Facebook changed its name to Meta—which happens to mean “dead” in Hebrew. The change also morphs the big-tech acronym from FAANG to MANGA. So that’s fun.
As with most big ideas, half the internet thinks Meta is Jesus, and half the internet thinks it’s the Zune. This also applies to NFTs and crypto, and it’s too early to say for all three.
But for the metaverse (hard to argue meta isn’t the leader when it’s right there in the name) I think we’re missing an important point:
The real world is becoming increasingly hostile to regular people who do regular work.
I think the metaverse will be massive not so much because gaming and VR will be big, but because gaming and VR will be the only avenue to thrive for the bottom 80% of people on the planet.
This isn’t about virtual reality, it’s about alternative reality. As in—the alternative people will flock to when regular reality becomes unbearable.
How smart is that?
Not only are they building the obvious home for gaming, but they’re also building the future evacuation zone for everyone who can’t afford to thrive in meatspace. Which is most people.
I’m not one to say this, but it could be said that the billionaires are creating a world where the millionaires will reign in the real world, and everyone else will move to VR.
Big corporations will start providing the main services, like healthcare and delivering mail, and the government will just subsidize to make sure the people don’t revolt. The better the VR is, the quieter the masses will be. And I don’t mean this in an Orwell sense. I mean it in a Huxley sense.
Whoever controls that ecosystem—or even a major portion of it—is going to be something like god. It’ll be like AWS for a functioning society. They’ll have lots of SREs not so they don’t lose revenue, but so they don’t have riots in the streets.
I mean that’s a cool fiction story idea right there. There’s an outage in The Meta, which causes people to go outside of their houses and socialize, and while they’re out there they realize the rich people actually live here, and have a better life than they do. Hijinks ensue.
It’s a lot like waking from the Matrix actually, and realizing that you want real life instead.
Anyway, this is a smart move by Face-meta. It allows Zuckerberg to dodge the scrutiny bullets and become a quixotic futurist, and at the same time build the reality substrate for 80% of the planet.