Metaverse: The world of tomorrow or a dystopia waiting to happen?

As Mark Zuckerberg announces his newly branded company is on a mission to create a 3D virtual reality for us to live in, Steve Boggan asks what it might look like and if it could be the end of the real world as we know it

Sunday 28 November 2021 21:30
<p>The Facebook creator is aiming to merge real life with an augmented one </p>

The Facebook creator is aiming to merge real life with an augmented one

When James Cameron’s groundbreaking movie Avatar was released in 2009, one cinemagoer who didn’t like it, famously joked that it had been made in 3D because Cameron couldn’t fit so much rubbish into two dimensions.

It was a cheap shot, especially given that most audiences enjoyed the film enormously, but the joke was given fresh legs recently when Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, grandly announced that his newly branded company, Meta, was on a mission to create the “Metaverse” – an immersive 3D upgrade to the internet in which digital representations of ourselves could work, play, learn, socialise and be creative.

Had Zuckerberg realised that he had exhausted the physical universe, overmilked users as advertising cash cows, undermined the body images of too many girls, debased democratic processes across the globe and given birth to countless binary hate bubbles for one universe to contain? And so, like Cameron’s dimensions, he needed another virtual one that would be occupied by our digital substitute selves – our avatars?

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