Augmented-Reality App Discussed Depicting George Floyd's Death but Changed Its Tune After Press Release Backlash

A portrait of George Floyd stands outside Dogwood Coffee on March 31, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
A portrait of George Floyd stands outside Dogwood Coffee on March 31, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Photo: Stephen Maturen (Getty Images)

There are certain things you just never expect that you need to explain to people. You shouldn’t need to tell adults not to drink shampoo, steer their cars with their feet or that, despite Kendrick Lamar’s advice, it’s not a good idea to fill your swimming pool up with liquor and then diiiiiiiiiive in it.


But sometimes common sense isn’t so common and you just have to declare things that a reasonable person wouldn’t think needs declaring. So here we are...

People who work in all areas of media, hear this and hear it well:


Variety reports that officials at CrimeDoor, an augmented-reality app that allows users to view recreations of true-crime scenes, discussed potential plans to feature the last moments of Floyd’s life on the app because somebody thought it was a good idea to turn police brutality, Black trauma and death into a super-fun virtual reality game.

The company’s PR agency reportedly sent a pitch to media outlets advertising the new idea to let users “experience final moments in history for the first time in-person via augmented reality.” According to the press release, people whose deaths were to be reanimated through the app include President Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr.—which is also fucking thank you, sir—and Jesus Christ.

Besides, the fact that people at CrimeDoor have apparently decided that murder-porn at your fingertips is the new PlayStation, I just need to know who the hell thought it was a good idea to include Floyd with historical and biblical figures whose deaths are at least old enough that their names aren’t showing up on 21st-century protest signs and hashtags. (Although, I still think including MLK is wholly inappropriate. Seriously, what kind of white supremacist Nintendo shit are these people on? What’s next, an Emmett Till play-by-play?)

Even the words “too soon” don’t apply here because Floyd’s death is still very much a current issue. America is still in the midst of a racial awakening largely sparked by Floyd’s death. Derek Chauvin’s televised trial is dominating news feeds across the world. Yet, some techy was like: “Police violence trauma porn? There should be an app for that!”


Anyway, after the press release was exposed and the company got dragged to Hell and back, a CrimeDoor spokesperson explained to Variety that the release was “a very early and unapproved draft” of the company’s announcement and that Floyd will not be included on the app.

“While George Floyd was at one point discussed internally as a current moment that would go down in history due to the crime’s nature and societal impact, the CrimeDoor team decided that [the Floyd killing] was too sensitive and the timing did not feel right to feature it,” the spokesperson said via email. “No case profile or AR door has been created around this, and there is no plan to launch this currently.”


So basically, the people at CrimeDoor had a discussion during which a thing that should never have needed to be explained was explained.

I hope they’re also having the shampoo drinking conversation over there, because....maaaan, WTF?

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons



When they say augmented reality, are they saying they’re going to set something up so that people get to feel how other people felt while they were dying?  Or that they get to watch people die?  Either way, the only response I have is Are they fucking kidding me and What is wrong with these people.