Contradictions of the Metaverse

When Zuck renamed his company Meta, I freaked out. Meta is a first-year-uni buzzword, especially for stoners.

“That’s, like, so meta…”

It seems odd for Zuck to be coming full circle — or full infinity loop. When he was in uni he made a website for frat jocks to creep out on unsuspecting young women. But it shouldn’t surprise. He built this website into a monopolistic surveillance tool so that he could creep out on all of us, by mining our meta data.

“OMG Zuck that’s like so meta”

But the metaverse is far more than Zuckerberg wanking with buzzwords. Or, it could be. Like metaphysics when used to convey something “beyond” reality, the metaverse is meant to convey something “beyond” the universe. This, admittedly, is all rather confusing, because the universe is meant to convey the totality of everything. How can something be both a part of the universe and beyond it?

Rather than getting all lost in the abstract world of words, others have taken a far more technological approach to imagining the metaverse. For them the metaverse is just the latest incarnation of the internet, one that draws on Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and blockchain. VR and AR enable an internet that is experienced as though a user is in a world. That is, as though they are in a different universe. Or, perhaps more accurately, as though they are in something beyond our previous experience of the universe.

But without blockchain this VR experience is limited to the creative work of many different and seperate simulations. If you are strapped into VR and flying through Google Earth, you experience the internet as though you are in another world, but this world has clear boundaries, and no real concept of history — or change through time. Blockchain makes this possible because every piece of the metaverse can be identified, with its location tracked through time. This allows different software engineers to create new worlds, or add to existing worlds, and have them interact. A spaceship created in one game, because it is an NFT, can fly into another game. A new game can be played in the exact same space as one that already exists.

This is the metaverse — a new era of the internet that is experienced as though people are actually in it, and which is — like the universe we have come to take for granted — always changing. It is in a constant state of flux. This metaverse must, by its very nature, be open source. It cannot be designed from the top down by a single company. This would contradict what makes the metaverse possible. For the metaverse to be a place where all VR worlds can be interconnected, it must allow any entrant to participate in its continual recreation.

This is why Zuckerberg’s new pivot is so peculiar. A titan of the centralised monopolistic surveillance internet is claiming to help underpin Web3, a decentralised and open source internet. This is not the first incarnation of such contradictions for the internet. This computer network, for some a beacon of utopia, was launched by the military industrial complex. But there is no reason why the tools created by monopoly capitalism can’t be used against it.

This is what Plutonians hopes to help with. Rather than creating a top down finished product of what some allege the metaverse to be, the game is created as a foundation that anyome can play with, build on, and help create. The aim is not to create some monopoly of the metaverse, for this would be to destroy any hope of a metaverse. The aim is to help us all create a constantly changing, always uncertain, and so always exciting world beyond and in the one we know of now. And when we do this, we are going to take it all the way to Pluto.

About Plutonians

Plutonians is a MMORPG VR Space Game powered by Solana featuring an NFT Shipyard, Game Builder, Story Editor and a great introduction to DeFi and blockchain for new audiences!

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VR Metaverse Game — coming soon to Solana