I asked my teenage nephew, Maks Inkster (age 18), for his views on the metaverse. He has spent more than 3,000 hours using virtual reality (VR). So, I think he should be fairly expert on the subject.
As a teenager what is your view on the word ‘metaverse’?
When I hear the word metaverse I think of it as something very corporate. Anyone who actually uses VR as a hobby would never use the term metaverse seriously. It’s a term that is made fun of, and rightfully so. It has a very empty meaning that’s definitely peddled with a corporate vibe. One which is being more interested in making a profit using the technology. Rather than furthering the technology’s potential as a use for everyone.
Those less likely to understand it are calling it the metaverse
There is so many ways to describe VR. It is funny to me that the people who are least likely to understand and use VR are also the ones who are calling it the metaverse.
Older and out of touch
These folk saying “metaverse this, metaverse that”, tend to be older and out of touch. VR can be used in so many ways. New ways to enjoy media, allowing people to do things that they never could before, inspiring people to create.
There is the potential to do anything, like there is with any new technology. But you need to be careful how to present it as one wrong step could ruin the industry. This is why I am worried about the bad rap VR gets.
For the media it’s easier to report on the bad rather than the good. So it saddens me to see so many people who do not understand VR decide they are the experts on it. Anyone could become an expert on it if they put in the effort to learn the ins and outs with VR. To use and engage with it. But there is just too much talk of the future rather than trying to make VR better in the present.
Making the metaverse extremely gimmicky
Right now what you see in the media about VR is coming from the type of people who don’t use VR. They tend to be older, more business orientated. Compared to the people who actually use VR. They are younger, more technologically adept and have grown up learning the technology.
It is not to say that VR should be closed off to some people. It can be for everyone. But, by forcing it in the wrong direction which I think is what companies are trying to do by turning it extremely gimmicky, that is what is ruining the development of VR through the lack of understanding of what it is used for now.
What is VR actually used for now?
Right now, mostly games. And that is a good thing you know. It allows people to be introduced to a new form of entertainment. That is exciting for anyone. It sparks creativity, innovation and helps people become more social.
Creating relationships in the metaverse
VR is also giving people an opportunity to create relationships. It helps to connect people from all over the world. I know hundreds of people from all over the world through meeting them on VR. It makes me happy just thinking about all the great times we have had together.
As I said I think the potential of VR is exciting. It is still a relatively new thing and through time it can become something that is considered a household item.
Give it 25 years
The actual devices themselves, of course they’ll only get better, and I’ll leave that part to the people designing them. I believe that VR will within, if I had to put a number on it, 25 years, be close to indistinguishable from real life. What is our responsibility as the people using the technology, is to create reasons for using it. Right now games and services to connect people are at the forefront for that. Soon it might be ways to aid with people’s careers and creating new jobs.
What do you do in the metaverse (using VR)?
Plenty of games that exist right now that I believe everyone should have the opportunity to try sometime. Beat Saber, Phasmophobia, Pavlov. All of these are great experiences that, arguably, give VR a reason to exist as is.
The thing I do most on VR though is using a social platform called VRChat. I’ve amassed a good 2,000 hours on it. Playing games, taking part in and setting up tournaments, exploring beautifully created places. Watching movies and TV shows with others, going to parties and concerts. Even sleeping with my headset on from time to time due to how late I’m on it.
And everything on VRChat is made from the same individuals who play it. This makes it a unique experience no matter what you do or where you go.
Is VRChat like Second Life?
Yes, to an extent. It allows people to express themselves in any way possible. Giving that freedom to someone gives the chance for someone to be the best version of themselves. Allowing them to interact with others freely.
Why are you on VRChat and not on say Second Life or Decentraland?
Compared to Second Life, the simple fact that you are in VR and able to be more immersed makes VRChat a better place to be. Second Life was a bit before my time. But I can see it’s suffered from age and lack of innovation, despite having the same fundamentals.
Compared to Decentraland, it’s what I spoke about before. Extremely corporate. It lacks the type of people who are actually using VR, let alone people at all.
As a teenager what is your view of the benefits of the metaverse?
I have heard from plenty of people how they feel that using VR has been extremely beneficial to them.
A lot of people that use VR have struggles with the real world. Whether it be personal issues, problems with those around them, or issues with the place they are. Going into VR, they can use it as an escape from these worries. By creating a new life for themselves, in a new place, with new people. More and more people spend more time in VR. As they are given support and make connections that might not be possible for them in real life.
