The literary notion of the metaverse is inherently dystopian, portraying a form of authoritarian capitalism in which individuals are forced to spend much of their time in a fictitious environment controlled by a business.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has recently made headlines by talking about the “metaverse.” It’s the future of Facebook — and the internet, according to Zuckerberg. He’s so passionate about the concept that he plans to recruit 10,000 Europeans to work on it, as well as rebrand his firm from Facebook to a metaverse-related brand.
Will we all be able to live and work in the “metaverse” created by Facebook?
What is the metaverse, and how does it work?
In his 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, author Neal Stephenson invented the term “metaverse.” The “metaverse,” according to him, is a virtual reality version of the internet in which an alternate universe exists in a shared VR area employing real-world notions such as roads, buildings, rooms, and ordinary goods. People move around in this universe as avatars, which are three-dimensional representations of themselves that may interact with other avatars as well as avatar-like things that are software agents.
From William Gibson’s Burning Chrome and Neuromancer to Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, which was adapted into a feature film by Steven Spielberg, the metaverse has been a mainstay of cyberpunk literature since the 1980s. There is a metaverse in “The Matrix.”
In Cline’s novel, for example, everyone is so engrossed in a metaverse known as the “OASIS” (where people not only play games but also attend school, work, and pay their taxes) that the actual world suffers from neglect.
The metaverse of fiction is a disaster. So, why does Zuckerberg believe he is the best?
Why does Mark Zuckerberg want to create his metaverse?
Let’s start with the fundamentals: It won’t be Zuckerberg’s metaverse if one exists. And it won’t be the metaverse if Zuckerberg creates a virtual realm.
In other words, the only way to achieve a single global and universal virtual environment is for the internet or web to evolve all of the virtual components that allow users to engage with all online services and each other in 3D virtual reality spaces. It’s doubtful, but not impossible because proprietary and exclusive platforms will draw greater investment due to their artificial scarcity.
In actuality, Facebook’s “metaverse” should be termed the “Zuckerverse” because it is the CEO’s vision and pet project. It’s the fantasy of a socially uncomfortable autistic introvert who wants to wear goggles all day, take the “blue pill,” and live in the Matrix. However, that is not what actual people desire. It isn’t the internet’s future.
What is known is that there will be a large number of virtual online locations, universes, and platforms – perhaps thousands. These will be used not only for fun, but also for business, education, and yes, even social networking.
Like Facebook, Zuckerberg’s “metaverse” will be a walled garden for a select few, rather than the single real metaverse for all. Even today, a Facebook account is required to utilize Facebook’s Oculus Quest headgear. Facebook’s DNA does not include an open platform.
So, why is Zuckerberg so enthusiastic about the metaverse concept? We believe there are four causes behind this.
- Thousands of organizations and institutions have been working on the notion of a shared virtual environment for decades. Zuckerberg aspires to be linked with it as the leader by openly fussing over it.
- Zuckerberg recognizes that he must pivot the firm to bring social networking and engagement into the virtual sphere. His major movements, pronouncements, and investments reorient a world of workers, partners, investors, and users in preparation for the shift.
- Zuckerberg and Facebook are well aware that social media as we know it will be phased out shortly. No firm that has dominated one social platform type has ever gone on to dominate the next, just as Facebook replaced MySpace, which replaced AOL, which replaced CompuServ, which replaced BBS systems. Facebook aspires to be the first online social network to dominate two generations.
FUD (false information) (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). It makes sense to go large on virtual places to deter investment in companies that want to accomplish the same thing.
If Zuckerberg’s public fixation serves any purpose, it is to remind us all that a virtual reality/augmented reality future is on the way, and it will have a significant influence on how businesses operate.
Future meetings are almost certainly going to be dominated by avatars. This is true of one-on-one meetings with suppliers, sales calls, HR meetings with workers, professional conferences, and other sorts of meetings.
If the past is any indication, Apple’s advantage will be a reasonably smooth, frictionless, secure, and high-quality experience.
In a decade, both VR and AR will have completely altered our lives and our workplaces. From time to time, we’ll enter virtual reality worlds to do certain tasks. But we’ll spend our days immersed in augmented reality — or at the very least, virtual items, data, entertainment, and avatar-based social interaction that can be summoned quickly through the glasses we’re wearing.
In other words, Zuckerberg’s concept of living in virtual reality is a dystopian nightmare (as science fiction writers told us).
Nonetheless, virtual reality will play a significant role. It’s already taking place.
How will the numerous virtual platforms affect business?
Meeting rooms will be replaced with virtual places. Showrooms, malls, stadiums, and virtual industries will be among them.
One early effort is Nvidia Omniverse, which aims to simulate real-world situations for cooperation and optimization. BMW, for example, has used Omniverse to generate precise duplicates of all of its factories, allowing it to test modifications to all areas of the operation in a virtual environment. These project’s videos are outstanding.
Nvidia demonstrates how commercial VR will evolve in the future. It’s neither a “universe” nor a “metaverse,” but rather a strong but confined application and development environment.
Thousands of firms are working on all of the components for this type of strong VR commercial application. Virtual reality will be utilized for advertising and will be the pinnacle of experimental marketing. Real and virtual things, as well as apparel, will be sold at stores. NTF proponents think that scarcity imposed by the metaverse or virtual space will promote NFT purchasing.
Virtual reality has a bright future. However, VR will always be available in the form of thousands of apps that we may pick from and utilize on the move. Despite Zuckerberg’s vision, only a small group of devoted and passionate gamers will spend their days immersed in virtual reality. We’ll be based in Arkansas. Smartphones will be replaced as the all-day, everyday platform by augmented reality.
After all, why make a metaverse when we already exist in an ideal universe?