side were lifted, and the lid was removed.

The explosion happened at Holmes Hall, which houses the VR lab, as well as the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies program and the journalism department. The time of the explosion was said to be 7:20 p.m. EDT. The same evening, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu told the press that she was taking the incident “very seriously.”

Those early reports said the attack was likely planned by someone who took a rather dim view of the future of computer technology since in the package, there was a rambling note railing against virtual reality and, in particular, Meta Platform Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg.

It’s well-known that Zuckerberg’s vision of the future is humans spending much of their time interacting with each other in the so-called metaverse, a dystopian future for some and a natural progression of the web for others. Because of the nature of the note, people have already compared the incident to the acts of Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber. Universities all over the U.S. with VR centers were altered to the incident and told to report any suspicious packages.

Later reports suggested that the package did not contain explosives, but the hard plastic container could have somehow been pressurized. It also came to light that the package was not sent through the U.S. Postal Service, which has led to theories that the person who was injured may have staged the attack. The case is ongoing, with the FBI saying the investigation is “still very active and fluid.”

Photo: Tony Webster/Flickr

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