Five Risks in the Metaverse Age

Why have humans always wanted 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 human beings is because this thing can entertain God, and human beings bring joy to God in the process of playing games.

Whatever the original purpose of the creators when creating a Metaverse, the people who are in it seek gameplay and entertainment.

As long as the playful nature remains a core feature of human beings, various Metaverses will emerge one after another in the future, and the field will continue to expand.

People are becoming more and more accustomed to solving problems in the Metaverse, which is cyberspace, and the ability to resist problems in the real world is weakened.

Some people have imagined a world where humans all live in a Metaverse through brain-computer interfaces, where 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 way of life to get rid of the constraints of the body and devote yourself to the spiritual world. However, choosing this kind of life means giving up the possibility of exploring the future and challenging yourself in the real world.

In the new book “Metaverse Age”, Dr. Kim Sang-yoon, a core scholar of the Korean Metaverse Project and an expert in the Metaverse Project of Samsung, LG, “Hyundai” Motor and other companies, analyzed the risks and challenges of the Metaverse Age for us.

Risk 1: Decreased ability to resist problems

The Metaverse and the real world are very different in terms of reward mechanisms.

Professor Sunstein of Harvard University has done an experiment about the reward mechanism, and the people participating in the experiment correspond to three different reward mechanisms under a given task.

In the first case, the people participating in the experiment will be paid after successfully completing the task;

In the second case, those who participated in the experiment will get the reward first and then receive the task, but if the task fails, they will get back the full reward;

In the third case, those who participated in the experiment would not receive any payment whether they successfully completed the task or not.

In which case do you think the participants were most satisfied and performed the best?

The results showed that participants performed the best in the first case and the worst in the second. Interestingly, in the third scenario, people showed better outcomes than in the second scenario, even though the participants did not receive any compensation. The results of this experiment fully demonstrate how strongly humans feel about losing something.

Which of the above experiments do you think is more like the one we encounter most often in the real world?

Think about traffic rules in the real world. We don’t get a special reward for obeying traffic rules, but we get a ticket for running a red light, which is a bit like the second scenario in the experiment above.

The human brain responds differently to rewards and punishments. When we are rewarded, the reward area in the nucleus accumbens is activated, and we experience pleasure; when we are punished, the pain-sensing area in the insula is activated, and we experience distress.

When setting rewards and punishments with the same intensity in the experiment, for example, setting the bonus and fine to be 100,000 yuan, the human response to the punishment is almost twice as strong as that to the reward.

In other words, if a person steals 100,000 yuan from you, but someone else gives you 100,000 yuan for nothing, the feeling is not “0 yuan”, but more like 100,000 yuan less.

Most Metaverse systems are designed not around the logic of “subtraction”, such as setting fines, punishments, or criticism, but around “addition”, such as monetary rewards, level-up, and achievement blessings. That’s why we enjoy the Metaverse so much.

Should we turn the subtractive logic in the real world into additive logic, or should we adjust the Metaverse’s design philosophy to move it closer to the subtractive logic in the real world?

We can’t simply blame people for fleeing into the Metaverse in search of positive incentives, because in the real world there’s a lot of deprivation and loss. In a Metaverse that focuses more on positive motivation, what people want to do is embrace bigger challenges. Compared with subtractive logic, people in an additive environment are more willing to explore, communicate and achieve themselves.

When we lose something in the real world, the ensuing sense of loss often plunges us into deep despair. Screw up a running program, or get a less-than-ideal grade, and we’re likely to be faced with wasted bonuses and parental criticism.In the Metaverse, however, if we fail, we have nothing to lose, instead we are encouraged to try again.

In such an environment, the experience of failure has become the driving force for us to become more and more courageous. This is called the frustration effect. Both the real world and the Metaverse should be able to motivate us to constantly challenge ourselves through the frustration effect.

Risk 2: Obsession with Uncertain Rewards

In the 1950s and 1960s, psychologist BF Skinner conducted 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, if I make a post on social media, one case is that I get 10 reply prompts in an hour, and the other case is that I don’t know how many replies I will receive in an hour. Which situation excites me more?

