The Alarm Is Sounding On NFTs

Satinavian

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 30, 2016
1,748
684
118
Look, people are going to work on metaverses, including Meta. It's going to be years, even decades. Its time will come, and a few pioneers will get going, and then everyone else will wake up and pay attention... and at that point - boom! But it's not in a place now where fusty economics journos and 70-year-old institutional investors are going to get excited in a way they will over the much more graspable idea of AI.
VR will have a future.

But the Metaverse ? I am extremely skeptical. It was a bad idea from the get go with a lot of conceptual problems. It didn't fail because of the tech.

- What really is the benefit of connecting all those little virtual realities ? Except for specific multi-user activities people tend to be quite happy in their secluded bubble or with friends when relaxing
- How do you get the necessary interoperability ? Industry would have to agree on standards. And it is more than just "you can see the stuff others made". There is a need to have objects from different virtual worlds made by different companies for different purposes to work together. Good luck with that one.
- How do you make all the different virtual ideas mash together ? While i do imagine people wanting to run a Robo-T-Rex down the street smashing everything, i imagine other not wanting some Robo-T-Rex trampling through their backyard. If the virtual realities are shared, functionality of all elements must be severely limited or you get lots of complaints and problems.
- Who pays for all that nonsense and how do you extract money from it ? Everyone contributing something useful to the metaverse needs a way to monetize it. People only part with hard earned cash for stuff they really enjoy. Some glorified VR chatroom will not be enough and plastering everything with advertising will only reduce the userbase and still not earn enough money. And who even gets the privilege to sell the ads in the shared sphere ?
- What about the infrastructure ? Streaming is already an issue and you can't store the information for an open VR world locally.
- What about user Hardware ? If you develop Metaverse stuff for old VR sets it will look and feel outdated compared to other current entertainment options. If you don't, it will exclude significant parts of the audience.

I am not sure the metaverse as imagined will ever come. It is so much more messy and offers so little extra utility to seperate, more focused VR environments that no one will seriously make it. At best there will be some kind of rudimentary VR hubs connecting those seperate entries.



But the thing is that all of this was obvious from the start. I really don't get why anyone jumped on that particular bandwagon or why no one of those questioned the complete lack of any attempt to adress any of the glaring weaknesses of the concept over the years.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

Ag3ma

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2023
2,574
2,207
118
VR will have a future.

But the Metaverse ? I am extremely skeptical. It was a bad idea from the get go with a lot of conceptual problems. It didn't fail because of the tech.

- What really is the benefit of connecting all those little virtual realities ? Except for specific multi-user activities people tend to be quite happy in their secluded bubble or with friends when relaxing
- How do you get the necessary interoperability ? Industry would have to agree on standards. And it is more than just "you can see the stuff others made". There is a need to have objects from different virtual worlds made by different companies for different purposes to work together. Good luck with that one.
- How do you make all the different virtual ideas mash together ? While i do imagine people wanting to run a Robo-T-Rex down the street smashing everything, i imagine other not wanting some Robo-T-Rex trampling through their backyard. If the virtual realities are shared, functionality of all elements must be severely limited or you get lots of complaints and problems.
- Who pays for all that nonsense and how do you extract money from it ? Everyone contributing something useful to the metaverse needs a way to monetize it. People only part with hard earned cash for stuff they really enjoy. Some glorified VR chatroom will not be enough and plastering everything with advertising will only reduce the userbase and still not earn enough money. And who even gets the privilege to sell the ads in the shared sphere ?
- What about the infrastructure ? Streaming is already an issue and you can't store the information for an open VR world locally.
- What about user Hardware ? If you develop Metaverse stuff for old VR sets it will look and feel outdated compared to other current entertainment options. If you don't, it will exclude significant parts of the audience.

I am not sure the metaverse as imagined will ever come. It is so much more messy and offers so little extra utility to seperate, more focused VR environments that no one will seriously make it. At best there will be some kind of rudimentary VR hubs connecting those seperate entries.

But the thing is that all of this was obvious from the start. I really don't get why anyone jumped on that particular bandwagon or why no one of those questioned the complete lack of any attempt to adress any of the glaring weaknesses of the concept over the years.
All the problems you mention are valid - but I don't see them as exceptional problems that cannot be overcome with time and development, and many of them are things that industries have already encountered and overcome in the past.

I suspect what will happen with a metaverse is much what happens with any industry. Dozens of individual companies make their products, and those products will not readily mix. The less successful ones fail. We end with a handful of major players; either those players maybe have enough customers to stand alone without having to build compatibility with others, or similar standards and compatibility will be developed.

Presumably the metaverse has private and "public" spaces. You can do what you want in your own private space, but your ability to do anything in public space is curtailed to generic permissions, and in other private spaces limited to what permissions that other person grants you. If you want Robo T-Rex to smash a city, you might need to build your own city in your own private space.

