Why do humans always want to create the Metaverse?
Thousands of years ago, Plato explained the origin of the relationship between games and gods. He believes that the reason why God created mankind is because this thing can entertain God, and human beings bring joy to God during the game.
Regardless of the original purpose of the creator when creating a certain Metaverse, the people in it seek gameplay and entertainment.
As long as the playful nature has always been the core feature of mankind, various Metaverses will emerge in an endless stream in the future, and this field will continue to expand.
People are becoming more and more accustomed to solving problems in the Metaverse, that is, in cyberspace, but their ability to resist problems in the real world has been weakened.
Some people have imagined a world in which humans all live in the Metaverse through brain-computer interfaces, and bionic robots or artificial intelligence systems in the real world automatically provide us with the nutrients we need.
At first glance, this seems to be a lifestyle of getting rid of the shackles of the body and being deeply involved in the spiritual world. However, choosing this kind of life means giving up the possibility of exploring the future and challenging oneself in the real world.
Dr. Kim Sang-yoon, the core scholar of the South Korean Metaverse project and the expert on the Metaverse project of Samsung, LG, and “Hyundai” Automobile, has analyzed the risks and challenges of the Metaverse era for us in the new book “The Era of the Universe”.
Risk 1: The ability to resist problems continues to decrease
There is a big difference between the reward mechanism of the Metaverse and the real world.
Professor Sunstein of Harvard University did an experiment on reward mechanism. The participants in the experiment correspond to three different reward mechanisms under a given task.
In the first case, the participants in the experiment will be paid after successfully completing the task;
In the second case, the people participating in the experiment will be paid first before receiving the task, but if the task fails, the full payment will be recovered;
In the third case, the participants in the experiment will not receive any rewards regardless of whether they successfully complete the task.
In which case do you think the experiment participants have the highest satisfaction and the best performance?
The results showed that the participants performed the best in the first case and the worst in the second. What’s interesting is that in the third case, although the participants won’t get any rewards, people show better results than in the second case. The results of this experiment fully show how strong humans feel about losing something.
In the above experiment, which situation do you think is more like the situation we most often encounter in the real world?
Think about the traffic rules in the real world. We won’t get special rewards for observing traffic rules, but if we run a red light, we will get a ticket. This is a bit like the second situation in the above experiment.
The human brain responds differently to rewards and punishments. When we are rewarded, the reward area in the nucleus accumbens of the brain will be activated and we will feel pleasure; when we are punished, the pain perception area in the insula will be activated and we will feel distress.
In the experiment, when rewards and punishments of the same strength are set, for example, when the bonus and fine are set to be 100,000 yuan, the human response to the punishment is almost twice as strong as the reward.
In other words, if a person steals 100,000 yuan from you, but someone gives you 100,000 yuan in vain soon, the feeling is not “0 yuan”, but more like 100,000 yuan less.
Most of the Metaverse system design does not revolve around the logic of “subtraction”, such as setting fines, punishments or criticisms, but revolves around “addition”, such as monetary rewards, level upgrades, and achievement blessings. This is why we enjoy the Metaverse so much.
Should we turn the subtraction logic in the real world into addition logic, or should we adjust the design concept of the Metaverse to move it closer to the subtraction logic in the real world?
We cannot simply criticize people for escaping into the Metaverse to seek the sweetness of positive motivation, because the sense of deprivation and loss in the real world is not uncommon. In a Metaverse that pays more attention to positive incentives, what people want to do is embrace greater challenges. Compared with subtraction logic, people in an addition environment are more willing to explore, communicate and achieve themselves.
When we are defeated by something in the real world, the sense of loss that comes with it often leaves us in despair. If we mess up the project in operation, or get unsatisfactory results, we are likely to face stale bonuses and parental criticism.However, in the Metaverse, if we fail, we will not lose anything. On the contrary, we will be encouraged to try again.
In such an environment, the experience of failure has become our motivation to become more frustrated and courageous.This is the so-called frustration effect. Both the real world and the Metaverse should be able to inspire us to constantly challenge ourselves through frustration.
Risk 2: Obsession with uncertainty rewards
In the 1950s and 1960s, psychologist BF Skinner did a series of experiments to study what kind of reward mechanism can better satisfy people’s desires. Specifically, there are two experiments on the randomness and determinism of rewards.
