Imagining µniverse: The B2C Metaverse (Part 12)

Diverse Opinions – 4

Brian Merchant in Vice: “In the world of Snow Crash, the metaverse is not viewed as particularly cool—it is necessary, because the real world has become so unbearable. Ditto in the most famous book to update the metaverse’s architecture for our modern, pop culture-saturated era: Ready Player One. Its Oasis is basically the Metaverse if it were written by a neural net trained on 80s movies and 00s video games… Both books’ metaverses get at a common truism: there is something inherently dystopian in a future where humans abandon the real world in favor of an escapist and consumerist-oriented fully immersive digital one. To want to spend any serious amount of time in a metaverse, it must be made more appealing than reality, a feat which can be accomplished in one of two ways—either the world outside is already shitty enough to drive you into a glitch-prone, murder-filled alternative, or the fantasy of becoming someone else is compelling enough to consume you totally… None of these luminaries, from Zuck to Nadella to Boz, seem capable of painting a coherent vision for what their particular metaverse will look or feel like, beyond gesturing at “presence” and a collection of apps, keywords, and old science fiction tropes. It is an odd vision built from a compendium of juvenile fantasies, perceived market opportunities, and overt dystopias.”

Paul Tassi in Forbes: “The main problem with Zuckerberg’s Metaverse concept is how heavily he’s leaning into the necessity of VR/AR here. The reality is that Zuckerberg is skipping several steps along the way, ignoring the fact that despite years on the market, VR has yet to approach anything like widespread mainstream adoption…Mark Zuckerberg is trying to build the Metaverse with tech in exactly the vein of those sci-fi books, ignoring the reality of the market and seemingly, many challenges VR still endures for mass adoption after all this time…But other companies seem to get it, and nearly all are in the gaming sector… The most easily identifiable purveyor of the proto-Metaverse is Fortnite, which yes, at its core, is a combat-focused video game. And yet the last few years, it has spent time building itself out into a social space, with one-time-only can’t miss events like virtual rocket launches or giant monster fights on the map.. And other games, even without large collections of IP, are crafting similar worlds players live and exist in, from Roblox to Minecraft to GTA Online…I do not want to sit on my friend’s couch as a hologram. I want to attend a virtual Ariana Grande concert as Batman.”

Ben Thompson: “What I am skeptical of is the idea of there being one Metaverse to rule them all; we already have that, and in this case the future is, in William Gibson’s turn of phrase, here — it’s just not very evenly distributed. I speak from personal experience: for two decades I have lived and worked primarily on the Internet; it’s where I experience friendship and community and make my living. Over the last year-and-a-half hundreds of millions of people have joined me, as the default location for the work has switched from the office to online (that “online” is primarily experienced at home does not mean that home is intrinsic to the work — “work from home” is a misnomer). This too is an inverse of Snow Crash, where most jobs are in the real world, and recreation in the Metaverse; the future of work is online, and the life one wants to live in the reality of one’s choosing.”

Washington Post: “Think of it as an embodied Internet that you’re inside of rather than looking at. This digital realm wouldn’t be limited to devices: Avatars could walk around in cyberspace similar to how people maneuver the physical world, allowing users to interact with people on the other side of the planet as if they’re in the same room…In theory, you’d log on to the metaverse similarly to logging on to the Internet. Only you’d use a head-mounted display, not a screen, to view content and a form of motion tracking, like Facebook’s wristband, to grab objects…“It’s the little kid in all of us that wants to live in a sci-fi novel. We want life to be fun like a game,” said Jon Morris, a founder of Nowhere, a virtual events platform. “And there aren’t the tools to do it well on the Internet yet.””

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.