“It’s depressing,” she said. “One should strive for better.”
This reminded me of Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash, which introduced the term “metaverse” to describe a digital space where humans could escape from their grim reality. The book’s protagonist, Hiro, is a fired pizza guy who lives in a warehouse with his roommate. But he is a warrior in the computer generated world he visits with his goggles on.
“The metaverse evolved over decades,” said Matthew Ball, a technology entrepreneur who recently wrote a book about how the metaverse would work.revolutionize everything.” It’s not “something that’s going to radically change our lives this decade,” he added.
I met Mr. Ball at his mountain villa identical to mine with the same view of the hot air balloons. He is not a huge user of the headset, and appears in Horizon Workrooms primarily during public speaking. At the moment he prefers the interactive online worlds of Fortnite and Roblox – games he plays on his Xbox or PlayStation.
Mr. Ball spoke about the technological limitations of keeping the Quest 2 small and relatively comfortable. A less cartoonish metaverse is possible, he said, but from the looks of it you’d have to wear an Xbox-sized device on your head, or one that’s much more expensive. He said a powerful VR headset called Varjo Aero had more impressive graphics and the Apple headset Bloomberg has reported that this will most likely be in the works as well. But the Varjo Aero costs $1,990.
The early adoption of technology often depends on who can afford it. In my many hours in the Metaverse I met people of different ages and professions from all over the world. It’s impossible to know if an avatar reflects a person’s real-life appearance, but Horizon appears on the surface to be a racially diverse virtual world. Whether or not entering the Metaverse is a worthwhile way to pass your time, Meta’s headset is relatively affordable and available to anyone with $400 for a vacation away from reality.