The Metaverse: What Is It, and Why Should You Care?

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
Actually if you read the article there are current online worlds mentioned in the article. Update if something doesn't exist that means its in a concept stage, Last I checked concept can be criticized by helping mitigate billions in losses!
Yes... reading the article is clearly a good first step - congrats!

Yes, parts of what we think MAY become the metaverse exist... BUT.... it still doesn't exist yet.

The CONCEPT for automobiles existed in 1880 as well... but the CARS themselves didn't...
 
The article is pretty lengthy, but I did enjoy the content. While it does a lot to talk up the metaverse and other sort of reality augmenting tech, the part about corporate overlords being the ones in overall control, I feel conveys the true reality that would be an online virtual reality. Well written, a great amount of context and a healthy dose of skepticism!
 

GGGos

Posts: 19   +0
Staff
The article is pretty lengthy, but I did enjoy the content. While it does a lot to talk up the metaverse and other sort of reality augmenting tech, the part about corporate overlords being the ones in overall control, I feel conveys the true reality that would be an online virtual reality. Well written, a great amount of context and a healthy dose of skepticism!
I was both incredibly skeptical, and incredibly hopeful, when writing. I feel like it is possible to fight for a realized Metaverse that is good for everyone, but everyone should know there are parties already fighting to pervert it for their own gain. We'll just have to see how everything unfolds.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,696   +6,635
FWIW - As I see it, everyone already has a similar universe inside them, and there is no cost to it - except that some people might find it easier to learn than others; some people could spend several years learning this, while some might pick it up quite quickly. I'm speaking of Lucid Dreaming - knowing you are dreaming when you are dreaming.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucid_dream
IMO, it makes this technological substitute look pale in comparison - I've had some 40 Lucid dreams and have experienced only a fraction of what is possible when lucid dreaming. This is a realm that no corporation can control or pervert in any fashion, and the possibilities are literally endless. Anyone seriously interested should look up the author Robert Waggoner, IMO.
 

DonquixoteIII

Posts: 110   +65
"They trust me. Dumb ****s."

A telling tale of Zuck's Metaverse platform is that a female tester had her avatar groped by male testers as soon as her avatar appeared.

So, it seems that any attempt to let people be 'social' anonymously ends up with the worst of humanities' characteristics shining through. Instead of being 'social' platforms, I call them anti-social platforms.

My crystal ball was clear enough to see this effect happening, so I have never been part of any 'social' platform in any meaningful way. I have never had a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. account. I do have a presence on various Discord channels, but mostly for problem solving. I have no 'virtual friends' on there.
 

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,860   +1,791
TechSpot Elite
Great piece by @GGGos. It's unfortunate that many (commenters) dismissed it and didn't got to reading because they immediately associated "the Metaverse" with Facebook/Meta, but that's not at all accurate.

This is explained in the article, but then again, hard to figure that out if you didn't read the article in the first place.

It does make me wonder though how Facebook getting involved and rebranding themselves as "Meta" may have hurt the entire concept more than anything else so far.
 

Sniped_Ash

Posts: 254   +107
Healthy young cynic goes to friend's house, puts on VR goggles and gets pumped with vapid gameplay, feels good and changes - METAVERSE. Many such cases!
 

BobHome

Posts: 141   +59
I bought an Oculus Quest 2, because it was cheap and I really wanted to play HL: Alyx. It was worth it. I think VR it's a cool gadget for gaming, maybe it has its benefits for some applications. But metaverse is just insane. To make this take center stage in your life and to use it daily to replace real life activities and interactions is a pretty deranged idea.
A TV show named Seaquest did an article about the metaverse (in 1994), traveling into the future to save humanity from themselves:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0696935/
 

Gezzer

Posts: 258   +132
Anyone remember 3D HDTV's? I have one running to my left right now as I type this... in regular 2D mode. I can't remember the last time I watched anything in 3D on it, maybe 10 years ago?

And IMHO that's the real problem with the Metaverse. The concept has some amazing potential, or horrifying drawbacks depending on how you view it. But IMHO the current interface is really going to hold it back. I have a Samsung Odyssey plus and I love it, but the vast majority of my gaming and all my social media is done still using normal monitors.

