The real Metaverse was the fun we had along the way

If nothing else, Metaverse is already creating work for futurists to express their opinions on how consumers behave when we spend every waking hour strapped into VR headsets.

For those looking for a glimpse into how we dress up cyberspace, look no further than Screen Wear, an article by Virtue Worldwide, Vice Media’s creative agency. He has previously written on other specific topics of the time such as Animal Crossing, the “digital renaissance” and the “collective awakening” of Generation Z.

Screenwear itself is a massive 96-page industry analysis that promises to “transcend stats and internal culture” and into “culture 3.0”.

What it does ultimately do is expose the ongoing mystery about what the metaverse actually means – despite the massive amounts of money being poured into the projects – and the historical amnesia needed to make it look new.

Before we get to the report itself, you should take a look at the NFT range that was launched alongside it. My personal favorite is the Buckaclava, a bucket hat/balaclava that represents “complete creative freedom with no physical limitations,” while being an easy—albeit not fun—combination to create in the real world.

Like a cross between Jamiroquai and a polar explorer © The Dematerialized, Virtue Worldwide

The analysis itself is based on a survey of 3,000 respondents, as well as interviews with experts, including artists and NFT creators (some might speculate that they have a vested interest in developing the industry).

We initially had a little bump with his “short history of the future” (which is really just a list of digital “things” and science fiction).

Perhaps more specifically “a brief history”? © Virtue Worldwide

Famous, nothing else has to do with the intersection of online culture and the intersection of fashion that was launched between 1992 and 2009. Nothing at all. Not a bachelor sausage.

The decision to include Bitcoin and Ethereum in the category in a “future” story also appears to be more difficult as the massive cryptocurrency crash continues into 2022 (at least Terra is not on the list).

But you might say history is old hat. Virtue’s research on responses to the word “metaverse” looks more promising (ignore the 200% number: respondents can choose multiple entries).

© Virtue Worldwide

But while the report says 83% of people have a “positive perception,” the largest category was “curious” (according to 50% of all respondents). Polymorphism is tricky business – I might be curious to see if my dog ​​emptied the trash; I’m not sure of that.

Only then did I realize that the phrase “go long on doge” had been misunderstood © Madi

The fact that less than half said they were unequivocally excited or inspired by the word “metaverse” and at least one-fifth of respondents expressed displeasure, is perhaps more telling.

My permanent personal experience has been a press conference before the Australian Open kicks off in Decentraland, a digital world that Virtue’s story began before Trump’s presidency.

Unfortunately, seven years in the business have not been able to cope with connectivity issues, which means that questions and answers in the future will have to be done on Google Hangouts without videos. I would say that quelled my curiosity for the time being.

Are you excited about this future? © Virtue Worldwide, Decentraland

At this point, you might be wondering how virtue defines the metaverse, a term known for its ambiguity. The answer appears (sort of) after a few slides:

© Virtue Worldwide

The real metaverse seems to be what we’ve wanted all along. Sent a selfie with bunny ears? You had a metaverse experience. Did you waste hours in Runescape as a kid? You had a metaverse experience. Did you throw your life savings into bitcoin? That’s right, you’ve been through the metaverse (and probably pissed off).

based Act Provide more than one definition when calling:

In general, we like to think of the metaverse as a shared fantasy – an altruistic illusion, if you will – that’s bigger than the sum of its parts (coding, XR, gaming) and it’s mainly about bringing the excitement back to the internet that has left most people fed up over the past few years.

So it was clarified.

Now that we know the metaverse seems like a meaningless term for “things we love online,” we can move on to how the report handles digital identity, which he said was its biggest selling point. virtual fashion.

© Virtue Worldwide

On the surface, it appears to be more solid. People have been using virtual worlds to explore gender, race, and sexuality for decades, often overturning the limitations of platform design. See Julian Diebell’s 1993 article “Rape in Cyberspace” or “Bonnie Nardy My Life as an Elf Lily Priest for Good or Evil”.

But to sell the “new” era of metaphors, this story must be set aside in favor of vitriolic speculation.

“Can you be a body that is not yours? Can you belong to an ethnic group that is not yours?” asks an expert, asking questions to which the answer has been “yes” since the end of the twentieth century.

Then we slip into the discourse of the “digital self,” which proposes a separation of virtual and physical identities, rather than a complex whole. Snap sociologist Nathan Jorgensen described the “digital dichotomy” fallacy in 2011 (interviewed by Tim Bradshaw in 2019 here).

And herein lies the great waste of so much “metaverse talk” that would focus on selling an imaginary future rather than questioning whether the new verses would be better than what we have now.

If you want to tell brands that kids will spend half their lives in Bored Punk Kitty Land, old-fashioned electronic thinking isn’t enough.

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