In terms of funding, subscription, advertising and other routes will probably suffice. The amount of advertising on Facebook and YouTube has increased massively in the last 5-10 years, maybe in the region of five times as much - and yet they are still massively used platforms. People will simply tolerate adverts. For other, a metaverse couldy have a sort of microtransaction system. It would link to all sorts of services and businesses (e.g. Amazon), all of which could involve forms of transaction fee - so for instance Amazon could pay the metaverse for privileged access to customers.

In terms of memory and bandwidth, computers and broadband are likely to get more and more powerful globally. The software will arrange graphical quality to hardware, just like it will do for computer games. Older hardware has to accept lower graphics settings.
 

Satinavian

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 30, 2016
1,748
684
118
I don't see how "private" parts of the metaverse are much different from separate, disconnected VR spaces you could visit. It's the public ones and the interconnectivity that makes the Metaverse a seperate concept. And i just don't see enough utility here for anyone to actually fix all those problems.


Really, what is the Metaverse even supposed to be good for ? Where exactly is it supposed to deliver a new and superior experience to all those existing and coming alternatives that are each vastly simpler to make ?
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

Ag3ma

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2023
2,574
2,207
118
I don't see how "private" parts of the metaverse are much different from separate, disconnected VR spaces you could visit. It's the public ones and the interconnectivity that makes the Metaverse a seperate concept. And i just don't see enough utility here for anyone to actually fix all those problems.
It's really just the same principle as the real world. There's your house, you own, you decorate, agree who comes in and what the rules are. Out there is the street, where there are all sorts of other laws and expectations. Or the local bar and other people's houses, where they set the rules.

Really, what is the Metaverse even supposed to be good for ? Where exactly is it supposed to deliver a new and superior experience to all those existing and coming alternatives that are each vastly simpler to make ?
Let's think education. Just as a note here, Higher Education has been increasingly looking at a future where the days of campus attendance are history. Students may need probably some forms of attendance for practical skills, but that could just be a student turning up and doing some stuff intensively for a few weeks instead of a whole year.

I can get a load of students into a classroom and teach them, but I'm stuck with the limitations of the real world. I've got a fixed lecture theatre, with one screen, one projector... guys, sit back and get Powerpointed for 50 minutes, because the physical limitations of the teaching space allow little more. I can teach online via Teams / Zoom, but then hit the limitations of on-screen teaching delivery (of which there are plenty).

Imagine I want to create a clinical scenario for medical students. For every scenario, I need a room with all the equipment, a volunteer patient, etc. That's a lot of space, a lot of organisation, a lot of money, a lot of staff effort, a lot of time (students going through one by one or in small teams). Switching this all to VR is... kind of amazing. It's just a program students can load up. This is the interest now in "augmented reality" - get students into a classroom with VR sets to create an enhanced experience. VR body dissections, etc. The obvious next step is remove the physical classroom.

So we can think about a world where a degree is all but delivered online, and I can assure you this is where a lot of people think it's going - but the current technology does not really suffice. When we look at the technology to deliver this, it is effectively halfway to a metaverse.

So that's higher education. But a lot of business work can be run that way. People will use it to socialise, and they will, because an awesome VR beats staring at six portraits on Zoom/Teams. You could watch a movie in the same shared environment as 100 other people, none of whom live within 20 miles of each other, and by shared environment, I mean you can see them around you, chat with them, play cards, etc.

Take a look at how many games now involve an "house builder and interior decorator" function. All the way back when Ultima Online was going, there was a thriving engagement with people making their houses. People will invest time and effort in building the virtual home of their dreams rather than killing Deathclaws to get the Laser Pistol of Awesomeness. All these people will love the ability to create a little virtual places of their own to wander, do stuff, invite their friends to.

The evidence that people will use this sort of thing is plain. The question is only when the infrastructure and technology can support it.
 

Satinavian

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 30, 2016
1,748
684
118
We are not talking about the value of VR. VR has many uses, will become widespread, continually improves and has a promising future.

We are instead talking about the Metaverse. So it is less about the VR classroom or the self-decorated virtual home (which will both exist) and more about the benefit of embedding both into the same environment even if that means that restrictions and constraints for one have an effect on the other.


Even for socialisation separate VRs promise to be more stable and easier to adapt to the event.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

Ag3ma

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2023
2,574
2,207
118
We are not talking about the value of VR. VR has many uses, will become widespread, continually improves and has a promising future.

We are instead talking about the Metaverse. So it is less about the VR classroom or the self-decorated virtual home (which will both exist) and more about the benefit of embedding both into the same environment even if that means that restrictions and constraints for one have an effect on the other.

