The Metaverse is Already Terrible

The world you already know, but without any of the good parts.

There’s been a lot of writing about the metaverse lately, much of it focused on what Mark Zuckerberg actually means when he says Facebook (or Meta) is creating one. But I was reminded of an article from early October that I think gets at what a metaverse might actually look like.

I increasingly think the metaverse—to the extent it ever even exists in a meaningful way— is going to be like a virtual-reality LinkedIn mixed with Times Square, and a sprinkle of Salesforce. As I wrote in my first post on the subject, the metaverse was conceived in science fiction as an escape from a world destroyed by greed and avarice, the natural byproducts of capitalism and commercialism. But in real life, it is shaping up to simply be an extension the real world—specifically the parts that suck. Ads and marketing—and people talking about ads and marketing—blaring in your face. Over there, in an alley, someone will pitch you on the latest bullshit they have developed. Someone you haven’t seen in a million years running up to you telling you about their new job, and THEN pitching you on the latest bullshit they are selling. It will be a dystopian hellscape populated by everyone you try to avoid in real life.

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