(2023 Note: Even though Mark Zuckerberg's metaverse is now irrelevant, probably, the general concept hasn't "died" yet.)
As of late, one of the biggest social media corporations in the world, Facebook, has changed its name to "Meta", while the site itself is a part of a larger entity, along with other Meta-owned applications such as WhatsApp. The idea behind "Meta" was presented as if a certain future of ours is going to be changed, or to be specific, augmented, with a new, dominant feature, called the "Metaverse".
What is Mr. Zuckerberg's metaverse, exactly, and how is it supposed to affect our lives? In short, the "Metaverse" is Meta's VR server(s), which are intended to be so dominant that much of what we're doing today in the physical space, will instead be done in a VR space (with VR being "virtual reality," of course).
Don't be fooled, however, because this is not as innovative as it tries to portray itself as. VR technology has already been made and consumed by people worldwide. The primary difference in Zuckerberg's "Metaverse" is the fact that, in lieu of a social network, we'll have access to a wider, "physical" network.
In that network, we'll be able to interact with things and beings as if we're interacting with them on a physical level. It is an attempt to "revolutionize" the internet by turning our physical reality into an augmented, virtual reality.
To put it simply, what you're seeing here is basically a virtual paper. Philosocom, like countless websites out there, is a collection of documents you can read and scroll through. That's the internet, for the most part, today. If we are to, let's say, "meta-versify" Philosocom, then it will not be like a virtual newspaper, but a "physical" space in which you'll be able to traverse and interact with articles, using VR equipment.
Perhaps it will be one room, a building, or even a maze, where you'll be able to explore as if you're going to a physical museum, archive, or library. It could be an underground bunker, a space station, or a skyscraper -- the possibilities are endless. That's what VR is, and that's what the so-called Metaverse is trying to achieve. That is, although, it has already been achieved, despite the fact that V.R technology isn't as dominant as, let's say, your computer or your smartphone.
What could possibly be Zuckerberg's motive in creating a V.R universe of his own? The possible answer is, of course, to centralize our everyday activities, that we do in "our" world, and transfer them into Meta's virtual universe. Socializing, designing, connecting, and attending professional meetings -- all, in one way or another, possible areas that one can further exploit for monetary gain.
Imagine, for example, "walking" in the streets of a hustling metropolis, only in VR. Can you imagine the possibilities of advertising? There are so many ways people can advertise their businesses in "virtual signs," which are basically just signs but virtual; there are so many "apartments" and "offices" one can buy in order to have a presence in the metaverse, trade for real estate perhaps, and generally promote their services.
VR is basically a replication of our reality. My theory is that by creating another reality, one spreads their revenue even further. Whether you're a single entrepreneur, a small business owner, or the CEO of a large corporation -- there is much revenue to be made by "cutting the middle man". "The middle man" is the limitation of the original reality (travel, isolation, and so on) and brings opportunity to you instantly. The opportunity to conduct business from the customers' homes.
Long gone will be the days of traveling abroad just to seek business opportunities or to make friends. The "human" elements of VR, along with the already-existent global communication, will further optimize the potential revenue and other benefits gained through human interaction.
All of this has a big downside, which is the fact that these realities, unless open-sourced, will be in the hands of the corporations that own them. This means that, assuming there are God or Gods in this reality, in the era of VR realities, the Gods shall be the corporations that own, run, and operate the "universes" you've registered in.
They will make rules that you'll have to comply with, and if you don't, they might either punish you or ban you, like in contemporary forums or chat rooms that aren't VR. Like in a theistic universe, the corporations will be the dictators of these "universes", and the fact that Zuckerberg pretends to make it singular, will not necessarily be true.
I mean, who says his "Metaverse" will be the only heavily-used VR out there? Even if Meta owns both Facebook and Instagram, for example, there are still Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and so on. His attempt at portraying "his" vision as universal isn't necessarily true, as he may still have competitors, even if his "Metaverse" will be the dominant one.
Beyond revenue, the notion of another, "meta-reality" seems very, very redundant. If, for example, I want to meet with someone online, I can chat with them like I've done throughout my internet-using life, and if I want to hear their voices and see them, I can just use a live chat application.
I don't see any reason to hide behind an avatar and meet someone on, let's say, a virtual pyramid, or take a stroll with them on the moon. Sure, these all sound very lucrative, but again, they are unnecessary in order to have successful communication with anyone.
This is why I heavily suspect that the "meta-reality" idea has been mainly made to increase the revenue of all involved in its making, preserving, and operating. The idea sounds futuristic, but not all that glitters is gold. In some way or another, it might just be a way to make money off you. That is the interest of many companies today.