Is that the same thing that could be happening to people via social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn)?
Yes, it is similar, but I think VR helps to emphasise that by making it more immersive in so many ways. There’s one example I always love to talk about. Have you ever heard of “Phantom Sense” Brian?
No I don’t know what Phantom Sense is. Tell me more.
Phantom sense is the sensation of feeling something that doesn’t actually exist. In the same way that amputees can still feel in limbs that they no longer have. It’s been proven to exist in people who use VR for a very long time. People with phantom sense actually develop the ability to experience touch, smell and taste through VR despite the sense not actually being there.
People are so immersed in the technology that they begin to really feel these. It can even go further than that. I know a few people who have phantom pain. When they get shot or punched in a VR game, they actually feel the pain. Obviously there’s no long-lasting effects from being shot a million times. But those million bullets will feel real. Definitely putting these people to the ground, with them feeling an intense pain wherever they get hit.
Pain might not be a desirable effect for people. However, the immersion that VR can bring is something that appeals. And that immersion extends to a person’s emotions. Something that brings them in to wanting to use the technology. It makes me wonder if the suits and ties trying to force VR wrongly feel the exact same immersion, and hence addiction to VR.
As a teenager what is your view on whether businesses, like law firms, should be developing a presence in the metaverse?
It’s worth a shot. As VR inevitably get more technologically advanced and more applications for it will come into existence, ways to incorporate VR will come about that we can’t even comprehend right now. It’s already been proven that businesses can use VR successfully. Construction companies use VR to simulate safety training, and have found a significant decrease in accidents compared to before. While architects and designers have used VR for years to go more in-depth with 3D models, getting as close to the real thing before production.
Success stories like that will become more commonplace. But right next to it we have failures like the PR disaster of the “Wendyverse“. And all of the lawyers you’ve covered in the past attempting to turn their deluded metaverse concepts into reality.
A presence with the VR industry is vital, as many of us, me included, think it’ll head the same way as smartphones or laptops. A household item accessible to everyone. We just don’t understand how it’ll pan out, so companies need to stop trying so hard to the point of cringe.
What is your view as a teenager on how businesses (particularly perhaps law firms) should tackle the metaverse?
I’ll repeat that until these businesses get it they won’t be able to tackle the metaverse properly. They need to understand the culture and the marketing. How to actually use VR is the most important.
There’s a reason consultants exist. And to me it’s clear to see they’re not utilised very well by VR companies if they keep coming out with these terrible marketing ideas that are constantly shunned by all.
I’m genuinely really happy to talk about all of this. I know many people, just like me, who use VR would love to give their opinion on everything to do with the industry. So all I can propose is for businesses to ask people like us what to do. Because we will want to help in helping to further our hobby to more people. You don’t need a degree to use a VR. Just passion and a good bit of time. One or both of these aspects are usually lacking from people working in these said businesses.
Would you like to visit a lawyer in the metaverse or would you prefer to meet them in real life if you needed legal advice?
I’ve heard that some lawyers are impelling themselves to make this a reality. To me it definitely just seems like forced hype.
The use of any solution should have the positives and negatives weighed upon before being put into practice.
I assume the obvious point that meeting lawyers in the metaverse has no advantages compared to the already existing video call or rudimentary phone call, has been beaten like a dead horse.
Apply Occam’s razor here. There’s no point overcomplicating this by adding two VR headsets and a social platform to the mix.
Do you think there will ever be one single metaverse rather than multiple metaverses?
With the way it’s currently defined, I’d say no. Just in the ways there are multiple social medias, shops, countries.
There should always be a choice for people to make when picking where they want to do their VR related activities. Forcing people to stick to one set of rules decided by one company who owns and moderates this metaverse, stifles the whole purpose. Creativity should strive, as it already does with the amount of creations people have made for VR.
I mean even right now there are multiple social platforms with VR as the main focal point. VRChat, Rec Room, ChilloutVR, NeosVR. All of these platforms have different purposes with varying player bases. Removing all of these to prioritise one would make a lot of people unhappy. Surely as a collective we’ll realise only one platform isn’t the way.
What does the future metaverse look like?
Predictions will always be laughed upon. It’s an almost impossible thing to get 100% right. But I think VR will eventually reach that fabled popularity plenty of other devices I’ve mentioned have reached.
