What is this new-fangled Metaverse? How you can sound intelligent about it
The new-fangled Metaverse is simply a visual internet. Instead of going to a website and reading a page’s contents, you will go to a Metasite and see it, interacting in 2D (on a screen) or 3D (virtual reality headset).
Interestingly, everyone, well mainly the trillionaire controlled companies, has different visions (pun intended) and different motivations for the Metaverse. Wikipedia has a concise definition.
The new-fangled Metaverse will be different things to different moguls.
Amacon Amazon wants the world’s biggest virtual shopping mall where you can spend your hard-earned bitcons bitcoins (digital currency) on goods you never knew you needed. Goods like digital clothes to keep your avatar looking spiffy. Hey, once you go down this rabbit hole, your digital wallet will constantly be empty. Farcebook Fakebook, Facebook wants a virtual community where you never have to leave the safety of your own chair/home to interact with friends and stranger dangers. Imagine all the advertisements it can serve you interlaced with occasional biased news snippets, political commments and proselytising (evangelising) Nutflux Netflix et al. want a pleasureverse where you can watch movies, pig out on GOT, and play games, all with small in-app purchases that you must have. Microsloth Microsoft wants everyone to use their Metaware to access the Metaverse, for a small monthly fee, of course. Office 365 will become Out-of-Office 3-out-of-5. Gaggle Google will subtly interweave carefully curated advertisements into the virtual fabric. Crapple Apple will reject the Metaverse. Instead, it will create a safe, serene, genderless walled garden to protect its sheep users from the real world while charging for the privilege. And it will claim Steve Jobs invented it anyway!
The moral of the story is that the Metaverse is the internet with pictures. What happens in the world-wide-web will happen there – only worse.
The new-fangled Metaverse won’t happen for a while
Why? Simple. The world does not have
Skynet the available bandwidth to convert zillions of static web pages to virtual ones. There is a mad scramble to get everyone to 5G, 6G, 7G and more. It is why NBN will soon have to offer multi-gigabit connections for $99 per month. It is why Elon Musk ( Teaser and Spaceballs), Tesla and SpaceX are launching millions of low earth orbit satellites to build Skynet. Oh, and to get low-latency internet and the new-fangled Metaverse for the moon, Mars and beyond.
And the cost of converting your local café from an infrequently updated website to a new-fangled Metaverse site won’t be cheap.
Warning Will Robinson – the Metaverse is an ideal place for the dark Metaverse too
As usual, the key players are like bulls in a China shop, all forging ahead with their somewhat disparate visions. But, cyber criminals are one step ahead with the potential to control this new wild, wild, Metaverse.
Before the Metaverse gets any further we need global legislation to ensure children’s and grown-up’s safety. It must stop paedophiles, bullies and extortionists from using it for their vicarious pleasures. Let’s make it safer than the WWW that we may have to abandon because it is so dangerous.
How will governments handle the Metaverse economy?
It is only a little thing, but in Australia, we have a 10% GST that helps keep personal and company taxes where they are. We also have a bank/finance/clearing system that handles the collection of GST (or VAT). The new-fangled Metaverse is global, and taxing is a huge issue, let alone ensuring you get the goods.
And let’s not forget the significant drivers of internet innovations – porn, gambling and bitcoin. You can be sure these will be among the first to invent procto-prods, new ways to lose money and highly speculative currency.
CyberShack’s view – the new-fangled Metaverse is just an evolution of the internet
Readers need not worry. I doubt that it will evolve so fast that one day we will wake up and must use it.
Progress is good. Early adopters will shape its future. But let’s not forget that a virtual beer does not taste as good as a real one!