The answer is the latter. Uncertain rewards are more likely to make us addicted.

It’s also for this reason that stocks, while potentially costing us money, are more attractive to us than savings accounts with guaranteed 2% fixed income.

It turns out that a major psychological problem that many people with gambling addictions often exhibit is an obsession with uncertain rewards.

What do we expect after we post? A friend’s comment or a like.

Suppose you go to a meeting after updating a status. After half an hour, you find that 20 message prompts appear on your phone. If you usually only get 10 comments or likes, then getting 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 the Skinner 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, and congratulations will flood in faster than if you told your family and colleagues offline.

In this way, the Metaverse triggers our own reward mechanism once again, further fueling our craving for praise and recognition.

In the Metaverse, human-to-human communication, and human-to-system communication, is designed based on the timeliness of responses and the uncertainty of rewards.

After posting information on social media, have you ever thought, “Why is the comment coming so slowly this time? The response was much better than this before, is that the case this time?”

We have greater expectations for communication in the Metaverse than communication in the real world, which naturally includes greater disappointment and anxiety.

In the previous example, if you were in a meeting and couldn’t wait to check the 20 messages you received in advance, you could say that the Metaverse is already draining your energy.

Risk 3: Data everything

The characters in the game “Three Kingdoms” are all historical heroes who can fight well in the book. Each hero has their own attribute data, which can be used for their command ability, combat skills, resourcefulness, political strategy and leadership charm. 100 points out of 100 for ranking.

If in the real world we really needed to wear a display screen on the top of our head or on our chest to quantify and display all our ability levels, what would it look like?

What if the display screen worn by office workers showed their business planning ability, document writing ability, leadership decision-making ability and problem-solving ability with data?

In the Metaverse, everything is represented and managed by numbers.

When we meet other players or NPCs in the Metaverse, looking at their stats seems like a very efficient way to get to know each other, but we might also feel very uncomfortable when we think that we are just numbers in the eyes of others. be used.

In the workplace, measuring us with data from job evaluations and performance sheets is already very uncomfortable, and if you need to wear this data on your head in the real world, it will make people shudder to think about it.

Imagine a Metaverse like the K-drama “Castle in the Sky” or “The World of the Married”. What ability data would you like displayed on the characters’ heads in the show? Achievement, social status, ability to love, or trustworthiness? These data Categories can seriously affect our ability to fully understand a person.

When we look at a person’s achievement value and status value, we ignore other characteristics of this person. Once we start to measure each ability with data, it is easy to prematurely judge people based on small differences in data.

Although the digital presentation of many things in the Metaverse has effectively improved the efficiency of information transmission, it will also lead to the regret of generalization and shallow taste in communication, and we will eventually be burdened by it.

Risk 4: Everything you own is not yours

Essentially, most of the information and assets people own in the Metaverse are stored in digital format.

Who owns the data? Each Metaverse is owned by a specific company, but does the data generated by our activities in these Metaverses belong to us?

The answer is simple, except in a few special cases, the data generated in the Metaverse is generally not our own.

It is estimated that more than one-third of the world’s population posts on social media. People upload their daily life and thoughts to social media in the form of text or photos. Once the information is uploaded to social media, it is owned by the company that operates the social media platform.

You may ask: this is what I wrote, it was a photo I took, why is it owned by this company?

The terms we agree to by clicking confirm when registering on the social media platform include the condition that the platform operator has the right to use or reuse the text and image information uploaded by the user.

I can delete or modify my uploads and images, but that’s the limit I have.

Even if I delete the text and image information, the platform still has the right to use them when needed. What’s more, even if I delete my account, the platform still retains the text and picture information I uploaded before.

What if I die? The situation remains the same. Many countries allow family members of deceased users to access their digital accounts, which means they can delete their content. However, it is very difficult to delete all data, especially data that has been backed up or shared by platform operators.

We can analyze the issue of ownership in the virtual world Metaverse with some game examples.