There’ll be a lot of pushback. Especially from people who just want to see it fail. And also from companies who continue to fail to understand the culture VR currently has. But the errors that have been made will be analysed and hopefully, not repeated.
VR is already a success. Even if the industry doesn’t go the way I imagine, it’ll continue to exist as a niche hobby for a specific group of people. That’ll only get bigger as more people get introduced to it.
Too many people are scared of the unknown. But with the only plausible risks being the investments that might not pay off, we should all be excited at what’ll happen next. Let’s keep the fanfare towards the badly-termed metaverse up, and see what happens next.
Summary of a Teenager’s view of the Metaverse
My nephew, Maks Inkster, in giving his teenager’s view of the metaverse, has made it fairly clear that the ‘Metaverse Lawyers‘ are getting it all wrong.
They are hanging out on their own in Decentraland watching tumble weed go by when they should be on VRChat. But if they jump over to VRChat it is probably not going to do them an awful lot of good. They will be completely out of touch with those on there. And the people hanging out there would rather see their lawyer in real life or via more traditional/convenient means of communication.
Also, they should stop saying the ‘metaverse’ as doing so will only result in them being made fun of!
Reactions on Social Media to A Teenager’s view of the Metaverse: “A term that is made fun of”
On LinkedIn the following comments have been made:-
Helen Burness (Creative legal marketing for powerful brands ⚡️ Leveraging LinkedIn for legal founders ⚡️ Lawbreaker ⚡️ SEND parent ⚡️Smashing narratives one at a time 👊):
Ha ha LOVE THIS. “Companies need to stop trying so hard to the point of cringe.” When I really want to understand stuff I generally ask my tween as a user of the future.
Indeed Helen. Law firms really need to employ in their innovation departments a ‘Tween Director of Innovation’ 😉
If they are looking for someone to be “super challenging” and test their why to the MAX please can I recommend my own tween.
Maybe we need to set up a panel of tweens to be hired out on a consultancy basis #tweensbreakthelaw 😉
Ha ha. I would love to set this up so much! The first thing my tween to do would be to deride LinkedIn I think.
Theo Priestley (Founder | Keynote Speaker | TEDx | Author of ‘The Future Starts Now’ | Writing on the Space industry at ‘To The Stars’):
The metaverse is like so many other technologies – it’ll always be just around the corner but ever elusive. Meanwhile we’ll suffer attempts to create it every decade or so.
Thanks Theo. It feels like the buzz from last year around the metaverse has pretty much died out already (maybe replaced by ChatGPT hype for now!). So perhaps we already have to wait another decade for it to be created again.
Theo Priestley – Reckon this hypothesis might thrn out to be true. A period of elusivety for VR might be round the corner, possibly concealing the tech to only the most engaged by it. Hopefully over a decade hype can be built up again for an industry that’s ready to handle such game-changing ideas, rather than some companies try to force it now when it’s not ready.
Colin Levy (Your Friendly Legal Tech Maven | Chief Lawyer @ Malbek | Fastcase 50 2022 Inductee | Legal Tech Startup Advisor and Investor):
Ha, this is great! Thanks for sharing Brian Inkster.
Thanks Colin. The older generation can learn a lot from the younger one before plunging both feet in when it comes to technology.
Elizabeth de Stadler (Rehabilitated lawyer, #funlawyer, legal designer, plain language fanatic, (retired) amateur skateboarder, humour researcher, (un)professional speaker, knows a little about privacy law, etm.):
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Thanks Elizabeth. Glad you enjoyed it!
Keith Osola (Mentor || I’m all about people || Creativity || Ideas || Purpose || Passion || Clarity ‘there’s nothing wrong with challenging, in the right way…’):
Thanks Keith. I certainly learnt a lot from Maks about how VR is actually being used today and how those actually using it perceive those that think they know how to use it! You are never too old to learn, as they say.
Very true, and if we took all the hype, bling, over hype, over bling, out of the entire equation, once and for all, and for good, then quite possibly more profound forward realities could be achieved.
So, here’s something for your son to read, to see if achievable, to see if it could be in reality, et al.
Thanks Keith. That vision seems very appealing. But the reality, I think, is that most people still like to shop for clothes in the real world. Online saw a huge boost during the pandemic but that tailed off as we returned to normality:
I agree entirely.
I was more interested in your son’s potential viewpoint, as he’ll be of the real future generations?
