The metaverse: buzzword or major paradigm shift? Right now there’s probably a bit of column A and a bit of column B. There are definitely companies willing to adopt their metaverse strategy (as long as you don’t ask for too many concrete details) because ‘they don’t want to be seen as not having one. At the same time, other companies (including Meta, formerly Facebook) are doing their utmost to adopt this new technology.
According to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the Metaverse will be a virtual version of the Internet where “you are in the experience, not just looking at it.” The company is working on everything from digital avatars to VR headsets that can detect and relay your facial expressions.
According to Matthew Ball, author of the book The Metaversethe metaverse is a “massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds that can be synchronously and persistently experienced by an effectively unlimited number of users with an individual sense of presence and with the continuity of data, such as identity, history, rights, objects, communications and payments.
It’s understood? If not – or if, like all of us, you’re still trying to figure out what it might look like – don’t worry: help is at hand. The term “metaverse” may have originated from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snowfallbut there are plenty of movies that can help shed some light on what we might have to expect with the Metaverse.
Whether it’s descriptions of the technology needed, images of possible virtual worlds, example use cases, or just a glimpse of some of the ethical and technical conundrums we may soon be facing, here’s seven films to help you.
When it comes to preparing for homework for the Metaverse, this isn’t a bad crash course…
Player one loan (2018)
Table of Contents
Steven Spielberg’s film in 2018 Loan player one – based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name – is invoked, at a rough estimate, in 97.3% of articles attempting to explain the Metaverse. With good reason too. When the Metaverse first appeared on most people’s radar — in 2021 when Facebook renamed itself Meta — Loan player one was a VR-themed film still fresh in people’s memories.
In Loan player one, the metaverse’s replacement is called “The Oasis” and, as the name suggests, represents a rare point of tech-induced goodness in an otherwise dark reality for the story’s protagonist. The reason for including Loan player one here (other than the fact that it’s good to be aware of the benchmarks everyone is doing in this space) is due to the story’s emphasis on play as the main focus of the metaverse. Unlike the Internet, which only later became a central part of the modern gaming experience, games are likely to be an important driver of metaverse technologies early on.
Today, the closest we have to real-world metaverses are the likes of Minecraft, GTA onlineand the spectacular Microsoft Flight Simulator. Due to the size of the gaming market today and the money it can bring in, expect gaming companies to help develop the capabilities that will allow a true real-time synchronous virtual world to play. be possible. Currently, this is not the case. But the possibility of earning billions of dollars in revenue has a funny way of turning things around.
Minority report (2002)
Minority reportThe inclusion of on this list might seem a little surprising. After all, it’s not a movie based on the concept of virtual worlds at all. But there is a key moment that makes it admissible. This is the scene in which Tom Cruise’s character, chef John Anderton, walks through a futuristic shopping mall, with video screens showing personalized advertisements addressing him by name.
Personalized ads are, of course, nothing new in the world of 2022 when it comes to the internet. But they largely haven’t extended to the real world. That’s something the Metaverse could change, though.
Whether it’s more immersive ads in virtual worlds (for example, when your 3D avatar walks around virtual shopping malls) or augmented ads overlaying ads in the physical world, it seems clear that targeted ads will definitely intensify in the metaverse world. .
A fascinating editorial recently by a veteran virtual reality and augmented reality entrepreneur argued for “immersive rights” for future inhabitants of the metaverse. Among them? The right to “experiential authenticity” to protect against this sort of thing. Everything was usefully predicted in Minority report. (Which, by the way, was made by Loan player one director Steven Spielberg.)
It’s also great for showing mixed reality technology in action.
When you think of Michael Crichton, author of jurassic parkchances are that Disclosure isn’t one of the first titles that trip you up. In fact, he came out during a high point in Crichton’s career, when the aforementioned jurassic park ran the box office, his show IS dominated the television airwaves, and Disclosure at the top of the book charts. The film adaptation, starring Michael Douglas, followed in 1994.
Although the metaverse is not a heavy theme in the book or film, the company the Douglas executive works for is attempting to create a real-time, collaborative virtual world that allows users to browse databases rendered as worlds. virtual. The reason for its inclusion on this list is that, despite the date that much of the movie is dated, the overall hardware setup was pretty spot-on – including haptics, fixed walking platforms, VR glasses, facial expression tracking technology, etc.
Also, it’s one of the few examples of virtual worlds in film being used for work productivity, rather than just entertainment.
The Matrix (1999)
When it comes to sci-fi movies that influenced the zeitgeist, The matrix is safely embedded somewhere among the top five in movie history. But while other heavy hitters, like 2001: A Space Odyssey, star warsand The trip to the mooncentered on the dream of 20th century space travel, The matrix focused on cyberspace and the notion of simulated virtual worlds.
In The matrix, what appears to be reality is actually a simulation of Earth, serving to pacify humanity which, in reality, serves as ground batteries for sentient machines. However, virtual worlds are also training grounds that allow Neo, Morpheus, and their vinyl-wearing comrades to practice different abilities.
The matrix helped articulate these two visions of what massive virtual worlds could mean: an opiate for the masses or a limitless world to refine and enhance human potential. The metaverse could be either. We guess it depends on whether we take the red or blue pill.
Total Recall (1990)
1990s Total recall, loosely based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, tells the story of a construction worker who, in essence, takes a vacation away from himself: visiting a neurotechnology company that promises to implant exciting false memories in his brain, in which the protagonist sees himself as a spy visiting Mars. For our money, the results are one of the best films in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s back catalogue.
While the idea of false memories is different from virtual worlds, there is no doubt that a compelling use case for the metaverse will be to enable people to lead alternate, parallel existences in large-scale, populated virtual worlds. of a lot of other people. We are already seeing a version of this with MMORPGs and high-grossing games like GTA V in the real world. But that’s only going to grow more in the metaverse – especially as you start to factor in widespread virtual reality and the ability to make a living in virtual realms.
It’s no coincidence that some metaverse namecheck pioneers Total recall as a source of inspiration in interviews.
Two years before James Cameron’s record film Avatar was released, a group called the Accelerating Studies Foundation released a groundbreaking report called The Metaverse Roadmapdescribing what the 3D Internet would look like in the distant year of, uh, 2016.
While discussions about the metaverse have certainly intensified over the past couple of years, Avatar came at an interesting time in tech history when, as the Metaverse Roadmap Report clearly shows, ideas around this topic were beginning to swell. second life was, at the time, making waves as a kind of metaverse, while the recently launched Google Street View showed us that recreating the world digitally – and then being able to walk around it at will – was doable.
AvatarThe plot, in which humans remotely command alien Na’vi bodies on a distant planet, plugged into many of these circulating ideas. It gave them a futuristic spin, sure, but the theme of virtual incarnation is only going to grow in importance in the years to come. And, while Cameron’s film didn’t create the term “avatar,” it certainly introduced its current usage to a much wider audience.
Free Guy (2021)
As a relatively light-hearted comedy film that sees the metaverse through positive, rose-tinted eyes, the impressive visual free guy is more of a palette cleanser on this list than a serious lesson in how the metaverse works.
But if Mark Zuckerberg and others like him can give us a virtual Ryan Reynolds to hang out with, we can only wish them well with their metaverse ambitions…