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The Metaverse Doesn’t Have a Leg to Stand On

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Of course you can’t. Virtual reality has been at the height of its success for decades, but has failed to captivate the masses. In an essay for WIRED just before Facebook went meta, writer and academic David Karpf said: Overview How, time and again, the promise to shake up the culture of VR failed to materialize, despite significant advances in hardware and software. “Technology is always almost turn a corner, almost More than just a game console almost Revolutionize fields such as architecture, defense, and medicine. The future of work, entertainment, travel and society is always on the verge of upgrading his giant virtual he,” he wrote, adding that the problem boils down to the simple fact that “swinging a virtual sword quickly wears you out.” Claims to return.

Zuckerberg’s particular metaverse barely manages to deliver the expected number of limbs, not to mention the feeling that somewhere far away you have a limb that is at home with a loved one. Far from feeling that, anyone currently traversing Horizon Worlds has to move around wearing a clunky headset that needs to be recharged frequently. That is, not only is it not beyond the “little window” of the screen, but it is physically tethered to the charger.

Indeed, it is early days, and in 20 or 30 years there may be major innovations that make the feeling of being physically present with other people in a virtual space more relevant. Hmm. (matrix Pod, anyone?) But even if that happens, there’s a much bigger obstacle to overcome: whether people want this in the first place. , would you rather spend a good chunk of your wild and precious life in a corporate-controlled simulacrum instead? Even the coolest virtual sword loses its luster.

Big Tech leaders, especially Zuckerberg, have made bold bets that they can profit from the Metaverse. This doesn’t automatically become what people want. In particular, the silliness of meta’s quest has to do with its breadth of ambition. The most successful metaverses today are game platforms that: roblox and Epic Games Fortnite. But meta isn’t going to be next roblox Also fortniteThey devour them and spit them out into a very large corner of the world where people go not only to play games but also to work, hang out, read, stream, scroll and of course buy. I’m going to put it out.

This more ambitious vision for a Metaverse (completely parallel universe) is misplaced. It rests on a frankly bizarre assumption that people are desperate to move further into digitized replicas of the real world complete with real estate bubbles, art speculation, and Zoom meetings.This is an assumption for which there is sufficient evidence Against That. It’s not that society has turned its back on the internet — people spend an inordinate amount of time both online and playing video games — but there’s no push for a new, more powerful version. , especially after the pandemic has relegated professionals in large cities to highly online, remote-work lifestyles, cultural appetites for in-person events, face-to-face conversations, and unextended realities.

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