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Seriously: Temu sued following alleged lobotomies from VR headsets

Seriously%3A+Temu+sued+following+alleged+lobotomies+from+VR+headsets

Editor’s Note: This is a satire piece from The Collegian’s opinion section. Real names and the events surrounding them may be used in fictitious/semi-fictitious ways. Those who do not read the editor’s notes are subject to being offended.

Over a dozen plaintiffs are coming forward and suing online shopping platform Temu for $420 million after allegedly getting unintentional lobotomies from headsets manufactured and sold by the company. Temu’s new virtual reality goggles gave both partial and full lobotomies to users who bought the goggles to try and save some money. Though no deaths have been reported, plaintiffs are raising serious concerns about the legitimacy of the company and warning others to boycott the company and shop elsewhere.

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Coco Melone, a 12-year-old from Colorado, suffered significant damage to her brain when she bought one of the headsets with money she earned from an underground multilevel marketing scheme at her middle school.

“She worked hard to buy that headset,” said Coco Melone’s mother, Porsha Melone. “I remember her recruiting her friends for their skincare-selling business. The girls would all come over and raid my skincare cabinet and the other mothers’ as well. It was so great seeing them take initiative like that. I am out of foundation, though. I swear I saw some girl wearing the exact shade in the school pickup line the other day.”

Melone now suffers from apathy and a lack of emotional regulation, often having tantrums and outbursts at small issues and extreme carelessness with big issues.

“Honestly, I didn’t notice a huge difference,” Porsha said. “She rolls her eyes about the same amount, and she used to scream at me all the time when I wouldn’t let her watch TikTok or buy the latest Drunk Elephant item. Seven-year-olds — what can you do?”

Melone isn’t the only one experiencing massive life changes; 11 other plaintiffs formed an online chatroom on X, formerly known as Twitter, after finding one another through a chance encounter. 

Underneath a Temu post about the new goggles, someone commented, “Hgnsdlfdsnfdsogi.” Others saw the comment and directly messaged the user, leading to a group who found out they were all personally victimized by the goggles.

“All I wanted was to have a VR experience and escape my bitchass parents for two seconds,” 30-year-old plaintiff Riche Dick said. “It’s bad enough my thirst traps are flopping online and I’m living in this shitty basement. You can only do the golf simulator so many times, and the home theater isn’t even all that. Now I can barely do normal stuff — it’s ass.”

The specific malfunction that caused the lobotomies hasn’t been identified, but technology expert Jeve Stobs theorized it was due to certain screen graphics on the headsets.

“While the lobotomies haven’t occurred in the traditional pickax-to-forehead way, the distorted graphics could absolutely contribute to lobotomy-like symptoms, potentially causing permanent damage equivalent to physically having your brain scrambled,” Stobs said. 

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Stobs explained that VR headsets have a certain set of standards to meet for safe consumer use. Because the visuals are so up close and immersive, the headsets are more powerful and thus significantly more dangerous, especially if companies cut corners in the graphic design or construction phases of the process.

“If the pixels on the screen aren’t correct for the dimensions of the headset, the headset is too tight or the graphics are too stimulating up close, it can have devastating effects on the brain — effects that haven’t been studied yet,” Stobs said. “But hey, maybe now we do.”

Temu has yet to respond to the allegations despite significant backlash online. The company has come under fire recently for being part of the fast fashion industry. It’s been accused of overworking and underpaying its employees, some alleged to be minors. 

The trial is set for June 20. Temu executives, graphic design team members, laborers and other employees are expected to be questioned viciously by the prosecution in hopes of getting justice for the victims and their families.  

Reach Addy Dollaghan at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @ADollaghan.

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