We don’t need Metaverse

The voice of the workers.

From the early fantasy of establishing a liberal utopia, to fully replacing traditional cars as planned, Silicon Valley has never lacked technological proposals that seem to have a bright future, but have never been realized. The meta universe may also suffer the same premature fate, but the concept itself will have far-reaching impact. Metaverse is not a utopian vision, but another opportunity for the technology giants to expand.

More and more companies are entering 

Mark Zuckerberg has always emphasized that he has conceived the way people will socialize in the future. On October 28, Zuckerberg formally proposed his vision for the “Meta Universe” plan, which is to create a virtual environment for users to hang out, shop, and work. This “more immersive Internet” should have at least the following elements:

shared social space that can present the image of users . Nowadays, on social media, user images are represented by their own avatars. In the meta-universe, this image is a customized image that can move, speak, complete prescribed actions, etc.

A lasting “world” for users to live in and interact with. Analogy to real world space and land resources.

The ability to own virtual property. Recently, people have tried to use decentralized NFTs to track and establish the ownership of virtual goods. Such NFTs can circulate freely among meta-universes controlled by different companies. But in reality, it is almost impossible to achieve such NFTs standard setting and cooperation between companies.

The ability to create virtual property. Users can create their own content to enrich the meta-universe. But if the company that controls the metaverse wants to profit from it, copyright issues need to be resolved.

The ability to exchange and sell virtual property. However, there is currently no solution to issues such as whether the “ownership” of the virtual land belongs to the user or the company.

Multiple large companies can share intellectual property rights. It is not easy to realize the interaction between meta-universes controlled by different companies.

Realize 3D telepresence through VR or AR glasses.

“The best way to understand the metaverse is to experience it in person, but it’s a bit difficult because it doesn’t fully exist yet,” Zuckerberg said. The realization of Meta Universe requires on the one hand technology giants such as Facebook to support the concept of Meta Universe and develop necessary technical solutions. On the other hand, it requires the public to accept a new life state: spend more time sitting at home and wearing virtual devices instead of Contact the real physical world every day.

We don't need Metaverse

The landing of the Meta Universe application terminal needs to rely on the advancement of the underlying technology and hardware equipment technology

After the failure of many major issues in the past decade, the technology industry urgently needs a new framework to attract funds, and Metaverse is the most prominent alternative.

A few weeks after Zuckerberg’s keynote speech, many companies have decided to accept the basic idea of ​​Metaverse, and at the same time, it has also expressed the powerful plasticity of Metaverse itself.

On November 2nd, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivered his own meta-universe speech on enterprise and gaming issues. He stressed that the concept of yuan universe encompasses existing video chat and collaboration tools, but also involves like “Halo” and ” I like this game world.” Such meta-universe applications will be significantly enhanced through virtual environments . Nadella mentioned that Metaverse will help Microsoft “embed computing in the real world and at the same time embed the real world in computing.”

Although it is uncertain whether the metaverse is really as attractive as Nadella said, his attention to games and work may indeed accurately reflect the ultimate utility of the metaverse. The public cannot be sure whether they will eventually integrate into the virtual environment as they are integrated into the Internet, but game manufacturers and office software suppliers obviously hope to achieve such an effect and are actively guiding the public to participate in it.

Inspiration drawn from the game 

Recently, the enthusiastic hype surrounding Metaverse is based on the development of the game industry.

Neil Stephenson first proposed the concept of meta-universe in the novel “Avalanche”, and Ernest Klein’s “Number One Player” used the power of modern industry to show the beautiful and possible aspects of meta-universe. These works have even become a guide for employees of Facebook’s Oculus division, helping researchers understand how to combine inspiration with game elements.

Last year, venture investor Matthew Ball published an influential article on the investment promotion of Metaverse with “Fortress Night” as the core. He believes that “Fortress Night” was originally just a game, but it quickly evolved into a social square. Players gathered here, and spontaneously established a new social space in addition to the core game experience of Battle Royale.

Companies have begun to hold events themed on movies such as “Star Wars” in this game, and have invited well-known artists such as Travis Scott and Ariana Grande to participate in online concerts. In addition, custom items derived from Marvel or DC characters appeared in the game. The profit model of “Fortress Night” was established in this way: Players exchange real money into V-bucks, and then use this token to buy virtual goods in the game or “battle season tickets” that support regular updates of the game.

Ball believes that Metaverse will surpass the current “Fortress Night” and inherit the existing social and business models above. He even calls “Fortress Night” the “ideal prototype display” of the concept of Metaverse.

Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, also seized the hot spots of Metaverse and helped him raise a lot of funds, but at the same time he criticized the current technology giants’ actions. He declared that Metaverse should be an open and interoperable platform, not a closed ecosystem.

In order to support its own point of view, Epic sued Apple for the App Store sharing clause. But the judge pointed out in the lawsuit that the purpose of Epic’s efforts to win the lawsuit is to get back a large amount of substantial gains. Since everyone is doing it for their own benefit, it would be ridiculous to use moral criticism. This also reflects a major trend in the history of the development of the technology industry: openness and personal empowerment often eventually give way to corporate interests.

In the wider game field, heavyweight manufacturers such as EA, Square Enix, Take Two and even Ubisoft have also followed up, and recently issued positive statements on NFTs. Some manufacturers are considering making games that “make money while playing”, and by motivating players to keep playing games to obtain valuable resaleable NFT projects, and finally realize the integration of speculative investment and games. In fact, with virtual goods generated a large amount of gold money, the game will become more and more players began to work. In this context, Metaverse is indeed expected to completely change the way people work.

An iron fist hitting the employees of the company 

For many years, the technology industry has been subverting people’s basic ideas about work and employment.

