Facebook’s Metaverse presentations reveal an alarming lack of imagination and overuse of tech buzzwords.
Metaverse is a supposed idealized immersive successor of the internet that was first predicted in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash.
It is a virtual space where billions of users will move, interact, and operate across myriad different but interoperable worlds and situations, always retaining their avatar identities, virtual possessions, and digital currencies. The bad news is that Zuckerberg’s plans for the Metaverse sound incredibly dull and with every new update it doesn’t get any better.
Zuckerberg’s Twitter critics
The Facebook CEO has once again come under fire on Twitter, but this time it’s not for surfing or barbecue sauce.
Mark Zuckerberg really keeps looking more like Data from Star Trek. pic.twitter.com/Eqtc1uLJ9b— ((Fitzy)) 🐍 (@TheFknLizrdKing) July 19, 2020
He celebrated the launch of Horizon Worlds in France and Spain on Tuesday by sharing a screenshot from the game on Facebook.
The picture depicts Mark’s lifeless Avatar standing in an empty landscape that is home to nothing except a miniature Eiffel Tower and Barcelona’s Tibidabo Cathedral.
Mark Zuckerberg launches Horizon Worlds in France and Spain with an eye-gougingly ugly VR selfie. Meta’s metaverse ploy is surely dying in the dark. pic.twitter.com/j0l6yTYye4— Ordinary Things (@ordinarytings) August 16, 2022
People who saw the image yesterday claimed it strangely appeared worse than the long-running live sim, thereby causing “Second Life” to trend on Twitter for a couple of hours.
On the same day that Fortnite unveiled its hugely successful crossover with Dragon Ball Z, many people remarked that this is what Mark Zuckerberg is trying to accomplish with his metaverse.
This just keeps happening
This occurs frequently with Zuckerberg and his metaverse since Horizon Worlds has had a horrible aesthetic from the beginning and has scarcely improved. The avatars in Horizon Worlds continue to resemble Nintendo Miis from 2012 and still don’t have legs.
It makes sense that providing 2D screenshots of VR is challenging since VR generally has poorer graphics than traditional console and PC games. However, it still remains true that Horizon Worlds is one of the least attractive VR currently on the market.
Second Life 2007. Metaverse 2022. pic.twitter.com/2JByEzk5eL— Andres Guadamuz (@technollama) August 17, 2022
About $10 billion has been spent by Meta on its Horizon (a VR-focused version of the Metaverse), even embarrassingly changing its company name to reflect that.
But this keeps happening, and Mark keeps braggingly displaying these odd situations where he converses with Neil Degrasse Tyson – and is unable to get his avatar to do a fist bump.
Another case is the controversial VR tour of a disaster zone in Puerto Rico that was slammed online for being tone deaf, and the avatars did actually look even worse in 2017.
The problem here is pretty obvious
If you are a Meta investor, and you have the head of the company saying that the metaverse is the future and keep posting things that look worse than PlayStation Home in 2008, it would seem strange to have any confidence in that vision or in that person.
The Metaverse concept
To sell blockchain real estate and NFTs in empty worlds, both Zuckerberg and a veritable army of Web 3.0 grifters have completely distorted the idea of the “metaverse.”
The “real” metaverses, or the closest thing to them, are large-scale games that have existed for years. For instance, games like Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, or even GTA Online are far closer to a traditional vision of the metaverse than anything Zuckerberg or blockchain nuts have come up with.
Zuckerberg has staked everything on VR and the notion that users will only use it for extremely dull activities like playing ping pong or attending business meetings.
Even within the VR space, Meta’s $10 billion investment seems like producing worse results than something like VR Chat or the booming V-Tuber space on Twitch and YouTube.
This is just embarrassing. The graphics are literally terrible and strangely, no avatar has legs after five years of development. Yet Zuckerberg seems entirely immune to the humiliation.
Perhaps Mark simply does not understand how bad this looks for him and his company and his grand vision of the Metaverse, which he seems to understand less than all of his competition.
If he keeps going in this direction, neither he nor Meta is going to come out of this on top.