For example, I posted a post on social media. One situation is that I will receive 10 replies within an hour, and the other situation is that I don’t know how many replies will be received within an hour. Which situation will excite me more?
The answer is the latter. Uncertain rewards are more likely to make us want to stop.
It is also for this reason that, compared to a savings account that can guarantee 2% fixed income, stocks may make us lose our money, but they are more attractive to us.
It turns out that a major psychological problem that many people addicted to gambling often show is their obsession with uncertain rewards.
What do we expect after posting? It is a friend’s comment or like.
Suppose you go to a meeting after updating a status, and half an hour later, you find that 20 messages appear on your phone. If you can only get 10 comments or likes under normal circumstances, then receiving 20 messages in such a short period of time is beyond your imagination. At this time, you will be very curious about who gave what kind of response.
The Metaverse stirs people’s nerves through a random reward mechanism similar to Skinner’s experiment.
We get feedback from the metaverse much faster than in the real world. If you get a promotion, post the news on social media. Congratulations will come in quickly, much faster than you can get congratulations after telling your family and colleagues offline.
In this way, the Metaverse once again triggered our own reward mechanism, further stimulating our urgent desire for praise and recognition.
In the Metaverse, human-to-human communication and human-system communication are designed based on the timeliness of response and the uncertainty of rewards.
After posting the information on social media, have you ever thought about it: “Why are the comments coming so slowly this time? The response has been much better before, but is it this time?”
Compared with the communication in the real world, we have greater expectations for the communication in the Metaverse, but the following nature includes greater disappointment and anxiety.
In the aforementioned example, if you can’t wait to check the 20 messages you have received in advance during a meeting, then it can be said that the metaverse is already consuming your energy.
Risk three: digitize everything
The characters in the game “Three Kingdoms” are all historical heroes who can conquer good combat in the book. Each hero has its own attribute data, which can be based on their command ability, combat skills, intellect level, political strategy and charisma. 100 points for ranking.
If in the real world we really need to wear a display screen on top of our head or chest to quantify and display all our ability levels, what would it be like?
If the display screens worn by office workers mark their business planning ability, document writing ability, leadership decision-making ability and problem-solving ability with data, what will it be like?
In the Metaverse, all things are represented and managed by numbers.
When we meet other players or NPCs in the Metaverse, checking their data seems to be a very efficient way to understand each other, but if we think that we are just some numbers in the eyes of others, I am afraid we will also feel very different. Useful.
In the workplace, it is already very uncomfortable to use the data in the job evaluation and performance table to measure us. If you need to wear these data on your head in the real world, it will make you shudder to think about it.
Imagine a Metaverse like the Korean drama “Castle in the Sky” or “The World of Couples”. What ability data do you want to display on the heads of the characters in the drama? Achievement, social status, ability to love, or credibility? These data? Categories can seriously affect our ability to fully understand a person.
When we see the achievement value and status value of a person, we ignore the other characteristics of the person. Once we begin to use data to measure each ability, it is easy to prematurely judge people based on small data differences.
Although many things in the Metaverse have effectively improved the efficiency of information transmission through digital presentation, it will also lead to regrets that are partial and simple in communication, and we will eventually be tired of them.
Risk 4: Everything you have does not belong to you
In essence, most of the information and assets owned by people in the Metaverse are stored in digital format.
Who owns these data? Each Metaverse belongs to a specific company, but does the data generated by our activities in these Metaverses belong to us?
The answer is simple. Except for some special cases, the data generated in the Metaverse usually does not belong to us.
It is estimated that more than one-third of people in the world will post information on social media. People upload their daily life and thoughts to social media in the form of text or photos. Once this information is uploaded to social media, it belongs to the company that operates the social media platform.
You may ask: This is what I wrote and the photos I took. Why does it belong to this company?
The terms we clicked to confirm when registering the social media platform included the condition that the platform operator has the right to use or reuse the text and image information uploaded by users.
I can delete or modify the content and images I uploaded, but the permissions I have are also limited to this.
Even if I delete the text and picture information, the platform still has the right to use them when needed. What’s more, even if I delete the account, the platform still retains the text and picture information I uploaded before.