Although the biggest drawback to it, and all other aspects of ‘fashion’ these days, is sizing.
As sizing has gone completely barmy, in my opinion.
As 2 of the same, bought at the same time, same day, can turn out to be of different sizes.
Indeed. I have experienced this problem with sizing! I understand online retailers have a real problem dealing with the number of returned items. Scanning might work better for bespoke tailoring? My nephew (not son), Maks, will hopefully respond to you with his views as the real future generation, as you say.
My sincere apologies, for getting the family placement wrong.
No worries. When you come from a very large family (as I do) such mix ups are common place 🙂
Keith Osola – To be honest, I reckon this could turn out to be a really good idea. Whether it becomes commonplace to try clothes like this, or just a gimmick that lasts a few years, I see no harm in trying this out. Small concepts and plans like this is what businesses should be focusing on, rather than being overambitious to the point of being completely unrealistic.
And it seems to be happening if not mainstream yet: https://sizer.me/
Maks Inkster – How very, very, true Maks.
And perfectly sound, solid, logic, to back up your observations.
Very sound indeed.
So, if you’d like to run with the idea, then please do, with my blessings.
As I like to consider the future, and then let others run with it.
As that’s my forte, so to speak.
So, run with it, by all means, quite freely, with my blessings.
As what it could address, I believe, is to join more of the dots, between purchase, hurried, or not, try on, and actual wear.
In both the physical, and online, environments.
Isabel Parker (Partner, Deloitte Legal):
Echoes what my own teenaged children say. They are highly sceptical of the metaverse as conceived and promoted by Zuckerberg. As with all things, it will have a place and serve a purpose – but the true utility will not be evident for a number of years.
Thanks Isabel. I think Zuckerberg’s vision was borne out of a need to create a distraction from the woes he was having with Facebook and swayed strongly by the Pandemic with a (wrong) view that life was not going to return back to the old normal. As a result it was very ill conceived.
Mitch Kowalski (European/Canadian, Head of Legal and Legal Operations Advisor – Eligible to work in US without sponsorship):
Absolute rubbish – it will revolutionize the world in 12 months! Corporate vibe rocks! 😋
Rob Marrs (Education, Training and Learning | Diversity and Inclusion | Legal Tech):
Always good to do this. Years ago I asked a teenage work experience student about what we should do to engage with schools: ‘don’t give out stress balls. We just lob them at each other’ 😂
Thanks Rob. I don’t think we do it nearly often enough. Certainly has made me think I should do it much more often.
Richard Bisiker (Global Learning & Development ► Coaching & Leadership Change Transformation ► Chartered Director ► ILM Approved Centre & Assessor ► Helping People Reach their Full Potential):
Wonderful Reverse mentoring and great insights. Thanks Brian.
Thanks Richard. It was very insightful. Hadn’t thought of it as reverse mentoring, but of course it is!
Nadine StantonView (Award-winning company helping transform lawyers from good to great by delivering soft skill training and 1-1 coaching to improve their ability to win, retain and wow clients. 20+ yrs experience.):
Thanks Nadine. I certainly found it so.
Michael Burne (I love helping people to start, grow and exit their law firms. Like taking photos too.):
Maks sounds pretty clued up to me Brian. Meta will want him now!
He certainly is Michael. But will Maks want Meta?!
Michael Burne – On one hand, I do want to thank Meta for all the work and investment they’ve put into the industry. But on the other, the sheer number of poor decisions they’ve made, that have been so out of touch with what the user-base actually want; it worries me how many more mistakes they can make before we seriously start losing a substantial amount of people interested in VR.
Maks – maybe you can fix it from the inside…
John MescanView (Experienced Professional with Broad Technical, Business, Manufacturing and Process Optimization Knowledge.):
I would challenge the assertion that the metaverse is a technology. It is, if those promoting it can get their 💩 together, the integration of individual speciality technologies, VR, predictive analytics or AI, possibly ML, display and sensing technologies and Web3 getting it all to play together seamlessly to create the next level user experience. The idea of a virtual economy in a virtual world still seems like the next Con.
Let’s see. They tried “real estate”, cryptocurrency, images of pixilated objects, apes with yachting attire that looked like something from Gillian’s Island. Then there was fashion items for your avatar, truly the King’s new clothes. What ever happened to the green outfit someone was trying to sell or sold?
This is the next phase in creating an emotionally crippled, socially inept, overly sensitive generation of carbon-based life forms.
