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Author Topic: Is the future of the internet in the metaverse?  (Read 4030 times)
Memory
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« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2023 @441.17 »

I think the idea and marketing ideal "metaverse" is very different from what the "metaverse" actually is.

The idea, an interconnected virtual world where we all "live" in customizable spaces, play all our games in the same "canon", show off our creations, interact with friends seamlessly as we do different things alongside one another, build and decorate our virtual house, blah blah, it is an idea as old as computer games. Countless novels, good and bad, have been written about a virtual second world like that. Just think of Ready Player One, or cyberpunk as a whole genre, like Virtuaverse. Actual implementations of these exist, like Second Life, VRChat, various roleplaying games, or even Microsoft Bob if you want to stretch the definition a bit.

But what the metaverse actually is in reality is a bunch of empty hubs created by finance startups to gamble on crypto currency on, buy and sell worthless tokens to speculate on their value, and play terrible, terrible minigames in whose only real appeal is that you can earn more crypto in them. All while interacting on data hawks like Facebook with friends, coworkers and family, in corporate-friendly, non-stylized, flat environments. It's a glorified storefront.

An actual non-commercial "metaverse", as in the idea, would be super cool, if developed by someone with an actual playful and social-first vision of what it can be, somewhat like the old Nintendo magic when they were still all about Miis. But that won't exist, because it is not profitable.
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2023 @657.52 »

I think the idea and marketing ideal "metaverse" is very different from what the "metaverse" actually is.

The idea, an interconnected virtual world where we all "live" in customizable spaces, play all our games in the same "canon", show off our creations, interact with friends seamlessly as we do different things alongside one another, build and decorate our virtual house, blah blah, it is an idea as old as computer games. Countless novels, good and bad, have been written about a virtual second world like that. Just think of Ready Player One, or cyberpunk as a whole genre, like Virtuaverse. Actual implementations of these exist, like Second Life, VRChat, various roleplaying games, or even Microsoft Bob if you want to stretch the definition a bit.

But what the metaverse actually is in reality is a bunch of empty hubs created by finance startups to gamble on crypto currency on, buy and sell worthless tokens to speculate on their value, and play terrible, terrible minigames in whose only real appeal is that you can earn more crypto in them. All while interacting on data hawks like Facebook with friends, coworkers and family, in corporate-friendly, non-stylized, flat environments. It's a glorified storefront.

An actual non-commercial "metaverse", as in the idea, would be super cool, if developed by someone with an actual playful and social-first vision of what it can be, somewhat like the old Nintendo magic when they were still all about Miis. But that won't exist, because it is not profitable.

c i think the thing that's always salted me so hard about SL is that even though SL is supposed to be, in essence, a "free metaverse" or "free virtual" environment (no cost of entry barrier & actual ingame need for currency outside of cosmetics is minimal) is that despite the framework being good for innovation in actuality most of what SL has been used for is very lowbrow. not that I personally exactly was able to jump on SL with the mindset of "this can be radicalized as a tool!" but i think that it was a poor first testing experience of what I was able to witness as an attempted transition from 2d/text based virtual worlds to 3d ones.  however since i have not tried VRchat, which seems in a way to be a direct improvement over SL, maybe it's not fair for me to judge what these types of communities are capable of.  There is someone earlier in this thread who talks about going to VRchat raves and I have had atleast one roommate in the past who was into that, so maybe that is proof that there can be an acting philosophy or direction that plays out in these types of spaces.  The mention of minecraft is interesting as well because the way minecraft is currently used as a social hub over it's original purpose as a game is essentially the inverse of what happened with SL: independent structure built on top of a platform not intended for independent structure vs. a platform intended for independent structure not utilized.  maybe it is time for me to try minecraft again-- i feel really out of touch with what interesting things are happening with the progression of virtual spaces as a tool for communication. 

is anyone willing to share or volunteer experiences w 3d virtual environments that lent a positive spin towards the direction of these spaces?  i am curious.  (do not intend this post as direct bashing of second-life by the way, just speaking on what i have personally witnessed of its community)

~Admins note; some references have been removed to stay in line with forum guidelines.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2023 @995.90 by Melooon » Logged
Memory
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2023 @795.87 »

is anyone willing to share or volunteer experiences w 3d virtual environments that lent a positive spin towards the direction of these spaces?  i am curious.

Interestingly enough, there's an entire genre of "roleplay" video games, usually mods for Grand Theft Auto, that seek to create an immersive, fully player-driven and player-simulated world where we all collaboratively tell plausible stories and simulate life with our characters in a 3D world.

I have spent almost a decade now on these RP servers and I am still regularly blown away by its quality and the sheer novelty hidden in its communities.

Basically, you take the framework of a GTA game (the map, the models, the characters, the animations, the driving and shooting physics, ...), build an extensive life simulation script on top of it, and then unleash hundreds of players on it who are supposed to simulate unique characters on it. You have to act out your character realistically 100% of the time and that is enforced by the rules and online administrators. It is text based, meaning that you write out your character's actions in proper English using /me and /do commands if the game itself is not sufficient. You can be literally anything.

Imagine being a taxi driver who gets an innocuous call to drive a young man from A to B. During the ride, you get pulled over by the police; they are apparently a wanted person and they ask them to step out of the vehicle. The person gets arrested but not before throwing a punch, a police officer goes down. EMTs arrive and attempt to give medical attention to the cop as the guy is ferried away, protesting.

All of these components were players putting in time and development into their unique characters. The EMT, the person, the taxi driver, the cops, the people in the hospital later on, even the governor making the laws are real people's characters who have a life outside of this scene. The cops might decide to go drinking after their shift. The judge is actually a person who uses the out-of-character forums to formalize the in-game laws and often rules on criminal trials for fun. You might meet the boy you ferried around the block later and ask what he did. Maybe someone decides to enact revenge on your character, or perhaps you will be thanked by the city for your service.

You can be anything - a gang member, a businesswoman, a cop, a truck driver, a taxi driver, a dock worker, a homeless guy, a mafia member, a nightclub owner, a prostitute... It's what I wanted Second Life to be. And it's all without real money involved (unless you want to donate).

Here's some example screenshots I took off GTA World:

Spoiler
[close]

If you like this and own GTA V, check out https://gta.world ; they're by far the biggest server on GTA V with over 800 players on regularly at the same time. It's insane.

Negative I can only say that these communities have a very... alt-right cishet teenage guy tendency with a lot of drama. It's better on GTA World as opposed to the older San Andreas servers, but it sometimes needs thick skin.
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