Pay attention to metaverse experiments

Updated on January 9, 2022

Meta metaverse

The metaverse isn’t what you think it is because we don’t know what it is, says CNET.

It’s a good starting point to think about a topic that I believe is one of three elements – metaverse, Web 3 and Internet 2 – that make up a singular entity that’s evolving. One of the three names might become the singular descriptor for all three. Or it might be something else entirely.

The term “the metaverse” is simplistic, CNET says, adding that a number of metaverses will emerge along the lines of social media platforms, with a handful becoming dominant and largely incompatible.

That may be so. We might also see “the Metaverse” (with a capital ‘M’) that takes on a role similar to the Internet (with a capital ‘I’) that is often described as “the network of networks” that embraces a decentralized system with no one in control.

That’s a bit at odds, though, with the land-grab we’re currently seeing about which I referenced in an article I published on New Year’s Day.

Yet does it matter right now that we don’t have clear descriptions of what such terms actually mean? With so many differing narratives and opinions (some of which matter while most likely don’t) flowing from the increasing experiments we’re seeing as more people and organizations jump into the pool, it may take a while before we can see the wood for the trees.

Metaverses have all the classic signs of overhype: A previous run that came and went (Second Life), association with hardware that very few people have interest in adopting (AR and VR headgear), a sense that metaverse promoters will say anything to make a lot of money off the concept, and a huge leap of faith that the hard technical problems are just few cycles of Moore’s Law away from solving themselves.

Pay attention to the experiments not the narrow opinions driving the hype. And keep an eye on what’s happening in Asia.

(Screenshot at top by Sarah Tew/CNET)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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