Interesting observations John.
Andrew Walker (Account Manager for Cloud Adoption & Migration | Trusted Partner for Scotland’s SMEs | Specialists in Securing Cloud Migration Funding | Optimising your AWS Environment | DevOps FinOps & Security | Managed Cloud Services):
It is fascinating to hear, Brian. It is clear that he has deep knowledge and experience in this area and his opinions are valuable and thought-provoking. It is clear that the metaverse is not a one-size-fits-all solution and that different people will have different perspectives on it.
Thanks Andrew. Always good to get and consider different perspectives.
Lewis M. Lupton (Chief Metaverse Officer @ Shadow Factory):
It is awesome that Maks is an avid VR gamer, but the metaverse is not just for gamers.
There may be pillars and areas that cater more toward entertainment content and experiences, but realistically gamers will only be a segment of users in the metaverse ecosystem.
Decentraland is a platform. Platforms are not the metaverse. It is worth reminding that one should look at the metaverse as one would look at the internet – the invisible ecosystem that ties our known digital realm together.
As both a professional in XR tech and solutions for the last 5 years and a die-hard gamer for 20+ years, I would love to arrange a chat and dive into this topic a bit, if that would sound good to you!
I accept that the metaverse is not just for gamers but they seem to make up the vast majority of users and they were there before the spaces they inhabit were ever called part of the metaverse.
I have written previously about how much of the so called ‘metaverse’ is occupied by gamers: https://thetimeblawg.com/2022/10/02/susskinds-metaverse/
I agree that Decentraland is not ‘the metaverse’ but surely it is part of the so called metaverse?
The best quote I have seen about Decentraland comes from Andres Guadamuz who said:
“I have tried Decentraland and found it to be a slower and crappier version of what Second Life was in 2007”.
Decentraland is a website on the internet as all ‘metaverse’ platforms are. I have suggested before that the internet is the metaverse: https://thetimeblawg.com/2022/10/01/metaverses-and-the-internet/
Happy to chat further about it. But you might be better having that chat with Maks Inkster?
Lewis M. Lupton – Totally agree that VR isn’t just for gamers, any new technology should be innovated and adapted to be accessible to people from all walks of life. There’s one point I wish I could get across to companies and businesses in the industry though:
To allow for VR to grow so you can find your desired audience, you have to understand who is using it, and why they’re using it. Jumping the gun by attempting to advertise to a user base that doesn’t exist yet is futile. Hence why platforms like Decentraland are barren and are only enduring so we can joke about it. More research needs to be done on how the technology can be used for every type of industry, because I don’t think there’s a single person that can be considered an expert on how to grow VR.
I do genuinely love discussing this, after all I’ve got 3000 hours using this stuff! The more people talking about it the merrier, hit me up anytime for a dive. 👍
Alexander Ali, MBA (Management Consulting II Digital Transformation II Legal Operations Excellence II Advanced Technology Evangelism II):
I think in 25 years actual physical encounters between humans will become rare, awkward and traumatizing because everyone is sitting on their damn couch using computer graphics trying to recreate what actually exist right outside their door.
I sincerely hope that dystopian future does not play out! I have written about that previously: https://thetimeblawg.com/2022/05/15/not-the-metaverse/
For me, I sincerely hope we’re not trapped to one or the other, both should co-exist as they both have their advantages. I know many people who avoid VR like the plague, and many who don’t understand what’s the point of doing entertaining things outdoors. There are extremes in any topic, and the whole metaverse debate is no different. Personally, I think common sense will prevail, I’ve been in a headset for up to 12 hours before, and it’s genuinely tiring! Real life will be here to stay, let’s assure ourselves of that.
completely agree 😎
Harrison Clark (Analyst | M&A | Venture Capital):
As a 24 year old, who has spent too many hours to admit on vr style games such as vrchat or gmod, I completely agree with your nephew on the majority of his points.
When the metaverse is fully built out by the likes of meta, who are the end users going to be? Right now everyone already in the VR space sees them as an absolute joke. And everyone outside of that I feel like has little interest in a metaverse experience. I think there is a lot to learn from young people who actually already engage with products, and who will grow up to be customers with money to spend on the metaverse in the future.
If only Mark Zuckerberg realised he was building a joke!
Michael Stanley (Behavioral Neurology Fellow):
This was a great interview! Learned a lot. Great idea!
