Why the world isn’t ready for the Metaverse

Why the world isn’t ready for the Metaverse
Why the world isn’t ready for the Metaverse

Talk of the Metaverse has all but subsided (for now), and there's probably a very good reason for this, in that we're not ready, both from a technological nor moral standpoint.

Game of Meta-Thrones

The very idea of a Metaverse is to have interconnected operability within virtual Worlds, open and navigable. But we live in a time of giant monopolies and duopolies, as such, with the level of consciousness around the players, each want to package, wrap and ship their version of closed envirionment Metaverse, which is the exact opposite around the very essence of its ideation.

We are so early on in this virtual "Game of Thrones", that at the moment, just Meta have a stronghold over the market, and have the most mature platform in the Oculus Store (and App Lab), and have the biggest ecosystem of head mounted displays (HMDs) out there, currently over 20 million plus.

Meta has made some big bets, the biggest in my view was to rebrand using Meta(verse). The issue for Meta, is now that the very term is a some sort of dying phraseology, they really have bet the house on a noun and not an ideology. Though one thing is for sure, the billions of Dollars that Mark Zuckerberg has ploughed into, not only the platform but the very idea that VR is cool, has lifted the whole VR industry, and for that, everyone in it should thank him.

Sure he has made some mistakes, price positioning of the Quest Pro for one, though as I write that has now been aligned to that of the HTC Vive XR Elite, maybe, just maybe, as with everything in tech, everyone knows everymove, that he knew of the XR Elite and had a price drop of the Quest Pro baked in his model to take steam out of HTC's wings. Who knows, he's a seasoned player, and I wouldn't bet against him.

Apple's new core?

So, I guess soon we will have a version of Cournot's duopoly , Apple, Meta. Plus a few peripheral players, playing more to their own markets needs (Far East). It's utterly pointless for me to write paragraphs on why Apple will be a dominant player, or 50% of the great duoply. A global store network, everywhere all at once, Apple pay, interconnectivity of Apple products all feeding each other. Enough already.

Why the world isn’t ready for the Metaverse

Virtual reality (VR) technology has come a long way in recent years, and many experts believe that social VR is the next big thing. One simply can't escape the fact that the most played games in VR have all had a social or multiplayer element to them. However, just as the title of this essay alludes to, there are several reasons why the world may not be ready for a 'social' Metaverse just yet.

In 2004, The Facebook was formed, two years after that came Twitter and a slew of other social media platforms have risen, some have fallen, but the glue that bonds them all together is people, their data and their trust. None of the platform owners have excelled in this area, only to turn the users into repeatable recurring revenue machines with algorithms that have advertisers chasing their tail every two days thinking they have found the secret sauce to sales.

My point is, the very people that want to own and control the Metaverse, are the same people allowing kids to commit suicide, allowing racial hatred and political divisons to propagate and flourish, mostly unchecked. How many fines have Meta alone had to pay in non compliance of data use? One billion Euros in GDPR fines in 2022.

So why do we think these companies are fit and proper to run the Metaverse when their lack of diligence and total disregard of the effects their platforms have on many groups and individuals?

Too social by half?

Let's go back to social VR. I have been in almost all of the VR social worlds from Meta's Horizon and Venues, VRChat, the market leader and others. One thing I have found immediately on entering these platforms, are the amount of underage kids with absolutely no social etiquette being entirely inappropriate in a sexual way. Well it's all harmless fun I hear you say, kids will be kids. It's a class action waiting to happen, and moderators can't be everywhere at once. (You can report people on VRChat here if you have experienced something distasteful).


Well, maybe I'm being too hard on these companies, but maybe not, but if we can't control bad behaviour with 20 years of social media learnings at our fingertips, then how can we safely use and navigate a Metaverse run by these same entities that have failed abysmally and countless times?

There are organisations that have formed to provide a set of standards in the Metaverse, where are they and what are they doing? Game & Gamekeeper?

So, what do you think from a moral safety standpoint, are we ready for the Metaverse? I'll leave that to you.