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Metaverse vs Universe: A Tale of Two Masters

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Zuckerberg and the Masters of the Metaverse

In this scenario, we the people are the universe. What remains to be seen, is how many of us join the metaverse.

First of all, I am not anti-metaverse. I am anti-facebook-led (meta)verse.

Zuckerberg wants us all to work, live, play and escape to the metaverse. Escape from what, exactly? All the horrible things happening around us? Does he not want us to see the growing homeless population on the streets, or the destroyed forests, or garbage filled oceans and polluted streams? What about all the beautiful landscapes and destinations the world offers? We'll be missing those too.

Is the plan for us all to strap on a V/R headset or glasses and forget the physical world exists?

Hard pass, Zuck.

Have you seen Mark's video introducing Meta? He basically describes all the things we can already do, but now we can do them (with even less human interaction) while wearing a headset over our eyes.

How innovative.

Here's a few of my thoughts on the metaverse:

*Again, I am not anti-metaverse but it sure sounds like it below. I do think there are some cool uses for it. But this can be viewed as a somewhat cynical critique...

Zuckerberg states we can have a "home office" to work out of. this isn't for people who work in any industry where being in-person is vital like manufacturing, retail, food, and other services. Got it.

Apparently, in the metaverse, you can design a second virtual home and create a second virtual wardrobe. But here's the can purchase name brand virtual items (from guess who -- advertisers, from virtual advertisers) so it's like keeping up with the jones' but not only in real life but, also in your virtual life too. Sounds expensive, kind of toxic, and exhausting.

You can also invite people to your house and play games and hang out. Wow, ground breaking idea. If only there was a way we could do that already. Oh wait...

When your friends come over in the metaverse, can you hug them? No, not physically. And there's no substitute for human touch. Sorry, not sorry on that one Zuck. I don't care how good your sensory gloves are. It's not the same.

Wait, but apparently you can teleport in the metaverse!? No. Not really. Only as much as you currently can on the internet. Don't try to redefine the meaning of teleport, Zuck. It's just another zoom-like meeting -- with 360 viewing. It's not actual teleporting. We aren't physically traveling anywhere in the metaverse.

Be a lot cooler if you did.

Apparently, everything is a hologram in the metaverse. No more TV's or websites will be needed. Sounds like more advertising to me. I imagine we will be paying for things like concert tickets to watch a hologram perform. Coming to you "live" from the metaverse. I'll save my money.

There will be 3-D art in the metaverse. Oh wait, that already exists too. Those glasses have been a thing for a long time.

According to Zuckerberg,

"You're going to be able to move across all these different experiences on all kinds of different devices, sometimes using virtual reality so you're fully immersed, sometimes using augmented reality glasses so you can be present in the physical world as well, and sometimes on a computer or phone so you can quickly jump into the metaverse from existing platforms."

So, we still will need all those other devices then. The metaverse adds more devices and apps to our lives, which means more ads and things to spend money on. Great.

Horizon is the new Meta (formerly Facebook) V/R social media platform. It has versions for "home", "worlds" and "workspace". It all looks very cartoon like to me. I don't want to travel to a cartoon world. I want to see real destinations. Why does it have to look like we are in a Disney Pixar film?

One thing missing from all the video clips in Zuckerberg's presentation is that he doesn't show anyone wearing a headset when (in reality) all those people will have a headset strapped to their head or a pair of glasses on. It's a sad picture when you envision it as it really is. The two old men playing chess would be wearing headsets in real life, as would the ping pong players, and every other person in the video like the cycling class participants. Technically, if the video is from the metaverse, Mark should also be wearing a headset or glasses his entire presentation. But he is likely just in front of a green screen, not in the metaverse. But what do I know. I'm just a simp for the real world.

One thing comes to mind here about headsets....Guess we'll all be near-sighted in the future? Putting a high speed computing device on your face for extended periods of time cannot be good.

Feels like Zuck is not being totally transparent about what the experience is really like. It was funny how in the video Zuckerberg interviews one of his team, in-person, sitting in the same room. Why not do the interview in the metaverse? Probably because he won't be using it himself very much. The whole thing about Facebook (Meta) has been to keep as many people logged-in, distracted, and engaged as possible to show as many ads as possible to pocket as much money as possible. Why would anyone with half a brain cell think the metaverse wouldn't be the same?

Call me a Negative Nancy, but I'm on team Icelandverse for now. Watch the country of Iceland's tourism video for a great real-world spoof of the Zuckerberg video.

ALSO....If you didn't like my critique of the Metaverse -- go watch Cody Ko's YouTube video critique of the Zuckerberg video announcement. His video's are hilarious.

Signing off (from the real world),


This article was originally posted in my LinkedIn Newsletter "Emerging Technology" which has 70,000+ subscribers.

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