What if I die? The situation remains unchanged. Many countries allow the family of a deceased user to access their digital account, which means that the family can delete the content. However, it is very difficult to delete all data, especially those that have been backed up or shared by the platform operator.
We can analyze the ownership problem in the virtual world Metaverse through some game examples.
We collect items in the game and spend time to let our characters grow in the game. Who owns the various items we obtained in the game, such as various swords, guns, armors, equipment, etc.?
According to the current laws in many places, the legal ownership of the items we use in the game does not belong to us, but to the game company. To be more rigorous, these items do not even belong to the game company.
Since the items in the game are not physical goods, the game companies actually own their copyrights. The fee paid by the player is only the purchase of the right to use these items. This was stated by the game company in the lengthy registration terms when we registered the game.
All in all, the items I own in the game cannot be recognized as my personal property in the legal sense.
Risk five: “title” does not equal “death”
A Metaverse is essentially a world. Just as there are laws in the real world, each Metaverse has its own rules, which need to be obeyed by those in it. However, just as there are people who do not abide by the law in the real world, there are also people outside the law in the Metaverse.
In most Metaverses, the most severe punishment for users is permanent ban.
The so-called “blocking” originally meant prohibiting doing something. In the metaverse, the punishment of “blocking” means that the user’s account is deleted and the user is no longer allowed to return to the metaverse.
From the perspective of individual users, the title means that oneself is permanently expelled from a certain metaverse, which is almost equivalent to the “death penalty” imposed on him by the metaverse.
However, this “death penalty” is different from the death penalty imposed for crimes in the real world. As long as users are not required to submit unique identification information such as passports or ID numbers when registering in Metaverse, it is possible for people to return to Metaverse under a disguised identity.
To put it simply, in Metaverse, where only the user’s email or phone number is required to register and log in, the blocked user can use other information to re-register.
Of course, the new account will not have any connection with the previous account, but the user can completely escape in the metaverse with the new identity.
Since it is so easy to fabricate a new identity, many users are not afraid of breaking the rules in the Metaverse. Even if the account is blocked, you only need to create a new account to continue your previous activities.
In order to solve this problem, some Metaverses will track the hardware devices used by the authorized users and prohibit the device from accessing these Metaverses. If the unique identification code of a computer running a proxy robot program or a mobile phone that has uploaded obscene information is found, even if the user registers another account, he can no longer access Metaverse through this computer or smart phone.
This approach seems very tough and effective, but it also affects second-hand computer or mobile phone users who don’t know beforehand.
Whenever there are rules forbidding certain behaviors in the Metaverse, there are always people with intentions who can quickly find a way to circumvent these rules cunningly.
As a result, many affected users will report such misconduct to the operator of Metaverse, and the operator of Metaverse will revise the original rules to temporarily prevent the occurrence of loopholes.
But once the bad guys find loopholes in the revised rules, they can start making waves again. This is a never-ending contest between rule makers and saboteurs, which is exactly the same as in the real world.
Some people regard Metaverse as a new commercial platform, some as a new playground, and others as a new place to escape reality.
When you are depressed by the tide of worries and unhappiness, you can stay in the Metaverse for a short time to relieve your emotions and forget your worries. However, the Metaverse should not be a way to completely forget the reality.
No matter how wonderful the world in the Metaverse is, it exists entirely because we still have reality. If we come to the Metaverse just to escape the looming problems and responsibilities, it will ruin our real lives.
The Metaverse should be a place that can enrich one’s life, and should not be a permanent refuge or cage for anyone.
If you dream of building a Metaverse, I hope you can think carefully about what your purpose is and how do you want to use your Metaverse to expand our lives? If you are a user of the Metaverse, I hope you can Think about why you came to the Metaverse, and how the Metaverse has enriched your life.
No matter how profound the worldview of the metaverse we are trying to create, how large a user base it attracts, and how rich communication methods it provides, there will always be some value in the real world that metaverse cannot realize.
What things are beyond the reach of the Metaverse?
Such as life and death. The beginning and end of life are indeed beyond the scope of the Metaverse.
It is too easy for us to get in and out of the world of the Metaverse, but our life begins with one birth and ends with one death. The weight of life that is only once in a lifetime cannot be carried by that world. I attach great importance to the utility of the Metaverse, but I do not want it to replace our lives.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/5-major-risks-in-the-metaverse-era/
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