We collect items in the game and take the time to let our characters grow in the game. The various items we get in the game, such as various swords, guns, armor, equipment, etc., who owns them?

According to the laws in force in many places, the legal title of the items we use in the game does not belong to us, but to the game company. More strictly speaking, these items don’t even belong to the game company.

Since in-game items are not physical goods, game companies actually own their copyrights. The fee paid by the player is just the purchase of the right to use these items. This has been stated by the game company in the lengthy registration terms when we registered the game.

For example, the terms of a game company are as follows: “Regarding the game services provided by our company, our company only authorizes users to use games, characters, game items and points in accordance with the terms of use stipulated by our company. Users are not allowed to interact with Any third party disposes of in-game items without authorization, including consideration transfer, sale or mortgage.”

All in all, the items I own in the game are not considered my personal property in the legal sense.

Risk 5: “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 that need to be obeyed by those in it. However, just as there are non-law-abiding people in the real world, there are outlaws in the Metaverse.

In most Metaverses, the harshest penalty for a user is a permanent ban.

The so-called “ban” originally means to prohibit doing something. In the Metaverse, the punishment of “banning” means that the user’s account is deleted, and the user is not allowed to return to this Metaverse.

From the perspective of an individual user, a title means that he is permanently expelled from a Metaverse, which is almost equivalent to a “death penalty” for him by the Metaverse.

However, this “death penalty” is not the same as the death penalty imposed for a crime in the real world. As long as users are not required to submit unique identifying information such as passports or ID numbers when registering in the Metaverse, it is possible for people to return to the Metaverse in disguised identities.

To put it simply, in the Metaverse where only user emails or phone numbers are needed for registration and login, users who have been banned can use other information to re-register.

Of course, the new account will not have any connection with the previous account, but the user is completely free to play in the Metaverse with the new identity.

Since it’s so easy to concoct a new identity, many users aren’t afraid to break the rules in the Metaverse. Even if the account is blocked, just create a new account to continue the previous activities.

To solve this problem, some Metaverses track the hardware devices used by banned users and prohibit the device from accessing those 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 will no longer be able to access the Metaverse through this computer or smartphone.

This approach seems to be very tough and effective, but it also affects second-hand computer or mobile phone users who are not aware of it in advance.

Whenever there are rules in the Metaverse forbidding certain behaviors, there are always people with a heart who can quickly find a way to circumvent those rules cunningly.

As a result, many affected users will report such misconduct to the operators of the Metaverse, and the operators of the Metaverse will revise the original rules, temporarily preventing the occurrence of exploiting loopholes.

But once the good guys find loopholes in the revised rules, they can start making waves again, a never-ending contest between rule-makers and breakers, just as it does in the real world.

Some see the Metaverse as a new platform for commerce, others as a new playground, and still others as a new escape from reality.

When you feel overwhelmed by the flood of troubles and unhappiness, you can take a short stay in the Metaverse to relieve your emotions and forget about your worries. However, the Metaverse should not be a way to completely leave reality behind.

No matter how wonderful the world in the Metaverse is, it exists only because we still have reality. If we come to the Metaverse just to escape looming problems and responsibilities, it will ruin our real lives instead.

The Metaverse should be a place where life can be enriched, not a permanent refuge or cage for anyone.

If you dream of building a Metaverse, I want you to think carefully about what your purpose is and how you want to use your Metaverse to expand our lives? If you are a Metaverse user, I hope you can Think about why you came to the Metaverse and how the Metaverse enriches your life.

No matter how profound the world view of the Metaverse we strive to create, how large a user base it attracts, and how rich a communication method it provides, there are always some values ​​in the real world that the Metaverse cannot realize.

What are the things that the Metaverse cannot do?

Like life and death. The beginning and end of life are indeed beyond the realm of the Metaverse.

It’s too easy for us to go in and out of the Metaverse world, but our life begins with a birth and ends with a death. The weight of life that is only once in a lifetime is something that world cannot bear. I take the utility of the Metaverse very seriously, but wouldn’t want it to replace our lives.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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