I do love a good hype cycle and let’s be honest who in technology does not join the game. So as the monster hype cycle builds behind the Metaverse the worry rises of the Meta … what? To help calm this anxiety I imagined 5 what ifs for the Metaverse.
1. What if it’s … Second Life on steroids? The first and still perhaps the most famous Metaverse was Linden Lab’s storied Second Life, until well, it stopped being fun. For my kids at least Minecraft stepped into the gap making a virtue of clunky graphics and weird memes. So what if Gen Z can evolve a Metaverse using VR and a 3D into a truly fun version of the Web, more than gamified digital living space – A Second Life on steroids that entertains and looks after its Meta-ziens?
2. What if it’s … a new smarter web? So it is said the Metaverse is more than a 3D digital version of the real world but let’s face it Web2.0 for all the glory of social media has it’s let downs. When your father in this case Sir Tim B-L says on your thirtieth you need to be ‘fixed’ it is probably time for an upgrade. So what if the Metaverse 2022 fulfills the potential of a world underpinned by Web3, uses NFTs, smart contracts and D Apps to create a smarter Web and an inclusive and fairer system.
3. What if … it’s an Internet with integrity? In the super growth of the Internet there were some short cuts to Web design to enable the network effect to work its magic but in the rush notable problems of security and integrity were brushed under the virtual carpet. So what if the Web3 can really apply immutability to life so it cannot be fabricated, scratched or erased. What if in the Metaverse data can be anonymised at scale and returned to the control of its users, creating a deeper protection, safety and human rights for all – the Internet with integrity!
4. What if … it’s Facebook? Facebook kicked off the hype by renaming to Meta now it has been said that if it is not decentralised it is not Metaverse. But is this entirely true? So before everyone reaches for their digital revolver let me tread some water. Does the sematic power of the Web have to be decentralised? True the great benefits such as owning your data, self-serving identity and even immuatability don’t work on a central platform. So what if google, facebook, LinkedIn abandoned platformisation of our lives and evolved towards inclusivity that would be good wouldn’t it? It pays to keep an open mind with technology.
5. What if it’s … A whole new world? The new dimensions of the Metaverse have the potential to provide experiences that the real world can never provide just think of the benefits of spatial computing. It really could be a whole new world albeit one that is not totally clear now and where many choices lay ahead. But what if this new world could be built around the positive aspects of humanity using the incredible empowering technologies driven by Web3 so what if … we could have a Metaverse for good.
What type of Metaverse do you want?