It's a whole production getting prepared to play a VR title, and I've found just like with my 3D HDTV I often don't have the time and energy needed. Would I be willing to go through all the steps to enter an immersive world? Maybe for a while, but I just can't see wearing a heavy VR headset for extremely extended amounts of time. It's too much like work.

Until we have some sort of hologram technology that doesn't require a user wearing it and simplifies the user experience I just don't see the Metaverse having any greater adoption rates than 3D did in it's heyday. Tech heads will get all excited about how immersive it is and most people will eventually go back to Zoom because it's 100 times easier to use.

That's my prediction anyway...
 

Athlonite

Posts: 314   +109
I can't even stand games that want to force me to play online with other people why on earth would I want to interact with people in a virtual reality plurk no thanks
 

Gastec

Posts: 232   +113
The "wasteaverse" will continue to lower output & productivity and increase the number of screen bound kids that will grow up to be .. nothing. Just another reason Fakebook should be closed down for good.
That's exactly what I fear. Heck, it's what I'm already experiencing on my own skin! I have to work harder and longer to cover for the laziness and disinterest of my younger colleagues, as they are too busy looking down at their smartphones instead or working and being proactive.
 

Gastec

Posts: 232   +113
"One way or another, it's the focus of some of the most influential media companies in the world, and you should look into it, too." By default, I don't like to be lead by the nose.
"I've always been fascinated with the Metaverse". Why not call it VIRTUAL REALITY anymore, like we used to do before these "social networks" came to dominate our existence? Why use these new marketing terms coming from the corporations we all know and loathe?
 

Gastec

Posts: 232   +113
Great piece by @GGGos. It's unfortunate that many (commenters) dismissed it and didn't got to reading because they immediately associated "the Metaverse" with Facebook/Meta, but that's not at all accurate.

This is explained in the article, but then again, hard to figure that out if you didn't read the article in the first place.

It does make me wonder though how Facebook getting involved and rebranding themselves as "Meta" may have hurt the entire concept more than anything else so far.
The "concept" is virtual reality, not Metaverse by Facebook.
 

Laurie McKinlay

Posts: 11   +10
I agree that a single point of ownership would be the death of the Metaverse. I touch on that in the article.
I doesn't belong to anyone yet, and hopefully we can keep it that way.
It will belong to the "winning team(s)" - the companies you've mentioned whose infrastructure becomes the dominant version of the metaverse idea. The IP, the severs it runs on, all the data produced ("data is the new oil" being one of the main driving forces behind this) will be privately owned.

We already know that privacy and data protection laws are a joke. The collaboration between government and private sector has eroded what protections there ever were, and revelations from people like Snowden show that government programs are well beyond even acknowledging what red tape there is. I see no reason that adequate protections will be given to all that data.

What concerns me the most is Neuralink. I've no doubt that will be the final step, to have the metaverse linked directly to the mind, which is a true end to privacy - the moment that your thoughts can be read, that you can't have a private thought, then you've lost out on something fundamental.

I appreciate you want to be optimistic about its' use, but I see optimism in the comments here from people accepting that there is such thing as healthy separation from us humans and technology - the polar opposite of what is being pushed with the metaverse.
 

Ashford

Posts: 30   +43
The money is in the tether between the real world and virtual worlds, whether that is the hardware or the client software or both. Whoever controls the most commonly used tether will control the people and effectively influence most everything in the metaverse.
 
Good grief,

This may have been the worse article on the Metaverse I have ever read.

How about this —

There’s this thing called VR. Examples include Oculus Rift, Vive and Nintendo Virtual Boy (look it up). For 30 years people have been saying it’s the next big thing even though it’s clunky, awkward and really lacks a good use case for most people who are not VR gamers. And to be clear, just because someone likes computer and video games doesn’t mean they like VR games.

There’s this thing called persistent virtual worlds. Examples include Second Life, World of Warcraft and something called MUDs (look it up). For 30+ years people have been saying it’s the next big thing even though it’s clunky, awkward and really lacks a good use case for most people who are not virtual world gamers. And to be clear, just because someone likes computer and video games doesn’t mean they like persistent virtual world games.

There’s this guy named Mark Zuckerberg. He makes tons money by misusing personal data and selling advertising. He says VR and virtual worlds are the next big thing.
 
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