In the 1980s, Silicon Valley companies represented by Apple began to implement a more distinct work structure. Due to the Great Recession, the gig economy was born. Application-based service delivery channels convert individual workers into independent contractors while depriving them of their rights and well-being as employees. The launch of Meta Universe will once again bring new changes to the way of working we have just been familiar with.

As expressed in recent Microsoft announcements and Facebook Horizon Workrooms, work apps will become the core of Metaverse.

Why are the giants suddenly interested in virtual office environments? Because during the new crown epidemic, a considerable part of the labor force, including technicians, moved to remote areas, and the ease of life made many practitioners do not want to return to the big cities. So the company deployed a series of software to track its employees to ensure that they would not be lazy when they are not in the office. Metaverse applications provide new possibilities for such needs: Even if they are not in a physical office, employees in a virtual office will be closely monitored by their boss anytime and anywhere.

This shift may be more important than expanding the scope of monitoring. Companies such as Uber and Amazon not only introduced algorithmic management systems to limit worker autonomy and improve production goals as early as 2010, but also expanded the number of people participating in piece-rate outsourcing services through platforms such as the gig economy and Mechanical Turk. Ball wrote that Metaverse will become “the next major workforce platform,” and Zuckerberg said that Metaverse allows “people to find work and living space wherever they live.”

In the context of Silicon Valley’s increasing reliance on contract labor and outsourcing services, the rapid rise of Meta Universe is obviously not a good thing. Gig workers warn that the first step in the full proliferation of this business model is to lower their salary standards. To be more precise, the workplace built on Metaverse is likely to be another heavy iron fist hitting employees.

And making money from games is nothing new. In the early 2000s, many workers in Asia, Africa and Latin America were engaged in business such as gold power leveling, including earning game currency in massively multiplayer online games, and then selling these tokens to more wealthy Western players. . But as Merchant said in the recent article “Technology Can’t Save Mankind”, “Although all this will gradually make virtual labor a reality, it also makes it more difficult for workers to assert their rights and gain respect, and it’s also harder to treat themselves Conveyed to the employer.”

The practical significance of the meta universe 

The meta universe is a broad vision, and it also indicates that digital technology will further rule all aspects of our daily lives. During the epidemic, we were forced to spend more time using digital services instead of contacting the real world, and the revenue and profits of technology companies have soared. Although the popularity of Metaverse will not be as fast as Zuckerberg’s vision, as long as this concept is still advancing, it will one day become an unavoidable reality for gamers and certain job practitioners.

Over the years, video game manufacturers have successfully changed the way of game development and the idea of ​​embedding monetization strategies in games. This not only maximizes profits, but also allows companies to easily introduce specific services into the work environment and eventually spread to the consumer market. Slack and Zoom are the most typical cases in this regard. However, we still have ways to stop this.

In 2017, EA cancelled the micro-transaction and loot box system in the “Star Wars: Battlefront II” game in order to calm the anger of players. The reason why the players are dissatisfied is because the underlying logic of this design is “the more krypton, the stronger”, forcing the players to continue to spend money. After the dispute arose, regulators in many countries/regions followed up on the matter. Rob Fahey, the special editor of Gamesindustry.biz, believes that the business model of making money while playing is likely to face similar scrutiny. In addition, the technology industry itself has exploded into a growing labor movement-once employers start to test moral boundaries or put certain colleagues in danger, employees will collectively speak out against employers.

To this day, Metaverse has just given some kind of virtual reality or augmented reality game a more memorable and ambitious new name. The concept of meta-universe is only embodied in science fiction, and there has been a lack of profound practical significance behind it. Neil Stephenson coined this term for the first time in his 1992 novel “Avalanche,” but there is very little in the book about how the dream environment of the metaverse replaces the real world and how it operates in a self-consistent manner. Ironically, when writers mentioned the metaverse, they have been warning us to stay away-it is very dangerous.

The author of “Avalanche” has been emphasizing that the meta universe is inherently dangerous. The title of “Avalanche” comes from a digital drug used by the inhabitants of the meta-universe in the novel. Its harmful effects on nerves not only affect the virtual environment, but also extend to the external reality. Zuckerberg and others actually misinterpreted the expression content of meta-universe novels. But this keen judgment of dangerous auras has not been reflected in the current meta-universe technological fantasy. On the contrary, the technology giants feel that this concept has something to dig.

The CEOs of the technology industry are well aware that most of the daily lives of billions of people still exist outside of computer screens. They buy cars, do gardening, date, and sit by the lake to pass the time. In any case, no technology company can truly occupy people’s leisure time. But there may be another option: as long as the public is guided to give up their obsession with specific ways of satisfying their desires, they can slowly get used to achieving fantasy in the virtual world. Slowly, they began to adapt to life far from reality, and turned to indulge in the seemingly beautiful virtual world that has long been infiltrated by capitalization.

At present, this kind of technology does not have strong technical feasibility, but it is not important. The important thing is that many technology companies pay attention to this direction and realize the possibility: even if it is just a hypothesis, the metaverse has indeed solved the real problems of physics, business, politics and so on. As if into a reality, then the universe will eventually yuan to establish a “National Company” or “national companies”, this oversized version of the Amazon will be able to consolidate all elements of raw materials, supply chain, manufacturing, distribution and even use a service such as the same system within. And this has become a consumer black hole that we can never escape from.

Facebook is gone, now there is only Meta. Silicon Valley is ready to tell the story of “meta-universe,” we should think about the technology industry in the end how to use scientific and technological achievements in support of its commercial interests, and find another can really serving the public interest, a technical road.

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Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/we-dont-need-metaverse/
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