Thanks Michael. So did I!
Kieran Hutchison (Want to Accelerate Your Presence and Results on Social Media? Read Profile & Message Me…)
Hamish McLay (Specialists at relieving stress from property transactions – whether timing or cost, we make the difference!):
Thanks for sharing!
Wayne Blinkhorn (Bringing law firms into the 21st Century since before it was cool):
Finally someone said it. #metafarce
Rafael Brown (CEO & Founder at Symbol Zero // Microsoft Regional Director):
Couldn’t agree more. The ‘metaverse’ as a term needs to be retired. We have Games and VR on the internet running via Cloud. Cloud AI supplanted web3 as an investor trend. The metaverse is hot air. It’s just Games and VR while web3 spins its wheels delivering nothing. And our youth know it.
It’s 2023. Can the (sch)metaverse hypesters all stop? We all know it’s not real. Look, Fox News hosts were exposed as knowing Trump was lying about election fraud in the Dominion lawsuit. Do we need lawsuits to get marketers to admit they know there is just the internet and that the metaverse was just a convenient marketing fiction to raise money on? We all know it. Nothing but hot air. Now the consumers do also. The gig is up.
No one believes fintech analysts reports about the size of the metaverse anymore. Folks that want to make money on the metaverse need to retire and come back in a couple decades or three. Web3 is tired. Metaverse is schmetaverse. Games and VR will go on without the lies, empty promises and speculation from a web that didn’t even understand realtime 3D, nevermind VR. Just smh. So tired. Let’s get back to Games and VR on the Internet.
Build the 3D & AI Internet on Cloud. There is no metaverse now. Please listen to our youth. If we build a metaverse in the future. It will probably actually be them building it. Let’s leave them a message of hope and community not commerce and desperation.
Terrence Lee Reed (What’s next?):
The “Metaverse” is supposed to be the real-life (digital-life) equivalent of “The OASIS” from “Ready Player One” (2018), the film adaptation of the 2011 science fiction novel, and debut novel of American author Ernest Cline.
“The OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation) is a MMOSG (massively multiplayer online simulation game) created by James Halliday and Ogden Morrow of Gregarious Simulation Systems. While starting as an online gaming platform, the OASIS gradually evolved into a globally networked virtual reality world that most of humanity now uses on a daily basis.”
Yup, we might be able to make that in the next 20-30 years.
Terrence Lee Reed (What’s next?):
The follow-up question is: Do we want to make it? For some the answer is yes, for the many the answer is no. Ready Player One is a cautionary tale, not a model to follow.
Well, given that it is generally presented within a dystopian fiction, starting with William Gibson, then, going to Neil Stephenson, then a whole host of other folks, including Ernest Cline, the Cyberspace, to Metaverse notion has never been a utopia as much as it is a showcase for how we can survive in times of conflict. It is kind of like saying, it would be exciting to live in the post apocalyptic world of Mad Max, as the protagonist, if you can survive, but do we really want that world?
Syed Imran (Mobile Games Studio Head | 8+ Years building Mobile Games | Creating games since 2008 | Games Design | Production | User Acquisition):
Terrence Lee Reed – Of course, if people could stop being metaverse experts for a minute, they’d realise that Wade et all were out to save the Oasis from IOI because the real world was a dump, hollowed out by corporate greed, brought to the fore by Nolan’s “ads” pitch within the movie where he’s for covering 80% of the screen in the Oasis with ads without inducing seizures.
Dennis Jenders (Art. Science. Mischief.):
The term Metaverse is overused, and the phrase AI has been abused. But we also need to realize we’re talking about an end product that we’re (maybe) in the middle of crafting.
I don’t expect the average person to tell me where we are going, what value it will bring, and how to bring it to market.
Anton Antich (Data-driven operations to scale b2b startups 1 to 100M ⇗ in sales. Co-founder @ beyondreal.life VR enterprise workplace and anasaea.com artverse. GP @TheUntitled.vc. Helped Build Veeam to 1B in sales. AI & deeptech.):
„metaverse“ should be forbidden 🙂
Benjamin Brown (Co-Founder at Reset):
I saw a coke ad yesterday that said welcome to the multiverse and nearly keeled over in embarrassment for them. They’ve been making cringeworthy steps at every turn with this stuff.
JP Minetos (Lead Web3 & VR Analyst at Hartmann Metaverse Ventures I):
The points made here from a teenager on VR should be cherished and thoughtfully analyzed – because they’re from the perspective of deep intuition of a real users.
