If nothing else, Metaverse is already creating a job for futurists to figure out how consumers will behave when we spend every waking hour tied to VR headsets.
For those looking for a brief look at how we dress in cyberspace, don’t look for Screen Wear, an article by Vice Media’s creative agency, Virtue Worldwide. He has previously reported on other explanatory topics for the season such as Animal Crossing, the “digital renaissance” and the “collective awakening” of Gen Z.
Screenwear itself is a large 96-page industry analysis that promises to “transcend statistics and content culture” and “culture 3.0”.
What it has done is expose what remains unclear about what the metaverse really means – despite the huge amount of money poured into the projects – and the historical amnesia it takes to make it new.
Before we get into the report itself, you should take a look at the NFT Collection that was launched with it. My personal favorite is the Buckaclava, a bucket/balaclava hat that represents “total creative freedom without physical limitations,” while being an easy- if not ideal- combination to create in the real world. .
The analysis itself is based on a survey of 3,000 respondents, as well as interviews with experts, including NFT artists and creators (some of whom may assume they have an interest in developing the industry).
We first saw the slight bump in his “short history of the future” (which is really just a list of digital “things” and science fiction).
Famously, nothing else has to do with the intersection of online culture and the intersection of fashion launched between 1992 and 2009. Absolutely not. Not sausage bachelor.
The decision to include Bitcoin and Ethereum in the category of a “future” story will also look more hairy as the big crypto crash of 2022 continues (at least Terra didn’t make the list).
But you might say that history is old hat. Virtue’s research on responses to the word “metaverse” would look much better (ignore the 200% figure: respondents could choose multiple entries).
But while the report says 83% of people have a “positive outlook,” the largest category is “curious” (according to 50% of all respondents). Polysemy is a tough business-I’m probably interested in finding out if my dog empties the trash; I’m not positive about it.
The fact that less than half said they were no doubt excited or inspired by the word “metaverse,” and that at least one in five respondents expressed anger, might be more telling.
My own enduring metaverse experience was a press conference before the start of the Australian Open in Decentraland, a digital world where Virtue’s story began before the Trump presidency.
Seven years of working unfortunately can’t resist connectivity issues, which means future Q&A should take place on Google Hangouts without videos. I can say that has extinguished my curiosity so far.
At this point, you might be wondering how Virtue defines the metaverse, an ambiguous term. The answer can be seen (as) a few slides later:
The real metaverse seems to be what we want to happen to everyone. Sending a selfie with rabbit ears? Have a metaverse experience. Did you waste hours in Runescape as a kid? Have a metaverse experience. Have you thrown your life savings into dogecoin? That’s right, there’s that metaverse experience (and you’re probably upset).
jewel done provide more than one definition when contacted:
In general, we like to think of the metaverse as a shared fantasy – an altruistic illusion, if you will – that’s more than most of its features (crypto, XR, games) and the main part of retrieval in the excitement of an internet remaining. most people have become discouraged over the past few years.
So it is clarified.
Now that we know the metaverse as a meaningless term for “the online things we love,” we can move on to how the report deals with the digital identity, which he says is the biggest point of sale.
Above, it looks like harder ground. People have been using virtual worlds to explore gender, race and sexuality for decades, often overcoming the limitations of platform design. See Julian Dibbell’s 1993 article Rape in Cyberspace or Bonnie Nardi My Life as a Night Elf Priest for Good or Evil.
But in order to sell the “new” era of metaverses, this story must be rejected in favor of breathless speculation.
“Can you be a body that is not yours? Do you belong to an ethnic group that is not yours? asked an expert, who asked that the answer was “YES” since the end of the 20th century.
And then we slide into the “digital self” discourse, which suggests a division between the virtual and physical identity, rather than a single, complex whole. This “digital dualism” fallacy was described by Snap sociologist Nathan Jurgenson until 2011 (Tim Bradshaw interviewed him in 2019 here).
There is a huge waste of excessive “metaverse talk” that would rather focus on selling a utopian future than wondering if the new verses are better than what we have today.
If you want to tell brands that kids will spend half their lives in Bored Punk Kitty Land, the old -school cyberpunk mentality isn’t enough.