Ok, I liked the 2011 novel and 2018 blockbuster movie, Ready Player One which tells the story of a dystopian world in 2045 almost completely reliant on a fake video-game-like universe to communicate and live their lives.
Here’s the thing, people. It’s a book (and a movie) and anyone who thinks OUR world will be anything like THAT world is missing some key facts. Yep, lookin’ right at Zuckerberg who believes in this “metaverse” so strongly that he changed Facebook’s name to “Meta.” (A really dumb move brand-equity-wise) — And most people still on Facebook either haven’t noticed or couldn’t care less.
So, as you have astutely noticed, I am not bullish on the metaverse. I think it’s a ton of marketing BS and hype that will NEVER live up to anything of the sort. …And I can prove it.
Consumers/People haven’t responded very well to virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or even 3D technology for movies. (Most are very much “over” 3D movies at the theaters, too. You need these technologies to be accepted for any degree of metaverse to take place. Not gonna happen. Most people are pretty happy with their HDTVs and haven’t even upgraded to 4 or 8K resolution either.
Companies will NEVER allow one company to own or control the metaverse. They will fight and even kill any successful attempts to ensure that one or a handful of companies cannot wield this power. Look at any technology standard after MIDI — lots of fighting over licensing fees, poor adoption and death. That’s what’s coming for this metaverse too. Bank on it.
The metaverse relies on a cashless society. That’s not going to happen soon either. Americans LOVE cash — we love the anonymity of paying for something with our money and no one tracks it, knows about it or anything. Watch, but that desire for cash will grow and crush the cashless society which crushes the metaverse.
People say to me, “Scott, aren’t there some just incredible marketing opportunities inside of the metaverse?” No, there aren’t, and honestly—there shouldn’t be.
In the book/movie, the biggest REASON the Oasis thrived so well was the complete ABSENCE of any marketing. In fact, the insidious plan of the evil villain in that story was to get control of the Oasis and put up a TON of digital advertising. —That’s the evil plan! Doesn’t that TELL you something?
So I don’t think 2045 will have a metaverse. I don’t. I think our technology will advance in cool ways, but I also see a wave of REJECTION of that tech as people start to read more physical books and spend more time with their loved ones in this world, this reality. Calls to limit our screen time can be found across our society right now.
Oh, there will still be fantastic storytelling, but that is all we’re seeing here — overhyped storytime by some gifted imaginations that probably won’t lead anywhere. So don’t get sucked in and buy virtual real estate or tokens or any other nonsense. After all, it’s only a story.