While the term Metaverse is conceptually positive, in execution, it continues to get skunked by corporate arrogance and jargon missing the key behaviors on how technology is actually being used.
The teams building who understand VR, gaming, and “metaverse” are users themselves. The disparity of perceived expertise and the reality are diminished when investors and builders are actual users themselves.
Shawn Fischtein (CEO Business Development at Gaggle Studios):
Was hanging out with some Gen Z kids this past weekend and I can agree 100% that the term Metaverse has so much negative connotation that they use it to describe anything that is utterly useless, BS, or a scam.
They feel the same way about crypto and NFTs.
Ben Duggan (Co-Founder and Director of Investor Relations at Berkley Capital Management):
So along with investment guru’s who talk about insurance policies I will make sure to ignore anyone who says Metaverse.
Gordon Dodson (Combating PTSD in a Virtual Reality Medical Environment (VRME)):
The next Gen and how they see the Metaverse;)
Follow 2B3D to see how their VR Medical Environment (VRME) will be an evolutionary step in the right direction.
Clinton Swan (BizDev, Marketing & Comms Director | Prof. Services | Legaltech | startups and more…):
Spot on. Particularly the point of cringe…
Stefan Eder (Law, Management & Informatics):
Maks’ views sound pretty sensible to me
Y.K. Lee (Paralegal | Aspiring Legal Technologist| E-Discovery| Employment Law| Intellectual Property | Knowledge & Learning | IT Specialist | Compliance | 🇭🇰🏴🇬🇧🇨🇳):
This is a middle aged curmudgeon’s cynical view of the Metaverse.
The “Metaverse” as a lexicon term is today’s “Information Superhighway”. Such that silly sods like Al Gore and Mark Zuckerberg brand something that already exists in an attempt to usurp recognition of being a pseudo creator of the internet and virtual worlds respectively.
The terms bring no added value to these spheres of influence whatsoever.
This act gives them the delusional god complex which is a big feather in one’s ego cap.
This is akin to “British made apparel” with made in the UK on its label. In reality the shirt was source in India only the stitched-on label is made in the UK. Not bad work for little to no effort. The two aforementioned gents are purveyors of fine labels. The internet and virtual worlds were made by the techno mages who built these worlds from their startups and bedrooms.
Not just teens but the 8 bit joystick warriors of the 80’s make fun of this too.
Antti Innanen (⚫ Ⓜ️ 🍄):
Great insights, I love this ❤️
Dr. Christoph Smets (Justitiar RFWU Bonn • Digitale Verwaltung):
I would say that I am fairly tech- and innovation-friendly, but just never got exactly why a law firm would need to meet their clients over VR instead of RR (real reality). I always thought I wasn’t hip enough, but I’m glad to hear that your nephew feels the same.
An Trotter (Senior Director of Operations):
I’m sad that “metaverse” is considered by a new generation a term worth mocking. The term was coined in (or should I say “co-opted from”) Stephen Donaldson’s book Snowcrash, which is simply brilliant and well worth reading, even if our dystopian reality has overtaken some aspects. That said completely agree with the rest. At the moment metaverses most resemble the current state shopping mall, bloated real estate prices and few customers. I suspect the metaverse future is virtual Vegas or cruise, e.g. rife with commercial, inc. entertainment possibility. For VR, on on the other hand, building on the shift to remote work, which will continue to increase out of necessity, I see an earlier application being workers donning their headsets to work in a virtual space with their colleagues from home. Will that include a virtual commute through a metaverse to the corporate HQ? Mmmm…thinking no.
Louis Jonker (Counsel Tech & Data in Regulated Markets @ Van Doorne):
“No point overcomplicating the lawyer/client relationship by adding two VR headsets and a social platform to the mix.” 🤣
Just the feeling I have everytime I witness a flashy presentation on why lawyers need to embrace one or more of the available avatar-based digital environments (for lack of a better term, as I always found the term hashtag#metaverse somewhat confusing because of the reference to a famous BigTech company). I was getting worried of becoming old and out of touch 👴, but now I understand that I am part of the opposite category. You made my day! #foreveryoung 👦
Rex Baker (Regional Director | Consilio):
It won’t be long before we see a VR enabled trial arguing the facts of criminal activity related to VR.
