Diverse Opinions – 1
There are words of caution and suggestions about the metaverse from others.
The Economist: “If history is a guide, computing platforms and internet connectivity will become faster and more widespread, latency will go down, input and output devices will improve and game engines (and their successors) will be able to create customised virtual worlds on the fly. At some point in the future, anyone who wants to may be able to switch in and out of fully immersive virtual worlds, flitting in and out of whatever the real version of Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse turns out to look like. What seems certain is that sophisticated 3D digital worlds will appear on ever more of the screens of successive generations of devices that people already use every day. As activities, particularly interactions between people, in virtual realities can generate practical and aesthetic outcomes that have moral consequences and personal meanings, the idea that the “real” world is limited to that which is physically present nearby will seem increasingly bizarre.”
New York Times: “In fiction, a utopian metaverse may be portrayed as a new frontier where social norms and value systems can be written anew, freed from cultural and economic sclerosis. But more often metaverses are a bit dystopian — virtual refuges from a fallen world. As a buzzword, the metaverse refers to a variety of virtual experiences, environments and assets that gained momentum during the online-everything shift of the pandemic. Together, these new technologies hint at what the internet will become next. Video games like Roblox and Fortnite and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, in which players can build their own worlds, have metaverse tendencies, as does most social media. If you own a non-fungible token or even just some crypto, you’re part of the metaversal experience. Virtual and augmented reality are, at a minimum, metaverse adjacent. If you’ve attended a work meeting or a party using a digital avatar, you’re treading into the neighborhood of metaversality. Founders, investors, futurists and executives have all tried to stake their claim in the metaverse, expounding on its potential for social connection, experimentation, entertainment and, crucially, profit.”
Peter Rubin in Wired: “[Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One] OASIS works because it feels like it has no owners, no urgent needs. It’s a utility, a toolkit available for artisans and corporations alike. If we want to realize this potential ourselves—universal freedom and possibility—let’s start thinking about VR the way Cline does: not as a first-to-market commodity, but as an internet all its own.”
Kyle Chayka in New Yorker: “The metaverse represents a techno-optimist vision for a future in which culture can exist in all forms at once. Intellectual property—a phrase increasingly applied to creative output of any kind—can move seamlessly among movies, video games, and virtual-reality environments… The more immersive it is, the more inescapable it becomes, like an all-encompassing social-media feed, with all the problems thereof.”