Three words: Ready Player One.
The metaverse is a shared virtual world which people can access via the internet. Until recently, it was confined to games; however, now with Facebook and Microsoft building out their own “escape from reality” metaverse platforms, people will continue to avoid living IRL.
Fans of the metaverse see it as the next stage in the development of the internet. I think it’s gross. I think the big tech companies are trying to predict the future and this is one possibility that users want. It is the most ridiculous thing happening in our society and I hope it doesn’t become the norm.
Will there be money made hand over fist in this new virtual escape hatch? Sure. Facebook (now Meta) owns the biggest social media services and Microsoft (same ole’ name) owns the largest business related network in LinkedIn. Neither would be spending so much money if they didn’t expect to see major ROI. That doesn’t mean it is (or will be) good for society.
Meetup, a service that helps people meet up in real life, was bought by WeWork in 2017 for $150 million and was sold last year for a fraction of that value. Now, many people use social media sites today to meet up in 3D. Will the metaverse help further that?