By changing the name of its parent company to Meta, Facebook has put a stake in the ground. It will be a sign of the metaverse, which is the future of the internet. Even if we didn’t like it.
On the Meta website, it says that the metaverse is “a collection of digital places to interact, learn, play, and do other things.” People aren’t sure if Horizon Worlds, the first serious attempt at the metaverse, is a step forward or backward. Horizon Worlds is a virtual reality realm so dull and empty that it has made people question the metaverse.
People have been talking about the metaverse long before there was Facebook. Things like video games like Fortnite, online communities like Discord, and platform games like Roblox show how it could be used and how fun it could be. There won’t be a switch to turn it on, so it won’t work. Whether you knew it or not, you’ve already been through some of it. There is less and less difference between who you are in real life and who you are online. From the real world to the Internet and back again.
The metaverse is not like a 3D world. Instead, it’s a step toward making the link between our physical and digital identities more immersive, real-time, and accurate to us. This change could change the way we look at and use technology. Since people started using the mobile internet, things have changed in many ways. It makes it harder to tell where the real world ends and the digital world begins.
Meta’s dystopia is empty and has no heart, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the metaverse doesn’t do well. Even after two years and a lot of money, Decentraland won’t be able to make a digital universe. The project doesn’t get as much attention as a pretty well-known independent game.
Horizon Worlds and Decentraland have to compete with games, movies, and social networks, which are much more fun ways to spend time online.
They are also fighting against the real world, which is probably the most obvious. If you tell people they will work and play in the metaverse; it better be better than what they do now in their everyday lives. At this point, the winner is still the meatspace. It is not even quite comparable.
You need magic to get to the metaverse
People have always thought playing video games was like magic. The most interesting thing you can do in Animal Crossing is see your cat neighbor. In Horizon Worlds, you can see a coworker who doesn’t have legs at a meeting table.
But artists need to be inspired to work in a particular medium and have the tools they need to do so. Giving money to people to make content doesn’t work and is about to go out of style. Creative people don’t want their dreams crushed to make money, and they also don’t want their choices to be limited by the limits of a platform.
On the other hand, when people who make things own the things they make, they work harder. Their work can be sold immediately and forever, so they don’t have to worry about making business ads or writing content for other websites. And in the best case, which is not likely, it is run in a truly decentralized way and doesn’t involve lying.
How the metaverse looks should be up to the people who make it. It’s essential that it’s in multiple places and that people control it. This means that they can make and sell their work without a brand. This means that creators don’t have to follow the rules of social networks like Instagram and Snapchat and can do whatever they want. Creators will want to use protocols that are designed for decentralization. People can make cool new places and learn more about what it means to be creative in the metaverse. In the future, there could be gentrification.
Meta is set up to put ad revenue and brand partners first; a strategy meant to hurt artists and users. This means the artist cannot change the work in any way they want. A straightforward way for artists to connect with their communities will make the metaverse so fantastic. This relationship makes it easier to trust each other. Auto-bot is open to everyone who wants to trade cryptocurrency.
When used on its own, the context-driven form of the metaverse risks becoming centralized and subject to the economics of the attention economy. Because of this, it needs to be mixed with the creator’s spirit and decentralization. If we let artists change the world, the changes will improve our lives, not worse.