A Second Life: Happy Advent of the Metaverse, The Next Frontier of Cinema

What if you could live two lives at once?

It’s the core of Ben Stiller’s Apple thriller series dissolution. Employees of a mysterious tech company undergo brain surgery in which a microchip is inserted that separates their work memories from their personal memories.

Once they enter the elevator at their workplace, they become a “work” version of themselves, with no memory of who they are or what they are like in their personal lives.

The show offers an interpretation of the “metaverse”, a relatively hypothetical digital universe similar to our daily lives. Filmmakers and entertainment companies recognize its potential as a trope in storytelling – and as a film -making tool. Facebook has also dipped a finger in a newly acquired parent company, Meta.

free man, Loan player usa see metaverse

Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer, follows a virtual bank teller who lives in the background of a video game world, unaware of the chaos caused by the players around him. (Workshops of the 20th century)

In 1992, writer Neal Stephenson coined the term “metaverse” in his science fiction novel. Snowfall. Stephenson’s vision is a vast virtual world that coexists with real life.

Since then, the concept and its meaning have grown, though many have turned to Stephenson’s idea as a framework.

“It’s a vast virtual world, where millions of users can interact at the same time through avatars,” said Wagner James Au, author of The creation of the Second Life and founded the oldest metaverse culture blog, New World Notes.

Popular metaverse prototypes include virtual world building platforms such as Second Life and VRChat, as well as gaming platforms Roblox and Fortnite. Roblox alone has 55 million daily active users.

“It’s very immersive, it has creative tools, so almost any experience is possible and it’s connected to the real life economics, usually through cash-out. process, ”said Au.

In the report on viceVenture capitalist and angel investor Mathew Ball offers this perspective: If your phone is a computer in your pocket where the internet is always accessible, then the metaverse should be considered forever. on computer and within the internet.

There is still no real metaverse, accessible through a gateway, where life goes on even without the user.

PAMINAW | Facing the “reality” of our reality in the CBC Radio tapestry:

Tapestry53:52Facing the “reality” of our reality

David Chalmers is a professor of philosophy and neuroscience at New York University. He argues that there is nothing “virtual” about virtual reality. Everything is true. Later, we heard from the co -writer of the film Free Guy – Matt Lieberman. He talked to Tapestry about how you can tell the difference between the life you live now and a computer simulation. 53:52

But its on-screen depiction has become more frequent and global, giving audiences an idea of ​​what to expect from what experts call “the next era of the internet.”

More dissolutionThe black comedy of Amazon Prime To download will occur in the future where the deceased can pay large fee living in a metaverse-like afterlife created by a tech company. The characters choose what version of heaven they want to exist, but it’s not the utopia you’d expect.

and the movie 2021 free man Vancouver-born star Ryan Reynolds as a bank teller discovers that he lives in a metaverse-like game world, where others risk being permanently eliminated by the game’s creator.

Past movies like Loan player usa, The matrix and Avatar (that the first of four sequels to come this December) tapped into the metaverse, which shows characters entering parallel digital universes using augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) technology.

ready player one
In Ready Player One, for example, characters are connected to a virtual world called OASIS to escape their real environment, which has been damaged by climate change and overpopulation. (Twitter)

A common trope of these properties is that they are associated with dystopias. on Loan player usa, for example, characters are connected to a virtual world called OASIS to escape their real environment, which has been damaged by climate change and overpopulation. Why is it so dark?

“It’s partly a caveat that most of our lives have become online and digital,” Au said. “There’s a concern that writers and filmmakers want to express, that many aspects of our humanity could be lost by digitizing everything.”

But the overall potential for a metaverse – good and bad – has yet to be fully explored on the big and small screens, Au said.

“Every description of the metaverse I’ve seen so far just digs into the surface of the platforming look.”

Entertainment giants are investing in their own metaverses

Movies and TV have portrayed the metaverse for decades now. But the use of metaverse technologies to make real movies has become more common. Many large entertainment companies have revealed plans to create a version of a metaverse.

disney advertisement in November it will begin to develop own metaversewhich he says will combine elements of entertainment and conversation with new technologies.

Netflix does the same public its intentions to move into virtual reality space. Game Industry Metaverse Prototypes Endanger Traditional Entertainment and Streaming: In 2019 Quarterly Letter to Investors, Netflix WRITES“We competed with (and lost) fortnite more than HBO. ”

Epic, the gaming company behind Fortnite, advertisement a US $ 1 billion round of funding to support their vision for a metaverse.

no black arts
Participants in the OYA Scale Up initiative are working on an immersive media project. The program is a partnership between OYA Black Arts and CFC Media Lab and is funded by the Federal Development Agency of Southern Ontario. (David Peddie/OYA Black Arts Coalition)

According to a virtual reality filmmaker, users will soon be able to live the worlds of their favorite movies – consider riding the Millennium Falcon with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo, or traveling to Middle -earth with Frodo Baggins.

With the industry pouring money, the pressure to produce a practical product leaves little room for filmmakers and creators to experiment.

“We don’t know how to tell a lot of stories with these abilities,” said Richard Lachman, an associate professor at the Metropolitan University of Toronto (formerly Ryerson University) who studies relationships between people. and technology.

“We know a lot about how to make puzzles. We know a lot about how to create excitement, excitement, and emotion, but it doesn’t have to be a good narration.

“It’s a challenge, and one of the dangers of this challenge is that there’s a lot of money going into it now … that money doesn’t have to take us to understand art.”

Oya Media Group, a Toronto-based digital media company, has launched an initiative to teach young black producers and filmmakers how to create compelling stories using metaverse technologies.

“We give them an understanding of what immersive media is and how it can be used to make a film, to create a framework for what is expected to be the metaverse in the near future,” said Ngardy Conteh George, producer and co- founder of Oya Media Group.

TAN-AWA | Ngardy Conteh George explains the metaverse:


Filmmaker Ngardy Conteh George talks about the metaverse and inclusivity

Oya Media Group co-founder Ngardy Conteh George explains how the metaverse can become a “new world class”, where anyone can participate in positions of power and decision-making. 0:58

Projects use augmented reality (where digital components are transferred to our real environment) and virtual reality (which often requires a headset to simulate a digital environment that is different from what we see).

Metaverse platforms offer local creators from all walks of life a powerful opportunity to “compete for an almost equal position in big business and also [with] people with many privileges to move into the mainstream economy, ”said Au.

But with great power comes great responsibility: all the social and financial consequences we face in the real world can be duplicated in the metaverse. You could lose all your money on a scam, for example, or fall in love with someone – only to be saddened by their real life counterpart. You may also be the target of racism or bigotry.

“If you think about the metaverse and the creation of these new worlds: who created it? And then what is the point of view and what will the end result look like?” Ngardy said.

“I think it’s very important that it’s inclusive and non-exclusive, and that everyone has access to positions of power, positions of authority and decision-making, so that we don’t imitate the world we live in today.”

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