Even for socialisation separate VRs promise to be more stable and easier to adapt to the event.
VR is integral to the concept of the metaverse, and it's pointless to discuss the metaverse without mention of VR. The point I'm making is that the development of VR is already heading towards the concept of a metaverse.
 

TheMysteriousGX

Elite Member
Legacy
Sep 16, 2014
8,379
6,895
118
Country
United States
I don't see how "private" parts of the metaverse are much different from separate, disconnected VR spaces you could visit. It's the public ones and the interconnectivity that makes the Metaverse a seperate concept. And i just don't see enough utility here for anyone to actually fix all those problems.


Really, what is the Metaverse even supposed to be good for ? Where exactly is it supposed to deliver a new and superior experience to all those existing and coming alternatives that are each vastly simpler to make ?
It's delivering The Future ala Snowcrash. Just don't ask how, when, by who, or if anybody actually cares.
 

Silvanus

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 15, 2013
11,301
5,911
118
Country
United Kingdom
VR is integral to the concept of the metaverse, and it's pointless to discuss the metaverse without mention of VR. The point I'm making is that the development of VR is already heading towards the concept of a metaverse.
I think their point is that while VR is integral to the metaverse, the metaverse isn't integral (or even desirable) to VR. You can have all of these things without metaverse integration being shoehorned into it.

The development of VR is currently heading towards the concept of an all-encompassing 'verse, but that's because tech corporations are eager to squeeze the lemon and seize market share while the market is still somewhat mutable. It represents a road to monopolisation and expanded, unavoidable monetarisation.

It ain't heading in that direction because it has any particular benefit for the user. Quite the opposite. Hence why all the advertising waffle is so incredibly vague, just a cloud of aspirational buzzwords and undetailed promises, just like the advertising for crypto and NFTs.
 

The Rogue Wolf

Stealthy Carnivore
Legacy
Nov 25, 2007
16,406
8,912
118
Stalking the Digital Tundra
Gender
✅
It ain't heading in that direction because it has any particular benefit for the user. Quite the opposite. Hence why all the advertising waffle is so incredibly vague, just a cloud of aspirational buzzwords and undetailed promises, just like the advertising for crypto and NFTs.
"It's the future! You don't want to miss out on the future!"
 

Silvanus

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 15, 2013
11,301
5,911
118
Country
United Kingdom
"It's the future! You don't want to miss out on the future!"
The one that comes to mind for me is a crypto advert showing a bunch of suited people walking in an endless circle. Then someone spots another route and heads off, looking all aspirational and future-facing. The voice-over says something like, "Crypto is changing the way we think about finance! Face the future and create new solutions with crypto!"

...complete drivel. It means literally nothing. They've created an advertising campaign that identifies zero issues to address, zero features, zero benefits, zero elements the product actually offers. Just trying to push people towards a vague, nebulous feeling of future-ness. Its manipulative horseshit.

I work in a tech-related field, and that's also all I see from metaverse. They are at least slightly more detailed, identifying certain areas (like specialised training) where VR could be useful. But it's still manipulative guff, because the benefits of VR to training are nothing to do with metaverse, and aren't improved by it. They're trying to leech goodwill and a sense of promise from a technology they have nothing to do with.

They're still aiming to exploit ignorance through vagueness and unfulfilled promise. Its still rank charlatan shite.
 

Schadrach

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 20, 2010
2,015
359
88
Country
US
- What really is the benefit of connecting all those little virtual realities ? Except for specific multi-user activities people tend to be quite happy in their secluded bubble or with friends when relaxing
- How do you make all the different virtual ideas mash together ? While i do imagine people wanting to run a Robo-T-Rex down the street smashing everything, i imagine other not wanting some Robo-T-Rex trampling through their backyard. If the virtual realities are shared, functionality of all elements must be severely limited or you get lots of complaints and problems.
- Who pays for all that nonsense and how do you extract money from it ? Everyone contributing something useful to the metaverse needs a way to monetize it. People only part with hard earned cash for stuff they really enjoy. Some glorified VR chatroom will not be enough and plastering everything with advertising will only reduce the userbase and still not earn enough money. And who even gets the privilege to sell the ads in the shared sphere ?
- What about the infrastructure ? Streaming is already an issue and you can't store the information for an open VR world locally.
I feel like some of these problems had already been discussed and resolved to some degree outside VR in the case of Second Life.
 

Satinavian

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 30, 2016
1,748
684
118
I feel like some of these problems had already been discussed and resolved to some degree outside VR in the case of Second Life.
Second life was in the hand of one single company/developer and running on one single engine. They didn't have to address half of these issues at all. For the rest, well, despite all the novelty and not having any real competitors, they never reached mainstream.

I am not anyone today could even match Second Life ( because of regulations and competition). But the general metaverse vision is far grander.