Wed. Dec 1st, 2021


For most of this year, Facebook has been talking about its plans for Metavers, promising Lose a lot of money So that it can be strengthened Ambition In space. The company made the announcement yesterday Rebrand its corporate identity to “Meta”To double this promise. (And, you know, Other reasons. Given the number of companies that are now talking about metavers, we need to answer one very clear question: Is hell a metaverse?

All that has been followed is, to a certain extent, to read with the right number of ah, ahem, gentle cough and other precautions. After all, a number of companies have begun to use the term to refer to the reflective glory thrown by the Metaverse Hype Train. Much like “Web 2.0”, “The Metavers” has a loose definition that is used to define what’s next for the Internet. A virtual world that mirrors our own? Metaverse. A way to buy and sell Elon Musk NFT dressed like a dog? Metaverse. A new way to build trade and communication? Metaverse. It is likely that if we look back at the metavars of a decade or two from now, if this actually happens, it will look completely different from what its boosters predict.

In her Letters from the founders“It’s a tangible Internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg described Metavers. He explains how “in this future, you’ll be able to instantly teleport as a hologram to stay at a concert with friends or in your parents’ living room, without having to travel to the office.” And then mentions its advantages, including a reduced carbon footprint and less time stuck in traffic.

The simplest and most obvious point of comparison is that metavers are presented in such pop culture. Neil Stephenson Snow crash (Where the word originates), by Ernest Klein Ready Player One And Wachoskis’ The uterus In this virtual, digital-world-which-is-actually-mirrors-all-our-own-examples. Those who have (long) internet memory will remember the projects Second life, Which promised to do this kind of thing 18 years ago. And some people have suggested that Robolex And Fortnite, Which is where both the game and the virtual space Things other than games Is performed, a form of metavers.

Meter’s interest in creating his work in virtual space is evident through the acquisition of Oculus. Sir Nick Clegg, who is after him Political defense And Unexplained nighting Became In 2018, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications, Writes that Metavers is designed to create a “greater sense of virtual presence”. Guardian Reported that Clegg Meter claimed to use the Virtual Presence service, Horizon workroom, To take his “Monday morning meetings” on Metavers with a virtual table and whiteboard. You may be wondering, the metaverse will be a little more than the zoom but it will cost more to own something Expensive VR gear.

Alexandru Voyka, Meta Technology Communications Manager in Europe, says that a better way to understand Metaverse is to “the next evolution of the Internet”. He used the video call we had as an example of something that Metaverse would hopefully improve. “We’re meeting on this 2D video call, and it’s better than a phone call, but it’s not as good as sitting together. [in the real world]”The idea,” he said, “is how you can take this interaction and make it yours and mine together. [in a public space]”Metavers is not envisioned as a replacement for real-world connections, but to enliven virtual experiences,” he added.

Voica added that these virtual engagements will feel much more realistic using technologies like VR, AR and spatial audio. When you have a series of boxes on a zoom screen, for example, it is difficult for your brain to process all that information at once. In the virtual world, people’s audio is directed at you from wherever their avatar sits, making it easier for you to get involved.

Some of this goes back to Mark Zuckerberg The ‘next decade’ manifesto From the beginning of 2020, where the advancement of AR and VR technology will further strengthen the remote work. Apparently this was before COVID-19 made remote work necessary for millions of people and before it was defined. Culture-war is non-issue this year.

Another common frame of reference is Matthew Ball’s essay What a metaverse From January 2020. At the time, he said any metavers would be a stable and synchronous virtual environment with its own economy. Ball added that Metavers would enable “willing workers” to participate in a ‘high value’ economy through virtual labor. Gold cultivation – where the players of a large MMO work hours after hours to earn a lot in a low paying country Virtual currency (or product) Which they then sell to other players for real-world cash – as a current example of this “virtual labor”.

