The Lightness of the Metaverse and the Weight of the Real World

  The Origin Universe is coming with great momentum. “The Metaverse is an industry-wide vision that spans many companies,” Zuckerberg said. “You can think of it as the successor to the mobile internet.” David Baszotsky, founder of the gaming platform Roblox, even wrote: “It can be argued that the metaverse, like the telephone or the Internet, is a major shift in network communications.”
  Of course, we’ve seen this scene before: Many Silicon Valley companies have banded together to embrace a new, obscure concept like big data, the Internet of Things, etc. that sounds both sufficiently futuristic and freshly appealing to investors who like the big picture. In the case of the Metaverse, this sense of déjà vu hasn’t stopped these companies from instigating an inevitable sense of fatalism within the industry and in society, nor has it shaken advocates touting the urgency of its imminent arrival.
  If it’s coming, if it’s a big deal, it’s surprising how few people have stopped to take a closer look at the actual provenance of the metaverse, especially since its source is a deeply dystopian novel about a A collapsed America overshadowed by violence and poverty.
  The term “metaverse” was born out of Neil Stephenson’s 1992 Avalanche, a poor, hopeless land ruled by corporate franchises. The actual scene in Avalanche goes like this: On a black ground, under a black sky, like the night in Las Vegas, Stephenson’s metaverse is made up of “streets,” an expanse of The Avenue, where buildings and signs represent “different software designed by big companies”. The companies all pay for their digital real estate to an entity called the Global Multimedia Protocol Organization. Users also pay for access; those who can only afford cheap public terminals, witness grainy black and white in the metaverse.
  Avalanche features Hiro, a part-time delivery driver and hacker who lives in a 20×30 pantry with an alcoholic roommate. He lived a poor life and spent a lot of time in the metaverse.
  At this point, the United States as we know it no longer exists, with corporate entities and organized crime taking control of entire city-states. Workers like Hiro could be killed for delivering pizza for too long, and they’re driven into a surreal underworld in search of extrajudicial work and enough money to make ends meet. The only safe place in the physical world “burbclaves” where the wealthy live in gated communities that are heavily guarded. Users choose an avatar to represent their digital self and enter the metaverse through a VR eyepiece — the kind of 3D digital environment most people who know video games today are familiar with, albeit massively. Developers can build their own alleys, buildings, parks, etc. next to the main street, as well as things that do not exist in reality, such as giant light shows hovering overhead, special blocks that ignore the rules of 3D space-time, and people can go hunting. Kill the opponent’s free fighting zone.
  In the book, which is seen as the origin of the current metaverse craze, not only is the real world in ruins, with most people barely making ends meet in extreme poverty, but the metaverse itself is an addictive, Violent places are the boosters of the worst human impulses.
  The novel paints an extremely bleak outlook, and it’s worth pondering why real-world CEOs’ next big tech concept emerged from an environment of mass hysteria. In this immersive, shared 3D digital environment, anything can happen, offering many people the only chance to escape from an intolerable reality. Avalanche suggests that either the metaverse is so popular because the world is so bad, or the world is so bad because the metaverse is so popular. It’s a strange junction where the Metas want to build the company’s future!
  To be tempted to spend a lot of time in the metaverse, you have to make it more attractive than reality, and it can be done in two ways – or the world outside is bad enough to send you into a glitch-prone, murder-filled The fantasy of substituting the world, or being someone else, is enough to devour you completely. Both are self-destructive behaviors.

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