By EJ Hemingway, contributing writer
Back in 2014, billionaire Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg, founded the idea of building the Metaverse, for his vision of beginning the future.
The term, Metaverse, was one first introduced in Neil Stevenston’s cyberpunk novel, “Snowcraft,” published in 1992, describing a dystopian future. The book was similar to the state-of-art in terms of societal rules, where capitalism overpowered society, and a hierarchy system was implemented. The Metaverse was a virtual reality world where the ones high in the hierarchy system with more money were given more opportunity, thus, were the ones who could escape their concrete, advertising America into the ideal Metaverse. In this world, no money meant no influence and no power, causing them to be at the bottom, more susceptible to all whims of corporate overload. That is why all yearned to escape.
Mark Zuckerberg first launched the well-known app in 2004 in his dormitory with his roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes, at Harvard University. Zuckerberg’s app grew rapidly in popularity; in fact, by 2012, he had reached one-billion users on his social media platform. By May of that same year, he had become the world’s youngest billionaire, at the age of 23.
Only recently did Zuckerberg move farther in his platforms, and put forth a new idea, The Metaverse. Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse is similar to the one exemplified by Stevenson, where users can use virtual reality to interact, game, work, play, and experience things either together or by themselves as they could in the real world. Zuckerberg is so confident in his virtual reality creation that he believes it has the potential to be the future of the internet, and of his trillion dollar company.
The Metaverse was created for individuals who had these apps to be able to connect further with others across the world more connected then they could with a mere computer screen in a more natural way. The Metaverse is not only a virtual ‘game’, but described as a place in time where individuals can experience and control life, liberty, and property. Metaverse is an American multinational technology conglomerate in Menlo Park, California and is an organization held over the well known Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, as well as many others including Messenger, Facebook Watch, and Facebook Portal, Oculus, Giphy, and Mapillary. This parent company is viewed as one of the world’s most valued companies, and even is one of the Big Five tech giants: Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, and of course, Meta itself.
Many argue either for or against the young creator’s parent company, and some are unsure of the origin of the name altogether. Across the world, issues in the media overall have been set forth in different platforms where individuals become concerned around teenager’s mental health, the spread of disinformation, and the fuel for political polarization.
“Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show”, reads a headline from the Wall Street Journal. “Facebook whistleblower alleges executives misled investors about climate, covid hoaxes in new SEC complaint” reads one from the Washington Post. These headlines are not unusual; they reflect the general news about Facebook at the moment. Many people are concerned; however, Facebook denies any malicious intent or deeds. Then again, any large change or transition of power is bound to raise concerns.
As these issues continue to increase, individuals become more concerned with their effect on the younger audience. When Zuckerberg put forth his grand idea, many were furious and had the idea it was a mere distraction away form the problems they believed needed to be their first priority. Also, Zuckerberg claims to have created this virtual world for his Facebook platform, meanwhile companies such as Roblox Microsoft, and Nvidia have been building their own virtual worlds for their users to enjoy as well. Therefore, they, too, became angry at the Facebook creator for ‘stealing their idea’.
Many who support this idea, however, look forward to the immersive learning, improved productivity, entertainment, commerce, privacy, and fitness of Zuckerberg’s creation. This will allow for a further evolving step for the technological community, and allow individuals to enhance their intellectual ability as well as learn new experiences through an entirely different world. Many believe that working and education would become interesting and fun like never before, with credit to Zuckerberg, and look forward to what the future holds in relation to their creativity, productivity, and happiness.
Some, however, have no familiarity of where the word originated from, the novel “Snowcraft,” which has left them quite puzzled. “Many people are still trying to understand what exactly the metaverse is and whether the futuristic technological concept is something they should take seriously” stated Shirin Ghaffary as she explains the effect of the Metaverse on the past, present, and future of our society in an article for Vox.
The Metaverse continues to be a controversial topic amongst the world’s inhabitants, and views on this expansion will continue to change, shaped by Zuckerberg and his helpers as well as news sites and critics of the billionaire. Many ponder how this massive controversiality will shape the future of the media for generations to come.