Kevin Deutsch through Getty Images

Ball added that Metaverse would offer “unprecedented data interoperability.” A user will be able to move objects freely around the world, such as being able to carry a leather for a gun Counter strike And carry on it Fortnite. Honestly, the publishers of the game would agree to a free share of their intellectual property, which would include all the lost profits, the most incredible idea in the document.

But even Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney is open to the idea of ​​some cross-communication in one form or another. This July, Sweeney says New York Times In this example, there may be a “tunnel” in the virtual world Robolex And Fortnite. However, what is not clear is what a user can take from one end of that tunnel to the other outside of their own, custom-designed avatar.

Voica says this cross-sharing of IPs will be crucial to ensuring the success of the metavers. He used the example of a user buying a designer jacket, as a digital item that can be worn by their avatar while they spend their day. If you are only able to wear it in a certain designer’s own virtual world, then that item has no value. “It would be like buying a Manchester United shirt and only being able to wear it inside a Manchester United stadium,” he said. And he believes consumers shouldn’t buy into a system with such restrictions, saying “people don’t want to be locked in.”

There is also a line of thought that a metaverse would actually describe the integration of digital and real world. AR glasses that overlay a rich data set on the road as you walk through your day while outsourcing your own brain functions. It will, naturally, require smart glasses with a transparent display that is able to reproduce this data in a useful manner. Not to mention the quantum leap to make computer vision, data processing, and battery life effective for all-day use. This, of course, would require a dramatic change in the way we view privacy in public and in private places. Google Glass Was briefly prevalent.

This September, The Washington Post Houseparty co-founder Sima Sistani, who now works for Epic Games, was interviewed. They said that metavers are a thing that wastes all our leisure time by replacing social media. Sistani believes that unlike now, where people simply create pictures and post status updates, the next generation will enjoy a collaborative experience with each other. And the next generation of content creators will create new experiences for the rest of us to enjoy, once we pay for them.

One thing that is somewhat clear / true, at least from the Metavers boosters, is that the platform will not be owned by a single person or organization. Instead, it will – hopefully – work just like the Internet, with multiple providers offering the infrastructure to build an integrated whole. Or at least, that is the theory, and there is additional hope that decentralized technology will help reduce the possibility of a single arbitrator to rule over this new frontier.

Like the project Decentland, Its own virtual environment, already working on this policy, its economy running on the blockchain of Etherium. As New York Times As reported earlier this year, real-world brokers in the Decentralized market have already seen the purchase of parcels of virtual real estate. And inside Descentraland there are already art shows and casinos, all of which can be linked to some form of digital commerce. This sadly contrasts with the possibility of a post-extinction digital utopia that a metaverse could theoretically nurture.

Metaverse’s description of pop-culture usually presents them less as social good and more as a sign of impending fall. Even reference that onanism Ready Player One Shows a world that has fallen into economic, social and environmental collapse. When asked about Metavers, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel was quoted as saying Of Snow Crash “The virtual world is created by one Wicked monopoly“Shortly afterwards, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey agreed that Neil Stephenson’s novel was created as a precaution rather than a guide. [An aside, in Snow Crash, poor users accessing the metaverse through a public terminal are rendered in monochrome, and are derided by the wider society as a consequence — something that was replicated in the real-world by Fortnite players who bullied “Default” players who didn’t buy custom skins for their avatars.]

Now, Meta Metavers believes enough that it has raised its flag, and luckily, for this idea for the next few years. And it’s hard to imagine that, no matter how convenient, its metaversal ambitions platform is a smokescreen for the real problems it is currently facing. Like the title Robolex And Fortnite An uninterrupted, universal online world provides a vague idea of ​​how thousands of hours can hold the attention of users, but they are for the experience created now. And projects like Decentreland give an indication of how a virtual economy will work, but still nothing gives us a coherent grand narrative of metavers that can show us where it is going. In many ways, companies like Meta are trying to assemble this jigsaw without too much idea of ​​what it will look like when it is finished.

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