A regular trial where at some point VR-devices are used to do actual fact-presenting and fact-checking in a VR-enabled environment? I agree. That is similar to official site-visits that are sometimes organized during court proceedings.
But a trial that fully takes place in a VR-enabled environment? As unofficial ADR: this already takes place and this is fine as long as all parties involved have consented and they can still go to court afterwards. As official court trial: this has also already happened and is for various reasons maybe not such a good idea.
To me, I always try to keep an open mind to things I haven’t experienced or understand. It’s better to welcome something than straight-up reject it. But in its current state, barely anyone would be able to treat a VR courtroom to the same seriousness as a real one, especially if it’s done on any of the current platforms. We’re a long way away from VR being truly life-like, and in my eyes, things like court cases and trials are something that should stick to the most real setting possible.
Great reply. Thanks. And I fully agree, also about the “open mind” part.
Frederic le Mauff (Senior Corporate Intellectual Property Counsel at bioMérieux):
I like the way your nephew identifies old folk talking about technology. It was the same with the expression “artificial intelligence”. Some while ago, a good way to identify persons that do know anything about “artificial intelligence” was to wait them to use the expression “artificial intelligence” 😁.
I find it funny.
Else, I’ll wait some feedback from the gaming industry since it was for years the main engine of AI and VR, both in terms of hard and soft.
And at the moment, there’s little buy in from the gamers and game studio themselves. If they do not adopt it, there is little chance it will be a business thing in the short terms.
Nonopa Vanda (I help lawyers and businesses get discovered | Legal Tech x Innovation x Design | Founder on a mission to uberize legal services | #businessoflaw #lawtech #business #legaleducation #legalinnovation #makelawbetter):
Finally someone said it.
Robyna May (Data, Process & Design Expert – Project Manager – Strategy & Leadership – Writer & Speaker – Power BI Dev | Verlata Consulting):
This is really interesting. Thank you. I’d agree that the appetite for VR amongst the gamers I know (i.e. my kids and their friends) is really low and doesn’t really fit how they like to play. Headset chat with friends + Discord or in game text chat with general internet + whatever game they are playing tends to be the set up I see adopted. I don’t think they want to be immersed in one medium. It’s not how their brains have been trained.
Totally agree here, while I myself do love the life out of my headset, I can fully understand why there are only half a dozen people I know in person who have any sort of VR device. It’s expensive, not widely adopted, and more of a hassle to set up than anything else. I do think these are problems that will be solved over time, just like any other technology being more accessible to all. VR will remain for a good bit of time as something not for local play with people you already know, but to connect with people you haven’t met all over the globe, honestly, it’s absolutely amazing at that!
Yeah – definitely needs that accessibility aspect. I am sure in a couple of Christmases it will be THE device under the tree.
Lawrence Peters (Director of Technology – Europe, Middle East & Asia at Latham & Watkins):
He gets it and then some.
Johna Till Johnson (CEO, Nemertes Research):
You might want to ask him if he’s read “Snow Crash”.
He may be making fun of the term, but he probably has no clue where it comes from.
Here’s a hint: The term was coined by someone who was definitely “older” but not at all out of touch. Who happens to be one of the most innovative and visionary people alive (and hardly in a cringe-y corporate way).
Hehehehe. You’re cute, young ‘un, but you might wanna look up from the screen every now and again.
The origin of the term and its application today are two different things.
If you had read my earlier blog posts in the series on the metaverse, Snow Crash was fully covered including reference to the ‘gargoyles’.
Neil Stephenson was not that old when he wrote Snow Crash, just 33.
His vision of the metaverse was perhaps not the cringey corporate one that Maks refers to but, unfortunately, that is what it has become to mean to many.
I think Maks was referencing the fact that gamers have been using VR for some considerable time without them or anyone else calling it the metaverse – despite that term being a very old one.
Second Life launched 20 years ago and no one called that the metaverse.
Then along comes Mark Zuckerberg just a year or so ago wanting to own the metaverse and suddenly anything that was VR before is now the ‘metaverse’.
I can understand why that would jar.
And I can confirm that Maks looks up from the screen more than you are imagining. If you read some of his comments in this thread you will see that he appreciates real life as much as virtual life.
On Twitter the following comments have been made:-
These are great insights! It is true about the misconceptions from people who don’t actual use or understand VR. But as with any technology, there are waves of adopters – we are still in the phase of (very) early adopting and that brings a lot of confusion to most.