Now that Facebook has gone Meta, what impact will this have on the nature of the metaverse? For some, it’s the first step in a dystopic road to ruin, and, for others, Facebook can be sidestepped en route to building a mirror world which is far bigger than any one company.
Tom Simpson, SVP APAC, AdColony for instance, imagines that by 2030 the metaverse will have enabled “the play economy.”
The key innovation here will have been the creation of platforms that no single entity controls, yet everyone can still trust, via blockchain technology.
The metaverse may be a wild frontier, but here at NAB Amplify we’ve got you covered! Hand-selected from our archives, here are some of the essential insights you’ll need to expand your knowledge base and confidently explore the new horizons ahead:
- What Is the Metaverse and Why Should You Care?
- Avatar to Web3: An A-Z Compendium of the Metaverse
- The Metaverse is Coming To Get You. Is That a Bad Thing?
- Don’t Expect the Metaverse to Happen Overnight
- A Framework for the Metaverse from Hardware to Hollywood and Everything in Between
“Anyone is able to build and connect with each other without permission from a central platform. People have become the platform. New economic models such as play-to-earn and a revitalized maker economy [will grow] from this. The global village is a happy place, built on play — after all the metaverse emerged first from gaming. Crucially, we own our data and digital footprints using the provable digital scarcity of data and NFTs.”
His view is on the utopian end of the spectrum. “With content producers no longer chasing click-based sensationalism, the entire environment online has changed — people spend more reflective time on what makes them happy, and quality content has made a comeback. Play has returned as our dominant way of knowing, understanding and creating meaning. This is the global village. This is the metaverse. This is the play economy.”
The Mill puts itself in the camp of those looking towards developing a “decentralized or open metaverse.”
“That involves a diverse range of creators, developers, artists, educators and perspectives, so the metaverse platform and content of the future isn’t just dictated by the tech giants of silicon valley and brands with money to spend,” explains Aleissia Laidacker, global director of creative technology at The Mill. “The metaverse future I see is a hybrid, virtual and physical reality that offers a new kind of accessibility to data, entertainment, art and experiences, much like the internet did upon its inception.”
Sounds great… except that this conception of the metaverse is all designed to sell us stuff. If it’s not controlled by Big Tech, the metaverse is still big business and in thrall to capitalism.
“We’re less likely to see ads to unlock experiences in the metaverse, and more likely to be invited to take part in meaningful experiences that allow us to engage with brands in new ways,” says Laidacker.
Both Wilfrid Obeng, CTO at AudioMob, and Jonathan Edwards, head of data and transformation at Dentsu Solutions APAC, make the eminently sage observation that the metaverse will probably be a mix of utopia or dystopia; just like reality.
“I equally believe that initially, the metaverse will be a place to dip into rather than continuously occupy,” says Obeng. “We are not going to suddenly see reality abandoned. But the idea of a persistent shared virtual space without the limitations of reality has so many exciting implications.”
Privacy, safety, wellbeing, security, accessibility, and so on are critically important here — more so than ever before. Obeng warns that the metaverse should not be developed in silos and calls for independent guidelines “so we can apply what we’ve collectively learned as part of our forward journey existing as a digital society.”
Edwards says the metaverse “will be the same cat and mouse game with some people trying to exploit new opportunities, whilst others try to stop them.”
The cultural impact a creator has is already surpassing that of traditional media, but there’s still a stark imbalance of power between proprietary platforms and the creators who use them. Discover what it takes to stay ahead of the game with these fresh insights hand-picked from the NAB Amplify archives:
- The Developer’s Role in Building the Creator Economy Is More Important Than You Think
- How Social Platforms Are Attempting to Co-Opt the Creator Economy
- Now There’s a Creator Economy for Enterprise
- The Creator Economy Is in Crisis. Now Let’s Fix It. | Source: Li Jin
- Is the Creator Economy Really a Democratic Utopia Realized?
He says it’s up to us all to use the metaverse as a tool to live in “a less tribal manner.”
READ MORE: A peek into the metaverse: How to prevent a virtual world from becoming a dystopian nightmare (Campaign Asia)
“That shift, from today’s identity-lensed politics and a willful ignorance of what has advanced human well-being to date, rests on education,” he says. “We need the skills and mindset to analyze whether something is fair, logical or even true, lest we condemn ourselves to bring out the worst in our nature. Facebook is very unlikely to achieve that. They will probably play a significant role in the metaverse — But I envisage others, not least government, shaping how we live in such a reality.”
To trim the rise of a metaverse monopoly, the Dentsu executive predicts the emergence of both privacy- and identity-management services in the coming years. Both will be a result of growing data consciousness, he says.
“Privacy management will reduce complexity for people in selecting which data to share with who… and ultimately should be capable of predicting which exchanges its user will and won’t make. Identity managers will serve a dual purpose — to authenticate exactly who you are, and to mask who you are in real life, depending on the digital scenario. An identity manager should enable people to choose which state — fully known or unknown — they are in and when. A privacy manager will govern the points in between.”